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From: (M. Console Battilana)


Graphics Community Endorses a New File Format

May 1, 1995.  A coalition of major software developers, publishers and
technical writers announced today its endorsement for the new PNG graphics
format.  PNG (Portable Network Graphics, pronounced "ping") is a flexible
and open format for storing bitmapped graphics images.  This effort began
in late 1994, when CompuServe and Unisys stunned the online world by
announcing that royalties would be required on the formerly freely used GIF
file format.

Several companies claim a patent on the LZW compression algorithm, which is
an integral part of the GIF file format.  Unisys is now requiring
developers, publishers, and vendors to pay royalties on any software that
either creates or displays GIF files.  In response to this announcement,
developers hastened to replace the GIF file format with an improved
royalty-free format.  A coalition of experienced independent graphics
developers from the Internet and CompuServe formed a working group and
proceeded to design the new format.  The result is the PNG format.

PNG is a major advance over the venerable GIF format.  By adopting PNG, you
would not only be helping the computer graphics community free itself from
the Unisys patent, but you would be enjoying the advantages of a powerful
new graphics file format.  Converting your GIF collections to PNG offers
the following benefits:

 * PNG retains GIF's strength as a simple and portable graphics format.

 * PNG's compression method has been thoroughly researched and judged
   free from patent problems.

 * PNG allows support for true color and alpha channel storage. Its
   extensible structure leaves room for future requirements.

 * PNG's feature set allows conversion of all GIF files.

 * On average, PNG files are smaller than GIF files.

 * PNG offers a new, more visually appealing, method for progressive
   display than the scanline interlacing used by GIF.

 * PNG is designed to support full file integrity checking as
   well as simple, quick detection of common transmission errors.

 * Implementations of PNG are royalty-free.

The advantages of making PNG an industry-standard file format are clear.
We are now presented with a rare opportunity to move forward in the area of
royalty-free graphics display and archiving software.  Please help with the
adoption of PNG by supporting it as your preferred graphics file format. 
For more information, source code, file specifications, developer tools,
and freeware file converters, you can contact the Internet
newsgroups or the Graphics Support Forum on CompuServe (GO GRAPHSUP).  For
files, check the directory, or email

Thank you for supporting this project.

Signed by:
 Michael Abrash, author, Zen of Graphics Programming
 Michael Console Battilana, Cloanto (Personal Paint/Write, etc.)
 Bradley Bell & Elizabeth Piegari, TriSoft (Depth Dwellers)
 Andrei Belogortseff, ChaoSoft (FM StepUp, FM Toolbar, FM Guard, etc.)
 C. Steven Blackwood, Cytherean Adventures (Cargo Bay)
 Robert K. Blaine, ECONO-SOFT
 John Bradley, author of XV
 John Bridges, author of GRASP, PC Paint and PICEM
 Rick Byrnes, The Software Development Group (NoteWorthy, MoneyWise,
   Eventz, and various shareware products.)
 Tony Caine, ARCaine Technology
 George Campbell, OsoSoft (Winclip, etc.)
 Mike Ceranski, President, Dvorak Development
 Lee Crocker (Piclab, PGIF, GTools)
 Karen Crowther, Redwood Games (Math Rescue, Word Rescue, Pickle Wars)
 E. Nicholas Cupery, Farba Research (Farba Utilities (tm))
 Thomas Boutell, author of the gd library and the World Wide Web FAQ
 Gary Elfring, Elfring Soft Fonts (Clip Art)
 Steve Estvanik, Cascoly Software (Winzle, Windows in Time, MVP Bridge)
 Jim Faliveno, Monumental Computer Applications, Inc. (TagVue-CaddView)
 Dan Farmer, POV-Team (POV-Ray)
 Oliver Fromme, TBH-Softworx (QPEG, PicDex)
 John Gallant, First Magnitude (3-Ball Juggler, Beat the Bomb, Math
 Lawrence Gozum, author (VIDVUE)
 Phil Grenetz, Ivden Technologies
 Diana Gruber, Ted Gruber Software, Inc. (Fastgraph)
 David Hofmann (Computer Graphics Artist, Germany)
 Michael D. Jones, Insight Software Solutions (Finance/Hobbies/Word Games)
 Lutz Kretzschmar, coauthor of Ray Tracing Worlds (Moray)
 Tom Lane, organizer, Independent JPEG Group (IJG JPEG software)
 Steve Lee (Atlantic Coast plc)
 Ralph Mariano @ STReport International Online Magazine
 David K. Mason, author of Morphing on Your PC, coauthor of Making Movies
   on Your PC (DTA, DFV, DMorf)
 Randy Maclean, Formgen Corp.
 Brad McLane, Caladonia Systems Inc. (Code.Print, ToolThings)
 Al Meadows/Fineware Systems (Author of Space Hound, Peeper, etc.)
 Scott Miller, Apogee Software, Sultans of Shareware
 Jeff Napier, Another Company (Computer Magic)
 Peter Nielsen, Raja Thiagarajan, Julie England (PMView & PMSnap for OS/2)
 David Noakes, Fugue Software
 Dick Oliver, author of PC graphics books and software including
   Tricks of the Graphics Gurus, PC Graphics Unleashed, and FractalVision
 Dan Richardson, illustrator, author of Create Stereograms on Your PC
 John Richardson, Rogue Marketing (Amazing Secrets Series, Gambling
   Secrets, JobDisk)
 Steve Rimmer, Alchemy Mindworks Inc. (Graphic Workshop, etc.)
 Greg Roelofs, Info-ZIP (Zip, UnZip and related utilities)
 Guy Eric Schalnat, Group 42 (PNGLIB, GraphX Viewer)
 Paul Schmidt, Photodex Corporation, GDS (The Graphics Display System)
 Monty Shelton, CrystalWorks (EZCosmos, SIRDS for NIRDS, Language Wiz)
 Steve Sneed, Ozarks West Software, Inc. (OzCIS, OzWin, OZBEXT/OZGIF)
 David Snyder, MVP Software (MVP Paint)
 Chuck Steenburgh, Tay-Jee Software (Palantir for DOS & Windows, S.O.S.)
 Peter Tiemann (author of TrueBase)
 Glen Tippetts, NeoSoft Corporation (NeoPaint, NeoBook, etc.)
 Rod Underhill, Computer Fine Artist (CIS Comic Forum's Underhill Gallery)
 John Wagner (Improces)
 Bruce F. Webster, Pages Software Inc (WebPages by Pages)
 Tim Wegner, author of Image Lab and Fractal Creations (Fractint)
 Rosemary West, R. K. West Consulting (By The Numbers, LoveDOS, etc.)
 Thomas R. White, Recreational Engineering Associates (MultiMedia Swiss
   Army Knife)
 Charles L. Wiedemann, Rexxcom Systems (XL2001, E-Z-Book, etc.)
 Terry Wilkinson, CIO, AffNet Publishing
 Ben Williams, Black Belt Systems Inc. (WinImages, Imagemaster, etc.)
 Jeff Woods, deltaComm Development, Inc. (Telix for Windows)