About this title A comprehensive reference on the major graphics file formats and the compression technologies, this work is a useful resource for graphics programmers, especially those developing graphical applications for the Web. It examines the most common graphics file formats in detail and demonstrates how to encode and decode image files for each. For any programmer who needs to know how images are stored, this concise reference can serve as a really invaluable resource. In a series of short chapters, the book looks at JPEG in detail, from basic file organization its format and marker fields , file compression techniques like Huffman coding and DCT , and how to decode read and encode write JPEG images. By condensing hundreds of pages of specifications and documentation from the voluminous JPEG standard into this short volume, the author has created a worthwhile summary of key JPEG features and compression techniques useful to any graphics programmer.

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I wanted to write a book that explains the most frequently used file formats with enough depth for the reader to implement them, as opposed to one that covered many different formats at a high level or one that avoided the more difficult image formats. As a result, I chose to cover the image file formats that are associated with Web browsers.

They employ a wide range of encoding techniques and range in implementation difficulty from simple to very complex. The inspiration for this book was my own frustration resulting from the lack of information on how to implement encoders and decoders for the more complex file formats.

Most of the information available was at too high a level, left major gaps, or was very difficult to decipher. I have tried to create a bridge between the programmer and the standards documents. One issue I faced at the start of this project was which programming language to use for the examples. The intention was to create a book on graphics file formats rather than one on how to write programs to read and write graphics files in a particular language.

Therefore, I debated using a language that is easy to read e. In order to make the encoding and decoding processes as clear as possible, I have used a Pascal-like pseudo-code.

These fragments generally contain no error checking. Because of their generally large size, it was not possible to include working source code for the formats in the book itself. Instead, the accompanying CD-ROM contains the complete source code for encoders and decoders for almost all of the image formats covered.

Generally, the decoders implement more features than the encoders. In the decoders I have implemented all of the features needed to decode files that a reader will have any likelihood of encountering on the Internet. For the sake of clarity, the encoders generally implement a smaller feature subset. In writing the programming examples I have given clarity precedence over execution efficiency and instant portability.

Other compilers generally require some modifications to the code. The descriptions of the encoders and decoders for the various file formats frequently employ the term "user" to describe the source of certain input parameters to the encoding or decoding process. By this I mean the user of the encoder or decoder, not necessarily the person typing at the keyboard. Since image encoders and decoders are incorporated into other applications, such as image viewers and editors, the user in this case would most likely be another piece of software.

However, in many situations the "user" application may get some of these parameters directly from a human. For that information readers will need a book for their particular system. A project as large as producing a book requires the involvement of many people. My fellow aviator, Charlie Baumann, was kind enough to provide several of the photographs. Ralph Miano and Margaret Miano assisted with preparing the manuscript. Albert "The Chipster" Copper compiled examples on systems I did not have access to.

John M.


Compressed Image File Formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF, XBM, BMP



ISBN 13: 9780201604436






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