Our web experience has come to be visual-centric these days. From websites to social networks, the most popular form of content is images. So Mozilla has decided to create a new JPEG encoder to compress images better and save precious network traffic.
The problem with a visual-centric internet, as it is today, is simply that it needs a lot of photos. And the photos, in turn, need a lot of space as well as network traffic to be uploaded. One of the most popular image formats used offline as well as online is JPEG. It is a lossy compressed image format and is wildly popular across all platforms, browsers and operating systems.
Mozilla’s plan here is not to give up on JPEG or move away from it. The JPEG image format is too popular to abandon and the company aims to create a JPEG encoder which can offer better image compression. Mozilla team believe that the image compression capabilities of JPEG encoders can still be improved significantly and that there’s a lot of room for improvement.
According to Mozilla, “Production JPEG encoders have largely been stagnant in terms of compression efficiency, so replacing JPEG with something better has been a frequent topic of discussion. The major downside to moving away from JPEG is that it would require going through a multi-year period of relatively poor compatibility with the world’s deployed software. We (at Mozilla) don’t doubt that algorithmic improvements will make this worthwhile at some point, possibly soon. Even after a transition begins in earnest though, JPEG will continue to be used widely.”
Mozilla has already dished out version 1.0 of mozjpeg. The functionality added to mozjpeg allows compressing PNG files by 2 to 6 percent while JPEG files have been successfully reduced by 10% on average. That is a very encouraging start and may well be the first step on the path towards finding the next-generation compression tools for images.