Ben Langhinrichs

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October, 2011
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Wed 5 Oct 2011, 04:40 PM
A lot of people over the years have asked why Notes doesn't support PNG graphics. After all, PNG as a format has been used more and more in web applications, and it would be cool to support alpha-transparency and such in the Notes client. Unfortunately, it appeared that IBM was not listening.

Maybe they were listening after all. They simply weren't talking. After all, why not support PNG graphics, but make it very difficult for anybody to use them or import them? That way... actually, I have no idea why they would do it, but it appears they have. You can use PNG graphics as image resources if you manually force them to pretend to be something else. You can also use them natively if the rich text starts as MIME and is converted to rich text. Neither is easy or convenient. I am adding this to Midas to make it easy and convenient for people using that toolkit, but I may write it as an import filter as well, just to make it accessible to users. Why can't IBM do that? (No, it's not in 8.5.3 either.)

Let me give a simple example of how much difference it makes to use a PNG graphic natively versus imported and converted to JPEG. Over on OpenNTF, there are a series of company logos. I tried this on several, and all showed some degradation on importing, sometimes severe. Here is one obvious example:




Obviously, the native format (which is what Midas imports into) is more appealing, but it goes further than that. Let me take the same document and change the background to a patterned image:




That transparency is key. But don't tell anybody, or they might realize how powerful rich text is. We can't have that!

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