GIF is pronounced "jiff", says the author of the standard

    The graphic format GIF last year turned 25 years old , but it is still very popular on the Internet. Animated GIFs are now experiencing a second youth: even Google recently launched a special filter for this type of file.

    It is not surprising that the day before yesterday at the Webby Awards ceremony, Steve Wilhite, the author of the GIF standard, was awarded a special award for “lifetime achievements” . His photo on the right is from “Online Today” magazine for October 1987, where an article about a new graphics format was published.

    “GIF turned out to be an incredibly robust technology,” said David-Michel Davis, executive director of the Webby Awards, “Even with the spread of broadband.”

    Back in 1987, it was hard to imagine that GIF would be used primarily for animation and short videos, and even after a quarter of a century they would not come up with anything better. At that time, they simply wanted to create a single format for the web, so that the images were displayed equally on all computer platforms. This was a serious problem.

    Steve Wilheit worked at CompuServe, the first US mass Internet provider. The company wanted to provide its users with graphic services via the web, for example, showing a color weather map. Mr. Wilheit was fond of compression technology, so he decided to help. He imagined what the format should be, and a month later he rolled out an option called GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), it was June 1987.

    Novelty instantly became popular. Some experts stopped working on black and white graphics formats, all switched to GIF. In the standard, Steve Wilheit even provided for the possibility of animation with a time frame of one frame from 0.01 s to 655 s.

    In his life, Steve Wilheit did not make any animated GIF'a, but called his favorite work of a dancing child from 1996.

    Now Steve Wilheit has retired, retired, built a house in the country, is fond of photography and Java programming. He is proud of his brainchild - the GIF format - but he is terribly annoyed that debate about the correct pronunciation is still ongoing. “The Oxford English Dictionary recognizes both pronunciations,” says Mr. Wilheit. - They are wrong. This soft ji is pronounced jif. Nothing to discuss here. ”

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    How are you used to saying GIF?

    • 95.6% GIF 4985
    • 4.3% jeep 227

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