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WebP Causing Controversy In The FreeDesktop.org Camp

Free Software

Published on 08 February 2014 05:07 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
11 Comments

There's some upset individuals over the "image/webp" MIME type not being added to the FreeDesktop.org XDG shared-mime-info package for Google's WebP image format.

While WebP hasn't taken off in popularity as some had hoped for, it's still out there and slowly gaining traction in some circles. The BSD-licensed WebP image format derived from the VP8 video format is causing frustration among some in the FreeDesktop.org community due to its Internet media type.

Most implementations of WebP use "image/webp" as the MIME type for WebP image files, but the FreeDesktop.org developers responsible for the XDG shared-mime-info package that supplies MIME information, will not add the "image/webp" type. Those behind this FreeDesktop.org XDG component will not add the MIME type until it's been officially approved by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) even though most software is unofficially using image/webp.

There's FreeDesktop.org Bug 41155 that dates back to 2011 but in recent days has been quite active by those on both sides of the table about adding the WebP image type. As the latest activity, an image/x-webp MIME type has been added in Git, but not all are in favor of the "x-webp" MIME type.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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