JPEG 2000, the image file format that has been around for nearly a decade and offers better compression performance and greater flexibility in the code-stream that can allow for higher quality photographs compared to a traditional JPEG, may get a boost on the Linux desktop. JPEG 2000 hasn't seen much adoption in large part because of the lack of web browsers that natively support this JP2 ISO standard, including Firefox. While there was an attempt before to add JPEG 2000 support to Firefox through a Google Summer of Code project, Mozilla developers have largely been opposed to adding this support since this file format is not used enough nor "important enough" to justify the work and face any possible legal threat in implementing this open-source support.
Going back to April of 2000 there has been Mozilla Bug #36351
, which is a request to add JPEG 2000 support to Mozilla. There has been over 100 comments on this bug to date, but interestingly, Mark Shuttleworth
made a comment this morning. The Canonical/Ubuntu leader simply said "We'd consider a patch for the Ubuntu builds of Firefox." This would be a patch that would add JPEG 2000 support to the popular Gecko-based web-browser.
Canonical picking up a JPEG 2000 patch for Ubuntu's Firefox would certainly be interesting and welcome, although it doesn't change the matter of JPEG 2000 image files largely being unused by a majority of Linux desktop users. With the feature freeze for Ubuntu 9.10
coming up on Thursday, this is work that would likely not come until at least Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, but there's always the possibility of having a PPA if this patch ends up materializing.