FSF Slams Google Over Dropping JPEG-XL In Chrome

Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 16 April 2023 at 06:46 AM EDT. 105 Comments
Last October Google engineers decided they would deprecate JPEG-XL support in Chrome over some debated rationale for the move. Even amid the community uproar they went ahead to drop the JPEG-XL support. The Free Software Foundation has finally commented on the matter.

This past week the Free Software Foundation finally commented on Google's decision to deprecate JPEG-XL and the FSF says it emphasizes the need for browser choice and free media formats.

Greg Farough of the FSF wrote:
"While we can't link to Google's issue tracker directly because of another freedom issue -- its use of nonfree JavaScript -- we're told that the issue regarding JPEG-XL's removal is the second-most "starred" issue in the history of the Chromium project, the nominally free basis for the Google Chrome browser. Chromium users came out of the woodwork to plead with Google not to make this decision. It made it anyway, not bothering to respond to users' concerns. We're not sure what metric it's using to gauge the interest of the "entire ecosystem," but it seems users have given JPEG-XL a strong show of support. In turn, what users will be given is yet another facet of the web that Google itself controls: the AVIF format.

As the response to JPEG-XL's deprecation has shown, our rallying together and telling Google we want something isn't liable to get it to change its mind. It will keep on wanting what it wants: control; we'll keep on wanting what we want: freedom."

Those interested in the Free Software Foundation post in full can find it on FSF.org.
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