WordPress 3.0: No more JPEG Support

Beware, April Fool!

Of course WordPress will continue to “support” the JPEG format; after all, image rendering is the browser's job, the CMS is not involved when it comes to the actual rendering of images. This is my first April fool on my English blog. :saint: I've been doing this for a while on my German blog datenschmutz. Have you spotted any april fool postings on your favorite blogs? Please leave a comment, I'm curious!

Last Week Matt Mullenweg announced on his blog, that the upcoming WordPress 3.0 version drop the support for the JPEG file format. Increasing license costs and Microsoft's announcement to include SVG support in Internet Explorer 9 were the main reasons for this decision:

With the upcoming Internet Explorer 9 there is no more need for jpg – Microsoft finally embraces the SVG standard, thus helping to make the web a much more open place. JPEG does have some advantages, but they are simply out-weighed by the license costs.

I guess some bloggers will be quite surprised when they upload a jpg images just to find out that WordPress 3.0 doesn't actually render the picture, it just inserts a download link (just like when you upload an “unknown” format, for example an Excel sheet). A step-by-step upgrade tutorial will be published on the official blog tomorrow. One question yet remains to be answered: how to deal with existing, published images? It looks as if there's a lot of work coming our way, because probably bloggers must re-upload all the old pictures in a different format one by one. In the long run the WordPress team never has been wrong, and I guess Matt is right when he argues that it doesn't really matter:

Try to put yourself in the user's place: if you use your probably pirated copy of Photoshop or your legal copy of Gimp for exporting your pics into web format, it really doesn't matter if you choose jpg or png – I expect a smooth transition.

I always found JPEG-artefacts quite weird, so I'm happy about WordPress getting rid of these brownfields. And even if you don't a computer and update your blog from the internet caf? where they don't have Photoshop installed, worry not! WordPress 3.5 comes with a new core-plugin called “trans-imageizer” which will enable bloggers to convert jpg images via a centralized Auttomatic server during the upload. I'm looking forward to the new version – are you gonna miss JPEG?

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