Tag: open source
JPEG XL vs AVIF: Fight!
An unscientific analysis of these two image formats based on file size and image quality.
JPEG XL and AVIF are arguably the two main contenders in the battle to replace JPEG as the next-generation image format. There are other formats in the race, like HEIC and WebP 2, but the former is subject to licensing patents (and possibly not royalty-free), and the second is still in development and seems that it may never see the light of day as a production-ready image format anyway. The original WebP is not even a contender as it is inferior in all aspects.
In this post, I perform a quick analysis of lossless and lossy compression with JPEG XL and AVIF, and evaluate how they fare in terms of file size and visual quality.
Google kills JPEG XL
Why Google controlling Chrome/Blink development is bad for everyone
The web is currently based around the JPEG, PNG and GIF image formats. These are all very old and suboptimal formats which were never designed in the first place with the modern web in mind. A few newer competing formats have popped up recently, aiming to dethrone the original trio to postulate themselves as the standard web image format of the future. These are, essentially, WebP (
.webp extension), developed by Google and hated by almost everyone else, AVIF (
.avif extension), based on the AV1 container and developed by the ‘Alliance for Open Media’, a conglomerate of big tech companies that are anything but open, and JPEG XL (
.jxl extension), developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group, the same people that developed the original JPEG.
So what’s the fuss all about? Recently, Google decided to kill JPEG XL support in Chrome. A full report follows.
Trying out Sway and Wayland
Is Wayland ready for prime time yet? Find out here.
Wayland is a modern display server protocol that will eventually replace X11. It is still not quite a hundred percent there, but it has been improving steadily and gaining ground over the past years. It is expected to become the new default display server on Linux systems at some point in the near future… Whatever near means in that context.
This past weekend I had some time to play around with Sway, a window manager and Wayland compositor that mimics i3. How did it go?
Searx: moving away from DuckDuckGo
The metasearch engine open source project Searx might be what you are looking for in terms of private web search
I have been using DuckDuckGo as my search engine of choice for the last few years. Howerver, DuckDuckGo seems to have a few problems:
- It is based in the US, arguably not the most privacy-respecting jurisdiction in the world.
- Only part of their source code is open.
- Uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a cloud provider and Cloudfare CDS.
- It looks like their browser was caught tracking visited websites per user.
- At the end of the day, you can’t really know that they are telling the truth when they promise not to track you.
In this post, I’m discussing Searx, a better alternative to DuckDuckGo that is truly open and driven by the community.
A while ago Erwan Leroy, a VFX professional and trainer, contacted me with some questions regarding the catalogs in Gaia Sky. Basically, he was trying to decode the binary format used in Gaia Sky to load the stars using a Python script. Of course, my documentation was lacking in that very aspect, so I walked him through the format and then improved the docs. Today, he has come back to me to share his results.
Transmission, a CLI torrent manager
How to use transmission from CLI and remotely
At home, I have a scrawny HTPC called
chimp in my living room connected to the TV —as I don’t own a Smart TV for good reasons—. Even though I have a NAS in the network capable of serving media, I connected a dedicated external disk directly to
chimp because my stock router is not the fastest around. Whenever I use the HTPC, I use it remotely from either my desktop,
bonobo, or my laptop,
simian. Sometimes I need to fetch torrents and download them to the disk connected to the HTPC.
Enter Transmission. Transmission is a somewhat popular BitTorrent client that includes a ‘hidden’ command line interface which is very, very useful and simple to use. Learn to use it and you will probably never want to open a GUI torrent client ever again.