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O'Reilly publishes new edition of 'Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats.' (O'Reilly and Associates Inc. puts information on CD-ROM, World Wide Web)(Multimedia Today)

O'Reilly & Associates announces the release of its first Web product, the Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats, 2nd Edition.

"When we designed the Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats, we knew that the programmers and graphics professionals who use this reference needed up-to-date information in a hurry," said Deborah Russell, the book's editor. "To deliver that, we've created a truly integrated `information interface." You can grab the book to look up something quickly, access vendors' format specifications, images, or code on the CD-ROM, or go on the Internet and check our GFF Web Center for the latest information on more than 100 file formats and all kinds of related graphics resources."

The first edition of the Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats, published in 1994, has become the definitive reference to the bewildering array of file formats used to store graphics data such as vector graphics, ray tracing, black-and-white photographs, truecolor images, animation data, motion video, and multimedia data, O'Reilly says. Programmers on all platforms (Windows, MS-DOS, OS/2, Macintosh, UNIX, and others) count on the Encyclopedia for detailed descriptions of graphics file formats--from major, standardized formats, like GIF, TIFF, TGA, and BMP, to newer or specialized formats, like PNG, SPIFF, SGI YAODL, and Facesaver.

To keep current with file formats that are continually being created or modified, O'Reilly has developed the Graphics File Formats (GFF) Web Center. Author James Murray will maintain the GFF Center, providing graphics programmers and designers with a roadmap to resources, including information on new file formats, updated versions of vendors' graphics file format specifications and software packages, and pointers to new online archives of graphics images. The GFF Center will also provide a variety of graphics-related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) listings, a What's New area, and a way for users to contact Murray with suggestions and questions. For this new edition, the CD-ROM includes the entire contents of the book, formatted in HTML, as well as links to the GFF Web Center.

This information is also on the CD:

* File format specifications that, in many cases, have never before been available outside the organizations that developed them. O'Reilly has assembled original file format specification documents from such vendors as Adobe, Aldus, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and Silicon Graphics.

* The best of the free software and shareware (Windows, MS-DOS, OS/2, Macintosh, and UNIX platforms) for converting, viewing, compressing, and manipulating graphics files and images

* The Enhanced Mosaic browser

* A variety of test graphics images to help users test software, convert formats, compare color depth and file size, and figure out what format is right for a particular application

In addition to detailed descriptions of file formats, the Encyclopedia contains a good deal of general graphics information, including:

* A detailed discussion of graphics concepts and programming, covering such topics as palettes, color (its perception, conversion, and quantization), and the various types of graphics file formats (e.g., vector, bitmap, metafile, scene description, animation, multimedia, 3-D, font, audio, virtual reality modeling language [VRML], and page description language [PDL])

* Descriptions of different methods of compressing graphics data (e.g., run-length encoding, LZW, CCITT, JPEG, JBIG, ART, fractal)

* Discussions of ways of converting from one type of file format to another

* Information on emerging graphics initiatives, including JPEG (an image data compression standard of particular interest in multimedia technology) and MPEG (a set of digital and audio compression standards for sound and motion picture data).

Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats is a handy reference for the graphics programmer who needs to know the precise contents of every bit in a file, the graphics illustrator who just needs to know how to convert a file from one format to another, or anyone else who deals with the technical details of graphics files.

Technical requirements are: a CD-ROM drive; either a PC running Microsoft Windows 3.1, 95, or NT; a Macintosh; or a UNIX workstation supported by Spyglass Enhanced Mosaic. A 256-color monitor is highly recommended.

The book runs 1,154 pages (ISBN 1-56592-161-5), and the price for the book/CD set is $79.95. For more information, call O'Reilly & Associates, Sebastopol, CA, 800/998-9938
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Publication:Information Today
Date:Jul 1, 1996
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