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One of animated gif's strengths are the promise of being silent. When users see GIF, they have the promise of a bite size animation, that loops and is silent. It is very hard to teach users a new name for that.

webm doesn't promise to be silent, which is why we are seeing this gifv container format, which does promise to be silent.

You need out-of-box support by Safari and Chrome to cover enough users. Preferably IE in the mix. This is why all the big gif sites use both gif and gifv.




FLIF promises to be silent as well. It also has a ~50KB JS decoder [1].

  [1] https://uprootlabs.github.io/poly-flif/polyflif-sample.html


> When users see GIF, they have the promise of a bite size animation

This isn't always true. Many, many GIFs I see around now are longer, if not full length clips and/or at obscenely un-optimized resolutions/sizes. Due to the ease of video to GIF conversion tools like Imgur, etc users have no reason not to clip longer and larger potions of videos for GIF conversion.

> webm doesn't promise to be silent

This isn't really such a problem with a change of a browser preference or use an addon. Part of this is also the responsibility of the site to auto mute if it offers embedding for that purpose.

At some point though there needs to be more user awareness and push for the better alternatives all around so the experience doesn't devolve further into posting 10-100MB GIFs of video clips (I see this on a daily basis) just because Imgur or GfyCat spat it out and their posting platform only encourages/supports raw GIFs. There also needs to be more hosts that allow direct video clip uploads to support this.

Edit: brevity.


> Many, many GIFs I see around now are longer, if not full length clips and/or at obscenely un-optimized resolutions/sizes

Which is why I wrote that the length promise can be broken.

> This isn't really such a problem with a change of a browser preference or use an Haddon.

Yes, it is such a problem. If you promise the user that the clip is silent, you also promise the user that it can be consumed in silence. Yes you can click a youtube link while keeping your computer on silence, but guess what, chances are the video is made for consumption with audio.

> and their posting platform only encourages/supports raw GIFs.

All the gif purveyors support webm. It is typically called gifv, because users recognise the gif word and believe all the promises I mentioned. But there isn't an alternative as ubiquitous as animated GIF.


> Which is why I wrote that the length promise can be broken.

I didn't see this in your comment but was responding to the expectation that GIFs are 'bite size'. I would honestly love for them to be that but it's regularly not the case.

> Yes, it is such a problem. If you promise the user that the clip is silent, you also promise the user that it can be consumed in silence. Yes you can click a youtube link while keeping your computer on silence, but guess what, chances are the video is made for consumption with audio.

It's still the responsibility of the user/site as video clips have different purposes. If the purpose of the embedding is a 'clip' rather than video the site can mute it (or a pseudo-container format like GIFV, like you mentioned). Some hosts disable audio encoding, others mute them by default (eg: Vine), but I still don't believe that GIFs being the incredibly poorly optimized, 256 color limited bloated format it is should 'win' merely because videos can have sound. There needs to be the concept of a generic 'clip' upload/post to differentiate from a regular video upload, GIFV is one such solution. Users expect Youtube videos to have audio, they mightn't for a short clip, which is why it would be great to see sites adapt and continue to be more conscious of this.

> All the gif purveyors support webm. It is typically called gifv, because users recognise the gif word and believe all the promises I mentioned. But there isn't an alternative as ubiquitous as animated GIF.

By posting platform I mean every site/app a user will post on that either encourages or only supports the use of GIFs over video clips. Yes Imgur and Gfycat will auto encode GIFs to VPx/h.264 however only GfyCat supports direct video uploads, on Imgur you can't upload a video clip directly. With only GIF uploads supported by most hosts it fuels the cycle of users, clip creators, sites (blogs, forums, etc), and even browser compatibility sticking to GIFs as the primary clip format.


Part of this is also the responsibility of the site to auto mute if it offers embedding for that purpose.

If there's one thing the past twenty years should have taught us, it's that we can't trust web designers/developers for anything. Browser options are good, though I'd prefer everything to just default to silence.




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