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> The most important part of GIFs for me is that they behave like images in browsers. They are always auto-playing with no concept of play and pause. You can drag and drop them from a browser to your desktop to save them. You can save an entire page and have all the image files save with it. I've never had this work for webm or other video formats.

The saving bit is the only part which doesn't work right with videos AFAIK. Sound-less (/muted) videos can autoplay and loop, and there's no controls unless you ask for them (via the `controls` attribute) or bring your own.

The examples in the article (the scenes are videos) autoplay, loop and don't have control in either Firefox or Safari.




I think the saving part is a big deal.

There are related problems like embedding. If you upload a video to Slack, say, you can’t control whether it autoplays or loops. If you upload a GIF it just works.


I understand that they can be made to autoplay with no controls, but I don't even want the possibility of them being paused. This way the format has no choice but to behave as expected across everything.


> I understand that they can be made to autoplay with no controls, but I don't even want the possibility of them being paused.

Your opinions are just that, and usually overridable by the client. The client could even strip your media entirely.

And gifs are pausable (used to be ESC though apparently you now need extensions).

> This way the format has no choice but to behave as expected across everything.

I've got bad news for you: once it reaches the client you're not in control anymore, you can only suggest behaviour.


I don't see why we can't use the IMG tag for video and the VIDEO tag for images. They should be unified, with all the same media formats supported.

IMG would autoplay, would not have sound, would loop, and would not have controls.

VIDEO would be the opposite. For something like a plain JPG or PNG file, it just shows the one frame. Animated GIF files would of course benefit from the controls.

The same should go for unification of the VIDEO and AUDIO tags. Play an audio file as video, and you get a black screen with sound. Play a video file as audio, and you just hear the sound.


Agree. Safari has already made moves for this[1], but Chrome seems to be resistant[2].

[1] https://calendar.perfplanet.com/2017/animated-gif-without-th... [2] https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=791658


> IMG would autoplay, would not have sound, would loop, and would not have controls.

Why do you hate my phone battery so much?


They don't though. At similar quality and framerate, a video is much smaller than a GIF (so the radios can be shut down faster) and requires less power to playback (because it's offloaded to the hardware acceleration instead of being implemented entirely on the CPU).

Your average smartphone can play 1080p video without breaking a sweat, not so with 1080p gifs. Hell, a laptop will have permanent high-CPU usage on 1080p gifs, as a video it's background noise (https://www.reddit.com/r/osx/comments/43rrf0/pixel_art_gif_a...)


> I don't even want the possibility of them being paused

That's downright hostile to the end user…

https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/time-limits-pause...


A behavior being unchanged for 30 years is hardly user hostile. It's reliable and trustworthy. Like a good tool should be.


You used to be able to press the escape button to stop GIFs on the page. It's not unchanged for 30 years.


Browsers have changed, a lot, in sad and unfortunate ways like you mention here, but the gif format is pretty stable.


Any application that doesn't allow me to stop something from being annoying, will be stopped from being annoying by being uninstalled.

If browsers made it such that I couldn't not stop .gif animations (or playing video, or...), I would trash that browser.

Bluntly, you do not get to control my computer.


The point is that they are more images than videos. They have no possible way to contain sounds so the annoyingness is limited to having unwanted images in your browser. You can tell your browser to block a particular still image. You can do the same thing to block a GIF. You don't need a pause/play feature on a 2-5 second sequence.


No, the point is control. You have no idea what I need.


Most people require much less.


What is your current solution to autoplaying, unpausable gifs?


Case by case basis ublock origin and permanently remove the gif from showing up in my browser ever again.


If that 2-5 second animated sequence is smack dab in the middle of an article I'm trying to read, because the author is trying to be "cool" and "in with the internets" by including some popular animated meme macro? You bet your bellybutton that I need to be able to stop it from distracting my eyes from the text.

Human sight has evolved to be attracted to movement.


There's nothing about allowing play/pause that prevents videos from behaving exactly like gifs. I've seen browsers with play/pause options for gifs, even.


The stop button used to stop all gifs on a page in firefox and internet explorer. Not sure if that was a bug or a feature though, since the stop button was generally not available when page load finished.


(Maybe I remembered wrong, someone else mentioned here that it was ESC, not stop)


At least on Firefox, it was indeed stop. I believe it still works too, even though nowadays they hide the button, if you expose the functionality through an addon.


Can you tell me of one, please? I'd like to check their implementation, most play/pausable gifs I see are only converted webms.




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