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Cloanto Releases Free PNG Toolkit

When we heard news that several, very popular, graphics formats were unexpectedly menaced by software patents, at Cloanto we took a strong position in favor of a new, improved format: PNG (Portable Network Graphics). This format was designed in a joint effort of experts from all over the internet community as a replacement and extension to GIF and LZW-based TIFF, after Unisys Corporation began demanding royalties on GIF/LZW code.

PNG is gaining general recognition as the best lossless format for storing digital images. (JPEG remains recommended for storing real world images where minimum storage occupation is a priority and loss of information is acceptable.) PNG has the potential to replace both GIF and TIFF, and as a unifying force it should attract more attention beyond that.

Cloanto developed a toolkit containing a PNG DataType for the Amiga (68000 and 68020 versions), some background information on the GIF controversy and PNG, sample source code to use DataTypes and an ARexx script (designed for Personal Paint) to automatically find GIFs and convert them to PNG. The latest version of the png.datatype (v. 43.0) supports 24-bit DataType tag extensions, and can pass true color data to supporting applications (e.g. Cybergraphics software).

The PNG Toolkit is distributed freely over the internet, via Aminet. An extended version of the toolkit, with PNG test files, full PNG specs, documentation and reference source code is included on Cloanto's Personal Suite CD-ROM.