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New in InterGif 6.15

Lossy palette optimisations including map-to-colour-cube and map-to-Acorn-palette. Now includes optimisation of deep images. Plenty of bug-fixes. Improve memory usage. New options -trim, -c.
Made the palette entry for the transparent colour black if possible: this means GIFs made by InterGif now work with the drawImage method in Microsoft's buggy JVM.
InterGif 6.01 fixes a bug to do with setting frame delays, which was broken in version 6.
InterGif 6.02 fixes a couple of bugs -- one shown up by Netscape's "Netscape 3 Now" animation (which has a deliberately bogus screen descriptor), and another in the rare case that an image becomes larger when LZW compressed. It also works round a GIF displaying bug in Netscape 4, and has the new -trim option.
InterGif 6.03 fixes more bugs, mainly in the RiscOS desktop version. The RiscOS version can now call ChangeFSI as a subtask (the -c option), and will make optimised palettes for 16bpp and 24bpp input images. Also has an icon-bar icon <F/X: applause>.
InterGif 6.04 fixes a couple of small bugs -- one with sprite files containing images the same size but in different colour depths, and another when using the "Join input files" and "Find best colours" options together with 16bpp or 24bpp sprites.
InterGif 6.05 has support for 16bpp and 24bpp Animator files (which should have worked before, but didn't), better supports GIFs with more than 256 colours, and fixes a couple of further small bugs.
InterGif 6.07 (there was no 6.06) has a few bugfixes (one supplied by Neil Raine) and adds sprite conversion facilites to the Windows and Linux versions -- previously, only the Acorn version could load sprites.
InterGif 6.08 contains only bugfixes: use of ChangeFSI had got broken in 6.07, and conversion of 256-colour images with no palette was wrong.
InterGif 6.10 adds a "Keep unused entries" icon to the desktop version, allowing access to the -same option. Also, -same works more sensibly with -216 and -256, and a bug when writing very small (e.g. 1-pixel) output GIFs was fixed.
InterGif 6.11 incorporates Martin Würthner's patch which provides Floyd-Steinberg dithering (error diffusion) when converting 16bpp or 24bpp source images, including Draw files.
InterGif 6.12 fixes a bug in the Draw conversion code, which only affects RiscOS versions prior to 3.5 (versions on which Draw conversion is carried out in 8bpp). This had been broken for a while, but unsurprisingly not many people are using pre-RiscPC machines these days...
InterGif 6.15 incorporates Martin Würthner's patch which provides greyscale conversion and the -list option. InterGif 6.15 is also the first version available compiled for 32-bit (Iyonix) versions of RiscOS, for which again thanks to Martin Würthner.

Code bloat sets in...


The command-line program is shown in green, the desktop front-end in blue. InterGif 4 integrated both into a single file, but then I realised that was a Bad Thing :-(.

1: first release
2: animation
2.01 (17-Jun-1996): bugfixes
2.02 (12-Aug-1996): colour optimisation
3 (27-Aug-1996): Animator files
3.01 (3-Sep-1996): auto-transparency
4 (8-Nov-1996): desktop version
5 (4-Feb-1997): bugfixes, better optimiser
5.01 (10-Feb-1997): Draw files
6 (13-Sep-1997): palette mapping
6.01 (28-Sep-1997): small bugfix, Windows and Linux versions
6.02 (9-Nov-1997): more small bugfixes
6.03 (21-Feb-1998): icon-bar icon, deep image support
6.04 (8-Jun-1998): bugfixes
6.05 (16-Sep-1998): bugfixes
6.07 (21-Feb-1999): bugfixes, sprite conversion for Windows and Linux
6.08 (23-Apr-1999): bugfixes (Still the most widely-used version!)
6.10 (2-Aug-2000): bugfixes
6.11 (17-Oct-2000): bugfixes, contributed Floyd-Steinberg
6.12 (13-Dec-2000): bugfixes
6.15 (5-Oct-2004): contributed greyscale conversion

Yet to do

Cope with "uncompressed" Complete Animator files.
Perhaps add a way to disable the "changed rectangle" optimisation -- though I can't really see why you'd want to. [Except that the browser on Psion Series 5's won't display animations unless the whole frame changes each time, duhhh.]
Use local colour tables if it helps (eg. if, in a 256-colour animation, the changed rectangle contains only 2 colours). Preliminary work indicates that the overhead of even a small colour table means that this optimisation is very, very rarely worthwhile.
Other input formats: BMP, FLI/FLC? Anyone got any requests? (This is largely taken care of on the Acorn version now that it can use ChangeFSI).
Do something about the way this list gets longer with each release instead of shorter. [InterGif 6: hey, it got shorter this time!]
Note: Unless there are serious bugs, there probably won't be a new release of InterGif for quite a while. InterGif 6.15 is the twenty-third release (including bugfix releases), the previous version (6.12) was over four years ago, and frankly I'm getting bored of GIFs all round. Besides, InterGif isn't in C#.

InterGif in the press

Version 4 of InterGif was included on the cover disc of January 1997's Acorn User magazine. They said it was "quite useful". By February's issue they'd decided that in fact it was "nifty" and "invaluable", and in March's issue it was mentioned again in a spacefiller article that called it "Gothic". Or something. In June's issue version 5 is called "superb" and "highly recommended".
Version 5 of InterGif was included on the cover CD of May 1997's Computer Shopper magazine (issue 111); the filenames of the Acorn section apparently went a bit wonky during preparation of the CD, but the archive is fine if you can find it. A pukka one will, I'm assured, appear on issue 112's CD -- but seeing as you're here, you might as well download it now. The article called it "easy-to-use" and "invaluable".
There's also a piece about InterGif in April 1997's Risc User magazine (volume 10 number 5), but I haven't seen it yet.
During June 1997, InterGif appeared on the front page of The Economist magazine, who said "it will, without doubt, make a valuable and lasting contribution to world peace". [1]

[1]: Actually, I made that one up.

It's bazaar

There used to be a big long rant here, about how open source development wasn't all it was cracked up to be -- based on the fact that in four years or so, only one person had submitted a patch to InterGif, and that a fairly minor one. However, I was very pleasantly surprised recently to receive a large and useful patch from Martin Würthner of MW Software, who has kindly donated an implementation of Floyd-Steinberg dithering, a feature I'd been wanting in InterGif for ages but never got round to writing. Thanks, Martin!
(K) All Rites Reversed -- Copy What You Like