Firefox 65 supports Google's WebP Image format - gHacks Tech News

Firefox 65 supports Google's WebP Image format

Firefox 65 will support the WebP image format that Google created for use on the Internet. Firefox 65 Stable will be released in January 2019.

Google states on the official WebP page on the company's Developers website that "WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs", and that "WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images".

Mozilla revealed plans in 2016 to add WebP support to the organization's Firefox web browser but nothing came out of it in the two years that followed. Microsoft introduced support for WebP in Microsoft Edge recently.

Chrome and Chromium-based browsers such as Opera or Vivaldi support the image format already.

Web servers that support WebP check whether the browser is capable of displaying the format. If that is the case, WebP images are provided and if that is not the case, fallback image formats, e.g. PNG or JPG are provided instead.

Firefox users can test this on Google Play where Chrome gets WebP images currently while current versions of Firefox traditional image formats.

Firefox 65: WebP support

firefox webp

Mozilla plans to enable support for WebP in Firefox 65. The version is currently available on the Nightly channel, the cutting edge development channel.

Nightly users may enable WebP support in the browser already but it requires that they modify two preferences on about:config to do so.

Here is how you can add WebP support right now in Firefox 65:

  1. Load about:config in the Firefox address bar.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful.
  3. Search for the preference image.webp.enabled.
  4. Double-click on it to set it to True.
  5. Search for the preference image.http.accept.
  6. Double-click on it and change its value to image/webp,*/*.
  7. You may need to restart the browser.

You can test the support on Google's WebP Gallery on the Developer website. You should get WebP images instead of no image or fallback images on the page.

firefox 65 webp

Firefox informs sites that it supports the WebP image format when connections are established and sites will use the format and not traditional formats because of that.

Webmasters can use conversion tools to convert image formats to Google's WebP format, and users can convert WebP images to other image formats as well.

Why did Mozilla add support now? One answer is that Microsoft added support for the format in the company's Microsoft Edge browser. While WebP is not supported by Safari or Internet Explorer, not supporting the format might put Mozilla at a disadvantage especially when web companies decide to ignore fallback options.

Closing Words

Firefox 65 will support the WebP format so that Google's sites and others that use the format will deliver WebP images to Firefox users just as they do to Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, or Microsoft Edge users.

Whether that will give WebP the boost it requires to establish itself as the major image format on the Internet remains to be seen.

Now You: What is your take on Mozilla adding support for WebP to Firefox?

Summary
Firefox 65 supports Google's WebP Image format
Article Name
Firefox 65 supports Google's WebP Image format
Description
Mozilla has added support for the WebP image format in Firefox 65; Firefox 65 displays WebP images on all sites that users visit in the browser and won't use fallback images anymore.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. noemata said on November 2, 2018 at 8:43 am
    Reply

    mozilla seems to be google’s bitch when it comes to web standards (like here) and profit (like here) : https://twitter.com/mozhacks/status/1057115393133699072 .

    1. Fred said on November 2, 2018 at 10:41 am
      Reply

      If you have no idea about the web and web technology, you shouldn’t write such stupid comments, really. WebP is a great image format, not only supported by Chrome but also by Edge. Support in Firefox is good for everyone because it means that WebP can be used in web applications (still with fallback for other browsers). It’s great for the user because smaller images means faster page loads. A lot of websites already use WebP images. There is NOTHING bad in supporting this format. So what exactly is your point? Just trolling?

      1. Ban me said on November 2, 2018 at 10:52 am
        Reply

        Only stupid comment is yours Fred.

      2. Fred said on November 2, 2018 at 12:57 pm
        Reply

        @Ban me: Well, if you don’t have any argument you can, of course, be like a small child. But it doesn’t do anything for a construtive discussion. Please explain all the other people why my statement is stupid that a) supporting a image format which is supported by the two most important other browsers is bad and b) why it’s bad to reduce b1) traffic costs and b2) page load time. There are only winners and it will be difficult to argue against these points. But please, be not stupid, prove us wrong.

      3. Tom Hawack said on November 2, 2018 at 5:36 pm
        Reply

        @Fred, your statement is not stupid, it’s plain good sense. It’s not because one may dislike Google’s empire that this should include all of the company’s innovations. I dislike empires but I have to admit that Google products often flirt with excellency.

      4. Anonymous said on November 2, 2018 at 11:41 am
        Reply

        “There is NOTHING bad in supporting this format.”

        I’m not comfortable with Google taking control of what may become the standard for image format on the web. At least with webM there was the significant benefit of spreading open and royalty free formats against the mp4 family. For webP the social and technical benefits are negligible. Even Mozilla delayed Firefox support for years. But maybe this time Google will not find a creative way to misuse its future dominant position, after all it’s more difficult to add anti-features to webP than to other web standards. Though not impossible.

      5. John Fenderson said on November 2, 2018 at 4:16 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous: “I’m not comfortable with Google taking control of what may become the standard for image format on the web”

        Me neither, but this isn’t really that. WebP is released under the BSD license, and everyone is free to make, modify, and distribute it to their heart’s content.

    2. ++ said on November 2, 2018 at 2:39 pm
      Reply

      As long as all proprietary stuff from the patent troll known as MPEG-LA die, JPG, H264 etc stop being being the standards for image and video formats on the web, I am fine with that. At least AV1/OPUS etc are open source and patent free.

  2. Klaas Vaak said on November 2, 2018 at 9:58 am
    Reply

    @Martin Brinkmann: it might be useful to dedicate a small paragraph to what WebP is and why Mozilla wants to enable it in Firefox.

  3. Aegis said on November 2, 2018 at 10:22 am
    Reply

    Not really necessary but nice to have.
    But for me it seems that Mozilla has become Google loyal dog and is always waging with the tail to please their “owner”.
    Firefox has already become a clone of Chrome.

    1. Klaas Vaak said on November 2, 2018 at 11:15 am
      Reply

      @Aegis: if Firefox is a clone of Chrome, how come the latter does not have the about:config feature? Or, to put it differently, how come Firefox has not dropped the about:config feature?

    2. blob895 said on November 2, 2018 at 11:40 am
      Reply

      Because of that, I really use chrome as my main, cause everything those web browsers are fighting for, is to turn into Chrome.

      So, why bother using them?

      P.S: I hate Chrome but there is no alternative left right now.

      1. Klaas Vaak said on November 2, 2018 at 12:41 pm
        Reply

        @blob895: why is Firefox not an alternative?

      2. Tom Hawack said on November 2, 2018 at 11:34 pm
        Reply

        @blob895,

        “everything those web browsers are fighting for, is to turn into Chrome.”

        I think that’s not really true. There is always a trend to follow a leader but that doesn’t mean the cores are alike. Firefox Quantum is fast and remains concerned with the user’s privacy which cannot be the policy of a browser built by an advertisement company. Google is powerful and unfortunately power blinds many users, power is sexy, attractive. Not to mention that those who worship Google and Google Chrome just don’t care about privacy obviously, which is their right.

        “So, why bother using them?”

        For what makes them different, not for their similarities with Google ChromeTracker of course.
        Let’s not forget as well that it’s not because two browser share common points that it means one copies from the other. Their are innovations “in the air” which become dispatched here and there.

  4. Yuliya said on November 2, 2018 at 11:12 am
    Reply

    >user uploads JPEG
    >genius webdeveloper converts it to lossy WEBP
    >other user downloads the WEBP; no device sees it (other than their Android phone, probably); proceeds converting it back to JPEG

    The result will look like rubbish. I will disable this crap as soon as it’s being enabled. I did the same to VP9/WEBM and now all the WWWeb falls back to h264/MP4 which is a lot better.
    It’s like those other geniuses in the past trying to kill MP3 with crap like OPUS, a format which does not even support native 44100hz sampling rates. Absolutely loltastic.
    I’m against changing the web just because someone has to browse through a 2G connection in this day and age, or that whatever country has such sucky internet for absurd prices where everyone else can get gigabit LAN for nothing these days.

    1. ++ said on November 2, 2018 at 2:32 pm
      Reply

      H264? This crap and all craps, H265, AAC etc from MPEG-LA need to die. They are propetriary crap of a money hungry patent troll corporation. Opus/VP9/AV1 are open source and patent free. Users should stop using all this crap from MPEG-LA and movie studios.

      1. Apparition said on November 2, 2018 at 3:14 pm
        Reply

        Yep. Ogg Vorbis, Opus, VP9, AV1, and WebP are all superior to their proprietary alternatives.

      2. Yuliya said on November 2, 2018 at 3:40 pm
        Reply

        Nobody wants poor hardware acceleration, limited device compatibility, or audio aliasing because that “free” format of yours does not support standard sampling rates.

      3. Anonymous said on November 2, 2018 at 7:04 pm
        Reply

        It takes time to adapt new format. Just like the time where video was all AVI, H264 did not adapt itself overnight

      4. John Fenderson said on November 2, 2018 at 7:50 pm
        Reply

        @Yuliya

        Not everyone encounters those issues or, if they do, are particularly bothered by them. If other codecs work better for you, then I recommend that you use them.

        Choice is good.

  5. RichAndSarcastic said on November 2, 2018 at 2:19 pm
    Reply

    >I’m against changing the web just because someone has to browse through a 2G connection in this day and age, or that whatever country has such sucky internet for absurd prices where everyone else can get gigabit LAN for nothing these days.

    Yeah man, I hate these poor people too! Like what could possibly be preventing them from *just buying* better things right? Why can’t they spend whatever little money they make towards.. wait for it.. high speed internet? Makes no sense, right?

    1. Yuliya said on November 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm
      Reply

      You realize system-wide WEBP support is only for newer devices running newer versions of operating systems (i.e Android 8+). So you can afford a multiple hundred EUR device but you skimp on your internet connection? 1 Gbps is like 8 EUR/month, actually less. What kind of world is that you live in?

      1. Apparition said on November 2, 2018 at 5:15 pm
        Reply

        “1 Gbps is like 8 EUR/month, actually less.” Bingo. That’s your problem. You’re viewing it from the perspective of a European, not a worldwide view.

        Most people in North America don’t have connections faster than 25 Mbps. Why? Not because they’re cheap. It’s because it’s simply unavailable. Learn. Take a look at this article – http://www.philly.com/philly/news/broadband-access-internet-speed-slow-rural-pennsylvania-penn-state-study-connectivity-20181101.html

        FWIW, I have a 250 Mbps up/10 Mbps down connection, and pay $93 per month for it. That’s more than ten times what you pay for one fourth of your speed.

      2. notanonymous said on November 4, 2018 at 1:03 am
        Reply

        Apparition, no you’re wrong.

        No one should be using their phone as their primary device to browse the web.

        If you really have a problem about viewing images/video/media, then use your desktop/notebook computer at home.

        WebP is not the solution. There’s nothing wrong with jpg/png/etc.

        I don’t want Google the biggest tracker of personal information to control the image standard of the internet.

        Google also engages in censorship in China (and arguably in the United States with their censorship efforts on YouTube/Google search results).

        Google dropped it’s “don’t be evil” motto, because they’re evil now.

        I don’t need/want Google in charge of anything.

      3. Apparition said on November 5, 2018 at 3:09 am
        Reply

        @notanonymous, where did I say anything about mobile? I was talking about Internet connection speeds on desktop/notebook computer at home.

        WebP is open source. There’s nothing for Google to control, nor track personal information with.

      4. Yuliya said on November 4, 2018 at 11:22 am
        Reply

        Apparition,
        And because the US of A has crap internet should everyone suffer the consequences of low quality overly-compressed internet content? Maybe you should learn there’s an entire world outside of your continent which does not have your problems.

      5. Apparition said on November 5, 2018 at 3:11 am
        Reply

        @Yuliya, considering the United States invented the Internet, perhaps. Also, it’s not just North America. From what I understand, Internet connections in Africa and South America aren’t all that great either.

      6. MICHAEL said on November 5, 2018 at 8:56 am
        Reply

        Yuliya, WebP supports even lossless image compression.

        notanonymous, you dislike Google. It’s ok.
        But.. because of your dislike for Google you are not thinking clearly.
        There is a lot wrong with the closed formats like jpg/png/etc.
        The new open source formats can’t be controlled by Google.
        You can’t control open source.
        Google is the major supporter and offer the most code for them, so.. (I can’t believe I am saying this..) thank you Google for that.
        Also Google is just 1 of the supporters of the new open source formats.
        AOMedia (Alliance for Open Media) has the following members
        Amazon, Apple, ARM, Cisco, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, and Nvidia.

      7. John Fenderson said on November 8, 2018 at 12:28 am
        Reply

        @MICHAEL: There is a lot wrong with the closed formats like jpg/png/etc

        jpg and png (and even gif, as of 2004) are not closed formats.

  6. Apparition said on November 2, 2018 at 3:13 pm
    Reply

    Long, long overdue. WebP is superior to JPEG and PNG in every way. Hopefully this will lead to JPEG and PNG fading away since now every major browser will support WebP.

    1. Tom Hawack said on November 2, 2018 at 5:41 pm
      Reply

      @Appartion (or Clairvaux or Manouche),
      “Hopefully this will lead to JPEG and PNG fading away since now every major browser will support WebP.” : that’s the whole point. New formats don’t bring down that easily those which have decades of use in back of them.

    2. manouche said on November 3, 2018 at 6:50 pm
      Reply

      @ghacks.net team

      Could you please shed clear light in the fact, that the comment, where I expressed my strongest disgust, that the user @Tom Hawack insinuates and falsely accuses me maintaining sock puppets in this forum – after approving the comment in first instance[!] – is deleted by now.

      Just to clarify:
      Again, I dont know who the user @Apparition is, and my rejecting stance against the user @Clairvaux because of his right wing propaganda, is clearly expressed in a former thread some time ago. End of story!

      Thanks

  7. nozilla said on November 4, 2018 at 10:55 pm
    Reply

    It’s years that firefox adds unuseful features. This one is another.

  8. beemeup5 said on November 5, 2018 at 10:35 am
    Reply

    Wow I didn’t realize Firefox did NOT support WebP until version 65!

    Pale Moon supported WebP since version 26. Surprisingly Google even mentions Pale Moon on their official developers doc on WebP support. And all the haters never stop parroting “Pale Moon is out of date!”. The irony is palpable.

    1. Question&Answer said on November 7, 2018 at 6:21 pm
      Reply

      Q.: by Robert2 » Mon, 21 Apr 2014, 07:00

      Will Pale Moon ever support the WebP picture format

      A.: by Moonchild » Mon, 21 Apr 2014, 10:18

      I don’t see a reason to support it Pale Moon is a web browser, not an image viewer.

      https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?t=4304#p25849

      1. beemeup5 said on November 17, 2018 at 11:40 am
        Reply

        WebP adoption hadn’t really spread at the point in time of the (disingenuously edited) quote. If the landscape changes, opinions can change accordingly, it’s called adapting.

        But the real question still remains, which is why Mozilla took so long to add WebP support while Pale Moon had it for years. It just goes to show, more programmers doesn’t necessarily mean a browser that is quicker to adapt to new changes.

  9. Tom Hawack said on November 7, 2018 at 6:54 pm
    Reply

    @Question&Answer, Moonchild’s comment was :

    “I don’t see a reason to support it (certainly not at this time). Pale Moon already supports all commonly used web image formats. Pale Moon is a web browser, not an image viewer.”

    which is slightly more nuanced than your extract. Yet I remain stunned with the final “Pale Moon is a web browser, not an image viewer.” which seems to me a non-argument unless to consider that a browser is fundamentally concerned by text only and media support as a superfluous extra. It reminds me those of our grandpas (not all of them!) which condemn modern times with their “In my time we lived very happy with far less then you kids” : maybe but that was another time :=)

    This said maybe is there nevertheless a limit to what should be handled by a browser, but I can’t include images and video!

    1. Klaas Vaak said on November 7, 2018 at 7:40 pm
      Reply

      @Tom Hawack: good reply. To me Moonchild’s attitude also shows the limitations of a very arrogant man who believes only he can be right. That stance about images is not even comparable to that of our grandparents but almost goes back to the Stone Age.

  10. ppp said on November 8, 2018 at 1:46 pm
    Reply

    No wonder here. Google gives a lot of money to Mozilla. If a second browser engine implements same APIs as Chrome does, then chances are higher they can get to be standard. We have seen this pattern more than a time with Google and Mozilla (thought officially they only pay Mozilla for including their search engine).

    As a positive side effect, given Firefox developers have to implement most of these API based on not well documented examples from Google colleagues, they often generate excellent documentation in the process of clarifying all corner cases in what they have to implement.

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