November 22, 2007

Firefox 3 to enable better color online

Here’s a little reason to give thanks this year: the forthcoming Firefox 3.0 (now in beta) will enable color-managed browsing.  That is, the browser will read color profile information saved in images, take your monitor’s particular characteristics into account, and adjust the pixels on the fly to give them the proper appearance.

The look of images differs between managed and unmanaged applications (screenshot of the same image in Safari vs. Firefox 2), so FF getting on board with color management is great news for designers & photographers who value consistency.  For more background on why this is an important advance for the Web, see my notes on the color-managed Safari coming to Windows.

Now, if we can get Internet Explorer & the Flash Player on board, it’ll be Snoopy Happy Dance time for everyone. ;-)

Happy Turkey Day,

El Tryptophan

Posted by John Nack at 9:24 AM on November 22, 2007


  • Jennifer Apple — 2:47 PM on November 22, 2007

    I think you should know your blog is dangerous. Just when I think I haven’t been sucked into another strange voyage of fascinating content from you, I stumble on a link I somehow missed, and then I’m lost again, sitting at my desk gazing at the screen, ignoring work, family and friends. This time it was that “El Tryptophan” link you stuck at the end of this post. Like a fool I clicked it, and then I saw the El Mirage Dry Lake Airplane Boneyard link. Wow…
    [“Destroying Productivity, One Reader at a Time” ;-) –J.]
    Happy Thanksgiving.
    [Thanks; same to you. –J.]

  • Doug Nelson — 5:26 PM on November 22, 2007

    I’m not a programmer, but how hard would it be to make an IE toolbar that replaces all images with their color managed versions? Harder than I imagine, I’m sure, or it would have been done long ago.
    Add in a few other image-specific features and it might make a wonderful assistant to Photoshop Online.

  • Gregory Wostrel — 7:57 AM on November 23, 2007

    Let’s get everyone on the Color Managed bandwagon, please! FF including it is great news, indeed. Now, my question is how did you get that “Edit in Contribute” button in Firefox that I see in your screen shot?

  • Klaus Nordby — 12:32 PM on November 23, 2007

    And how is a new browser going to fix all the 900+ million monitors in the world which have totally misadjusted brightness and contrast and are located in rooms with ever-fluctuating ambient light? Since those factors are beyond anyone’s control, color management for “the masses” is eternally doomed to failure.
    [“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” Not being able to fix everything at once is no excuse for failing to take what positive action we can. And why don’t the monitor makers embed basic calibration capabilities, so that people get better prints, etc.? –J.]

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