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Internet News   Internet News : IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
   posted by Samurai_Crow on 17-Jun-2006 20:21:49 (2692 reads)
Quote:
The IFF file format had many of the features still sought today in modern file formats. This month's Standards and specs looks at the IFF file format and the lessons it has for modern file formats, such as XML.


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Wol 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 17-Jun-2006 21:16:42
#1 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 925
From: UK.......Sol 3.

Hmmm, another thing that was done right first time....




Wol.

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alexw 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 17-Jun-2006 22:06:29
#2 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 6-Mar-2004
Posts: 559
From: Saarbrücken, Germany

Nice, well informed article.

Alex.

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ssolie 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 17-Jun-2006 22:21:28
#3 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 2637
From: Alberta, Canada

Nice find. I enjoyed that article. So very true as well.

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number6 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 17-Jun-2006 22:46:59
#4 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 8606
From: In the village

@ssolie

Quote:
So very true as well.

Heh! Except not the part about "no one uses it anymore,"
As long as I'm still here.....

Quote:
The SHAM feature was deprecated when HAM8 was introduced.

Hmm...once you open the door to discussing proprietary SHAM, you might also
include a little on "Dynamic Hi-res" as well, since the interrupt features
were used there as well. (Newtek)

#6

Last edited by number6 on 17-Jun-2006 at 10:52 PM.

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tomazkid 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 17-Jun-2006 23:23:40
#5 ]
Team Member
Joined: 31-Jul-2003
Posts: 11636
From: Kristianstad, Sweden

Good article

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herewegoagain 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 18-Jun-2006 0:36:17
#6 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Jan-2003
Posts: 3269
From: Charlotte, NC

It was a very good article, and spot on.

I always hated the proprietary formats before Amiga came along. Then came IFF and it was wonderful to be able to have a common file format that apps understood. I never could figure why the computing industry had to go in 100 different directions with file formats when IFF seemed to work so well.

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Ferry 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 18-Jun-2006 0:55:48
#7 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 26-Aug-2003
Posts: 659
From: Valencia, Spain

Quite an acid comment:

"Electronic Arts actually developed the standard, back when it was a software company and not just a video game company."

Wow, IBM making friends...

Saluditos,

Ferrán.

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number6 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 18-Jun-2006 2:05:55
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 8606
From: In the village

@Herewegoagain

Quote:
I always hated the proprietary formats before Amiga came along. Then came IFF and it was wonderful to be able to have a common file format that apps understood. I never could figure why the computing industry had to go in 100 different directions with file formats when IFF seemed to work so well.

Should I link to my post on codec licensing costs?
They -do- make more money by developing codecs and licensing them.

...and wb again.

Edit (added): Just one link on AW of many discussing file formats here.

#6

Last edited by number6 on 18-Jun-2006 at 02:21 AM.

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falemagn 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 18-Jun-2006 4:18:15
#9 ]
Super Member
Joined: 24-Nov-2003
Posts: 1126
From: Italy

Hate to say it [*], but I told you so.


* No, not really.

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m0lebrain 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 18-Jun-2006 5:00:58
#10 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 21-Apr-2004
Posts: 229
From: South Western PA

Sure was a nice article. but check this out:

Quote:
The Amiga also had a "Halfbrite" mode in which five bits were used to select a color from a palette, and the sixth indicated a half-intensity value. This provided a 64-color mode with only a 32-color palette. One of the most visually impressive Amiga animations was a simple animation done entirely in the 6th bitplane in Halfbrite mode. (Some early Amigas didn't support this mode.)


Can anyone point me to a visually impressive animation done entireley in the 6th bitplane in halfbrite mode?

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Hondo 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 18-Jun-2006 9:00:50
#11 ]
Super Member
Joined: 10-Apr-2003
Posts: 1272
From: Planet Boing

Does OS4 have IFF filetype again ?? - or is it perhaps only supporting it ?

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ChrisH 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 18-Jun-2006 10:00:03
#12 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 30-Jan-2005
Posts: 6497
From: Unknown

I presume he's talking about shadow effects, of which the Amiga has seen some quite funky demos & even games using it. Not sure there is one which doesn't animate other stuff though.

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ohno 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 18-Jun-2006 10:36:12
#13 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 11-Jun-2003
Posts: 149
From: The Netherlands

@falemagn

Quote:
Hate to say it [*], but I told you so.


Just read through those threads and I couldn't agree more with you. I'm a Java developer and have to use XML all day, since everything is configured and transported in XML these days. I've never really grasped why things like network-communication and application-data should be done in a human-readable format. No 'normal' user ever needs to read that data (you usually don't even want them to) and a developer/administrator should be able to use tools like IFF-editors to make changes if required.
I can imagine small config-files to be done in plain readable text, but usually a simple config-value with key/value pairs is enough and better readable than XML as well.
XML is bloated, overhyped and cumbersome and you always have to read the entire file, even if you're not interested in parts of it. Don't get me wrong: There are places where it is useful, but there are MANY places where there are better solutions that seem to use XML just because everyone does.

IFF is great. If you're reading from a file (random access) you can just skip the parts you don't need, since you know the size to skip beforehand and you don't need to escape any special characters, since you have binary code.
IFF also stays closer to the original data, since XML turns everything into Strings, which is quite bloated for numbers and very ineffecient to translate back into actual numbers.

Like I said.. I'm in full agreement

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Chris_Y 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 18-Jun-2006 18:53:59
#14 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Jun-2003
Posts: 2837
From: Beds, UK

@ohno

Absolutely agree, and I've said it myself in the past. I don't get the fascination with XML - it isn't easily parseable or easy to read, and doesn't have any significant advantages over any binary format or simple text format.

I have a program I've written that uses XML data, and it is fairly difficult to get what I want out of it. Most of the information is stored in entities, which then have to be looked up in another table. I end up having to read about four different files to get data out of one. I'd be happier with some crazy binary format that needed to be manually parsed, than an XML format I have a parser library for.

Please people, use IFF in preference to XML unless you actually need nested data.

Chris

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AmigaClyde 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 18-Jun-2006 21:37:32
#15 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 2007
From: Noranda Canada

A great article. I use IFF files often.

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falemagn 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 18-Jun-2006 22:00:49
#16 ]
Super Member
Joined: 24-Nov-2003
Posts: 1126
From: Italy

Quote:
Please people, use IFF in preference to XML unless you actually need nested data.


Actually, IFF is as good at nested data as XML is. Perhaps more.

XML gives you things like schemas and and style sheets, under that regard it's a handy tool, the problem with it is the textual representation of everything.

Oh well...

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Minuous 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 19-Jun-2006 17:35:40
#17 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 30-Oct-2004
Posts: 234
From: Unknown

"It's not that the Web site for it is down; it predates Web sites and never had one. There is no central registry to speak of anymore."

This is absolute crap. They obviously have ASSUMED there was and is no regjstry. If they had even bothered to run a google search they would have found the official IFF registry at:

http://www.deadwoodinc.net/amigan/

Obviously IBM hasn't bothered to research the topic properly.

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mwoof 
Re: IFF compared to XML on IBM DeveloperWorks Website
Posted on 20-Jun-2006 15:40:42
#18 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2004
Posts: 1174
From: Larisa, Greece

Quote:
The IFF file format had many of the features still sought today in modern file formats.

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