8. September 2016

First GIF Movie Ever Was a Star Trek clip

This is the first GIF-Movie ever shown on the World Wide Web in a web browser.

In 1995, I convinced the browser company Netscape to support GIF animations. It appeared in Netscape Navigator 2.0 as a hidden feature. The big marketing features where Javascript, Frames and Server-Push. But it also had animated GIF.

To test it, I needed a long GIF-stream. 1 MB was considered big and long at the time. And I thought it needs some style and not just a boring test image with test data. So, I extracted frames from a short QuickTime Star Trek movie and created the first GIF movie for the Web.

Then we used the feature to create the first Web Live Video Stream ever. It showed a model railway setup at University of Ulm, Germany.

First Live Video at a time where "live cam" meant "please reload the page to fetch a new image".

The live GIF feed was also used to implement the first live chat when "chat feed" meant "please reload the page to get new lines".

That's many firsts. Going where no one has gone before is my hobby. That movie fit.


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