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When most people talk about JPEG, they are referring to a particular standard and its implementation, not our committee.

However - we do get a lot of queries on this site which relate to aspects of the implementation of the JPEG standards, some of which we have tried to answer in our FAQ (and many of which we cannot answer, as they relate to specific software, which we have no responsibility for!). Try there first if you are looking for a solution to a particular problem.

The JPEG committee has created many standards since it was created in 1986.ISO had actually started to work on this 3 years earlier, in April 1983, in an attempt to find methods to addphoto quality graphics to the text terminals of the time, but the 'Joint' that the 'J' in JPEG stands for refers to the merger of several groupings in an attempt to share and develop their experience.

The formal name of the standard that most people refer to as 'JPEG' is ISO/IEC IS 10918-1 | ITU-T Recommendation T.81, as the document was published by both ISO through its national standards bodies, and CCITT, now called ITU-T. IS 10918 has actually 4 parts -

  • Part 1 - The basic JPEG standard, which defines many options and alternatives for the coding of still images of photographic quality
  • Part 2 - which sets rules and checks for making sure software conforms to Part 1
  • Part 3 - set up to add a set of extensions to improve the standard, including the SPIFF file format
  • Part 4 - defines methods for registering some of the parameters used to extend JPEG

As well as the standard we created, nearly all ofits real world applications require a file format, and example reference software to help implementors. These functions were added to our work by others - the file format was created originally by Eric Hamilton, the then convenor of JPEG as part of his work at C-Cube Microsystems, and wasplaced by them into the public domain under the name JFIF (available here in the latest version, 1.02).

Probably the largest and most important contribution however was the work of the Independent JPEG Group (IJG), and Tom Lane in particular. Their Open Source software implementation, as well as being one of the major Open Source packages was key to the success of the JPEG standard and was incorporated by many companies into a variety of products such as image editors and Internet browsers.

After creating the JPEG standard described above, the committee started to look at some of the criticisms of the existing standard. High amongst these was the poor quality (and lack of integration) of lossless coding in the standard. With this in mind, the committee developed the JPEG-LS standard - ISO/IEC IS 14495-1 | ITU-T Recommendation T.87.

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