New archives: it's a good time to reread Book 1
Now that the Toolshed and many other core functions of this website are built and working, we're getting around to a whole huge laundry list of nice features that we've wanted to add.
One of these is to put up better versions of the pages in Book 1. Those of you who have been reading Erfworld since we were updating at Giant in the Playground might remember how much strain the server there used to be under. It was almost nine years ago, before cheaper cloud-based hosting came along, and even a top-of-the-line dedicated server like Rich had was not enough to handle the crush of traffic from his enormous fanbase.
So we had wanted to be posting images at 900 pixels wide, like we do for Book 2 and 3, but we had to shrink and compress them to get the file size down. If you visit the old Erfworld archives there, you can see that they were all 707 pixels wide with a heavier jpg compression that did lead to some artifacting if you look for it. Up until last week, our Book 1 archives here were the same as those.
Now we've got full 900 px jpgs up for all readers, and Tools see the really big 1200px png files with lossless compression. So if you're in the mood for an archive dive, now's the best time in a while to run through Book 1 again.
Here's a comparison of the sizes, but this is shrunk for the news post. You'll have to right-click and view image or click here to see the full effect.
The easiest way to spot the difference is to scale the low-res pics to the same size as the high-res ones (provided the low-res ones are still somewhere). The former is going to be a lot blurrier than the latter. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm a Tool and sometimes I read a new page without being logged in (at lunch-break at work) and when I "ctrl-mousewheel" into the page then the difference is very noticeable.
The example pic is in jpg format, so it doesn't actually reveal the lossless png, and potentially actually adds to the artifacts present in the ones that were already jpg (if what is done is that you copied two jpg's on top of a png and hit save instead of twice scaling down the lossless png on top of itself and hitting save)
Would it be possible to get a preview as a png file instead, so we could see the actual effect and not a twice degraded one?