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“With img, you typically donâ€™t have to worry about format support â€“ it just works â€“ and thatâ€™s part of what makes a standard wonderful. JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, even TIFF images all render just fine”
note though that HTML never actually defined any formats that browsers should support. which image formats browsers actually support can also still vary (thinking PNG24 and IE for instance). and who can forget the patent war around GIF?
yes, NOW the situation is fairly stable, but it’s not always been this way. same thing with audio/video formats/codecs