FIT 14.2 – Reduce Image Weight, Raise Quality

The first release of 2016, FIT 14.2 primarily brings a set of new features regarding image optimization.

First and foremost we have implemented a new algorithm that allows us to reduce the transport size of truecolor PNGs with transparency by up to 80%. This is especially interesting for relevant browsers that do not support WebP images (looking at you, Apple Safari). While we were inspired by Mario Klingemann’s Zorro SVG we were able to take the idea several steps ahead and not only resolve issues that it raised, but also improve methods further and in consequence produce even smaller result images without the need of JavaScript.

FIT now also uses 16-bit algorithms for internal image calculation and a better gamma correction. Better handling for truecolor PNGs that are transcoded to WebP format was implemented and developers now may use ai-scaling-width/height values that will scale images bigger than the target viewport. Additionally bringing new scroll speed dependent loading of visibility delayed images and options to control the viewport offset for loading these, FIT 14.2 arguably offers the best automated image optimization we ever had.

For assuring high quality in development and maintenance of projects we introduced an XPath function and a fit.ini setting. The watch() XPath function allows you to watch XPath expressions and in case of errors will create entries in the fit_alert.log. In combination with the new fit.ini option FIT_DEPRECATION_EXCEPTION, which will cause exceptions to be thrown when deprecated features are used, you can minimize the chance that your projects will run into future issues.

We also did a rework of our user agent detection. FIT now uses the common UA Parser project for client matching. It provides a robust set of regular expressions that are less sensitive to the frequent version updates (of both operating systems and browsers) seen in user agent strings. However, we still maintain our own Client Description Repository that stores client capabilities, features and properties. After identifying the client, our CDR data is accessed to build up the Delivery Context.

Updates of third party software and bugfixes complete this release.

The SDK available from Github is updated to 14.2, too.

Refer to the full changelog at our developer site for a more detailed list of changes.