Google explains why they’re removing JPEG-XL image format from Chrome

Google Chrome has begun to prepare to cancel support for the JPEG-XL image format in its browser, and now a Google engineer has given them to abandon this image format.

As previously reported, Google’s Chrome/Chromium browsers are planning to roll out a patch to remove support for the still-experimental JPEG-XL image format from the web browser, which will deprecate support for JPEG-XL in Chrome 110 and later.

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Google’s move comes as a surprise, considering that JPEG-XL is still very young in its lifespan and has garnered increasing industry interest and support. Today Google engineers commented on the Chromium JPEG-XL issue tracker and gave their rationale.

Google Chrome JPEG-XL image format The reasons given by the engineer are as follows:

  • Experimental flags and code should not remain indefinitely.

  • There is not enough interest in the entire ecosystem to continue experimenting with JPEG XL.

  • The JPEG-XL image format doesn’t offer enough incremental advantages over existing formats, so there’s no reason to enable it by default.

  • By removing the flags and code in M110, the maintenance burden is reduced, allowing us to focus on improving the existing formats supported in Chrome.

Considering that the code for the JPEG-XL image format was only frozen at the end of 2020, the file format was only standardized last year, and the encoding system was only standardized earlier this year, Google doesn’t have enough interest in the “whole ecosystem around JPEG-XL”.

Some users pointed out that Google is not pursuing the launch of WebP 2 as an image format now, but it is just an experimental product of Google. It looks like Google will focus on eventually advancing the WebP and AVIF image formats further.

Moreover, the JPEG-XL format is a royalty-free bitmap file format that supports lossy and lossless compression. It is designed to surpass existing bitmap formats and be a universal replacement for them.


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