You may not know Stephen Wilhite’s title, however for those who’ve spent any time on the web, you undoubtedly know his work.
Wilhite labored on the early on-line service supplier CompuServe within the Nineteen Eighties and created the now-ubiquitous GIF, or Graphics Interchange Format, in 1987, which, as you recognize, is used on social media for reactions, messages and jokes, according to The Verge.
Sadly, Wilhite died final week of problems from COVID-19 on the age of 74, at his home near Mt. Oreb, Ohio.
Wilhite’s widow, Kathaleen Wilhite, stated her husband created the format on his personal to be able to distribute “high-quality, high-resolution graphics” in coloration at a time when, based on The Verge, “internet speeds were glacial compared to what they are today.”
“He invented GIF all by himself — he actually did that at home and brought it into work after he perfected it,” Kathaleen instructed the web site. “He would figure out everything privately in his head and then go to town programming it on the computer.”
Wilhite told The Daily Dot final year that the primary GIF was an image of a airplane, however he typically stated his favourite was the “dancing baby,” which first appeared in 1996 and have become one of many first viral memes.
Wilhite retired within the early 2000s however was capable of see his invention unfold far and large on the web. He earned a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 for the format, which he all the time insisted was pronounced “jif” and never with a tough “g” like “gift.”
Funeral companies had been held on Tuesday for Wilhite, however many individuals selected to honor him Wednesday on Twitter in essentially the most acceptable manner potential: GIFs, a lot of GIFs.