William Shakespeare once wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” True enough in Shakespeare’s time but then again, William never had to deal with the ISO. We don’t have that luxury and are quickly going to have to answer the question, “To JPEG2000 or JPEG 2000; it should be…”
So what difference does it make? “You’re just ‘splitting hairs’ Jeff!” you say? Seeing as my biggest beef with JPEG2000 is the name itself, its important to get the naming convention right while we are still in the early stages of its growth. There is already confusion surrounding JPEG2000 so it doesn’t help when there’s a lack of consistency in the name itself.
Why all the worry? Well, I seeing an interesting naming divergence develop over the past seven years in JPEG2000 regarding whether or not to include a SPACE in the spelling. The market is roughly split 70/30, with 70% JPEG2000 and 30% JPEG 2000. Take note the space between JPEG and 2000 in the latter, that’s the issue at stake here.
To be clear, here is what I am basing my opinion on. I turned to the source Google and the results pan out as follows:
A search on the term “JPEG2000” yields 1,350,000 results. Search on “JPEG 2000” results in 807,000 hits, thus the 70/30 split I mention above. Actually its 68.75%/31.25% split but 70/30 is close and nice round numbers people find easier to digest. Be careful however, make a mistake and search for JPEG 2000 (without quotes) and you get a staggering 20,700,000 hits. Whoops. That’s a lot of links to wade through for just forgetting quotes.
A further analysis of the terms over at Google Trends shows that JPEG2000 (Blue) has always ranked higher than “JPEG 2000″ (Orange).
All this of course flies in the face of ISO naming convention, which is “JPEG 2000″. The official ISO second edition of JPEG 2000 Part 1 (ISO/IEC 15444-1:2004) has 25 references to “JPEG 2000” in the document and ZERO references to JPEG2000 (no surprise). So its clear, the ISO committee is using the “spaced” version whereas the majorities on the Internet are using the “condensed” version. It seems that the “official” version is not translating into widespread market adoption but rather market confusion.
Turning to “The JPEG committee home page” they actually have intermixed use. Really? That’s not in the ISO JPEG2000 spec! For example, on the home page itself, the have 2 uses of “JPEG 2000” and one of “JPEG2000″. On the JPEG2000 homepage (“the” JPEG2000 section within the site), they have two instances of JPEG2000, and ten of “JPEG 2000”. Actually, there should be three cases of JPEG2000, however the site’s authors have mistakenly erred in the title of David Taubman’s book (see below). Overall it is a 30/70 split, as opposed to a single use case! And if the JPEG committee homepage cannot decide then woe to the rest of us.
Looking elsewhere online, on the JPEG2000 page on Wikipedia, there is complete breakdown of continuity with a high degree of intermixing of terms. There are 25 instances of JPEG2000 and 71 instances of “JPEG 2000″ referenced (mentions in hypertext links not included in totals)*. Wikipedia entries change so often that these stats could will differ over time, considering ANYONE can edit the page. Interestingly enough, the ratio on Wikipedia is almost the inverse of what is found on the Internet as a whole. Main thing to note is the very multiple-author nature of Wikipedia exposes the confusion in the marketplace surrounding the name. “Is it JPEG2000 or JPEG 2000?”, I ask all the Wikipedia authors!
*Note: these stats are as of June 5/07.
Moving along, let’s look at the literary works on JPEG2000 located on Amazon.com. When examining the “Bible” of the JPEG2000 industry “JPEG2000: Image Compression Fundamentals, Standards and Practice” by David Taubman & Michael Marcellin, the title says it all. The other main book published exclusively on the subject, “JPEG2000 Standard for Image Compression: Concepts, Algorithms and VLSI Architectures” by Tinku Acharya and Ping-Sing Tsai, they too have chosen JPEG2000. A JPEG2000 search on Amazon yields 345 items, while “JPEG 2000” yields 430 hits. The “JPEG 2000” results however are intermixed with results for “JPEG-2000” (note the use of a dash; more on this below) so the true number is lower than 430. So searching on the respective terms gives roughly a 50/50 split for items for sale on Amazon. However, most importantly is that the two definitive works on the subject are expressed as “JPEG2000”.
Just for some additional variety, on the Jasper homepage, which is Part 5 of the standard or “reference software”, Mike Adams utilizes “JPEG 2000″ three times, “JPEG2000″ once and “JPEG-2000″ (“dash” version) a whopping 23 times. “JPEG-2000″? Yet another twist in an already confused naming convention, in my opinion.
So what does Google think of this third option? Searching “JPEG-2000″ on Google actually does not yield usable results as the search engine treats the “-” differently and won’t return results specifically on “JPEG-2000″. Instead it gives results with JPEG2000, JPEG 2000 and JPEG-2000 all mashed together.
And just when you think you have it all figured out, head on over to Yahoo and all the results are different still! “JPEG2000” at Yahoo yields 698,000 hits, “JPEG 2000” gets back 431,000 hits and “JPEG-2000” results in 408,000. Caution: once again the “JPEG-2000” dash version gives an unpredictable and a mash-up of results. Top line however, the split is 60/40 and aligns with Google’s higher number of hits towards “JPEG2000” vs. “JPEG 2000”.
As you can most likely tell from our website, we at BroadMotion have chosen to standardize on JPEG2000 for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, JPEG2000 is unique and won’t be confused in a search query with standard JPEG. Simply put, most articles written on JPEG were authored before JPEG2000’s inception. That being the case, a search for JPEG2000 will direct the user to the right content, not standard JPEG based content. There will be some content that doesn’t follow this rule of thumb but it is a minority of content in my experience.
Second, by using all one word, search engines don’t require quotes around the terms! So what? Remember from above, forget the quotes and just search on JPEG 2000 in Google yields 20,700,000 hits. That’s because it includes any page that has both JPEG and 2000 on the page but not necessarily next to each other. That’s a 20x increase in hits but not the right hits.
But the challenge is to get everyone in the industry on the same page, before two different usages become entrenched. It is already an uphill battle with the similarity in names between this technology and standard JPEG. Calling it “JPEG2000” and “JPEG 2000” and “JPEG-2000” does not help! Pick one and stick with it, lest the freedom of choice now will compound itself ten years from now in my opinion.
While the standard is still in its relative infancy, changes effected now will be easiest to make as opposed to 20 years from now. I would urge any reader of this article who has a connection to JPEG2000 in any way, to consider using JPEG2000 in their product literature, white papers, marketing collateral and in the printed word wherever it is found. “JPEG 2000” is one more eccentric anomaly in the naming convention of an otherwise great technology!
Luckily, in the end it seems that the marketplace, not the ISO, has decided where this debate is going to be headed. Both search engines show a clear bias on the part of content creators to utilize JPEG2000 over “JPEG 2000” in web pages. The leading literary works on the subject are clearly favoring JPEG2000. Companies such as BroadMotion and others, by and large are using JPEG2000 and hopefully the ISO will eventually follow suit.
Interesting enough, on Google when you search on JPEG 2000, (the quote-less version), Google returns the results list with this helpful suggestion: “Did you mean: jpeg2000”
Enough said, the great Google has chosen.
JPEG2000 it is.
Shakespeare would be proud.