Random Thought: Bilinear filtering of images by web browsers

It’s always troubled me as to why no web browser (well, none that I know of anyway) does bilinear filtering of images. The thought hit me again yesterday when I posted the screenshot of RexUtil. Granted bilinear filtering is more expensive than nearest-neighbor filtering, but even on what would now be considered a low-end CPU, bilinear filtering should be fairly fast. In fact, IIRC, software-based bilinear filtering was done in realtime by some older games including Unreal and Unreal Tournament.

In addition to the visual improvement, bilinear filtering may also result in less web space usage (no extra space needed for thumbnails) and less time spent by a user to put an image on page (no additional work/time required to make bilinear/bicubic-filtered thumbnails). Of course this wouldn’t always be the case, since there are other reasons for using thumbnails (e.g. they allow you to view a gallery w/o downloading all the full-sized images). However, all in all, I think bilinear filtering would be a nice addition to a web browser.

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