XBM File Format
   
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    GraphicsAcademy.com  >  File Formats  >  X Window Bitmap

       

     

    XBM File Format

    Short Name XBM
    Long Name X Window Bitmap
    Typical File Extensions .h
    Contains Monochrome Bitmap/Icon/Cursor
    This is a format that is used to store monochrome icons and cursors in the X Window system (a GUI system that is particularly popular on UNIX and Linux computers).

    The format is not compressed (it in fact, it is extremely verbose), and is unusual in that as well as being a graphics file format, it is also valid C programming source code. In typical uses, the verbosity is not a major disadvantage, in that this format is normally used to store only very small images.

    One interesting aspect of the XBM format is that images in this format can be generated on the fly using browser-based JavaScript (as far as I'm aware, prior to the introduction of the CANVAS element in HTML5, it was the only image format that could be generated in this way - as other formats such as GIF, PNG and JPEG can only be created using server-side scripts such as ASP, CGI or PHP scripts). An example of generating XBM images using JavaScript can be found in chapter 14 of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide.

    For color images, a similar format to XBM, namely XPM, has devised.

    A technical discussion of this format can be found in Chapter 15 of Graphics File Formats by David C. Kay and John R. Levine.


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