If GIFs didn't exist, what...?

Would love to put the GIF wars behind us but emails are still coming so here are some lingering issues. All the comments below, from an AFC staffer, are "what ifs" about GIFs. Generally it's not useful to speculate in criticism.

Comment one: If GIF support weren't integrated into every layout engine worth considering, you'd be working in Flash or Quicktime. If GIFs didn't play instantly and unstoppably, without plugins or play buttons, you'd be working in Flash or Quicktime.

Answer: Wrong and wrong. I wouldn't work in Flash, ever, and have found Quicktime to be an awkward delivery system for animation. Haven't posted one in over two years. Likely I'd have just continued making collages with scraps of xerox paper if GIFs hadn't been universal. But they have been universal!

Comment two: If your artwork - your GIFs - continue to exist and function and be visible on all browsers, but are no longer used by the web public generally, is that bad?

Answer: Thanks for phrasing this as a question this time. See Answer to Comment three below.

Comment three: If GIFs stopped being supported by browsers, but your GIFs could be translated painlessly, with identical pixels, to the new cross-browser atomic lossless raster animation format (a category of file for which there will always be a need), would that be a problem?

Answer: These questions are too speculative. If what you have called GIF partisanship exists or has a purpose, it is to make web developers aware of what they're thoughtlessly phasing out before it happens. A business person might need to make predictions about future supplies and customers, but artists mostly roll with what comes.