W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webcgm@w3.org > September 2006

Re: SVG vs. WebCGM

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 09:18:39 -0600
Message-Id: <>
To: "Jeff Schiller" <codedread@gmail.com>,"Chris Lilley" <chris@w3.org>
Cc: public-webcgm@w3.org

Hi Jeff,

A minor update to Chris's links...

At 09:51 AM 9/12/2006 -0500, Jeff Schiller wrote:

>Thanks for the response, I will try to look at some of the links
>you've provided.

A later version [1] of the paper is linked from the top of this page [2], 
along with its corresponding PowerPoint [3].  The later version [1] 
references the earlier version and includes a FAQ section that addresses 
some questions and criticisms about the initial paper (Chris's reference).

[1] http://www.cgmopen.org/technical/webcgm_svg.htm
[2] http://www.cgmopen.org/webcgm/readings.html
[3] http://www.cgmopen.org/technical/cgm-svg-slides-20040419.ppt

(Chair WebCGM WG)

>Maybe these follow-up questions are easy to answer
>1) Is there any technical benefit of WebCGM over SVG?  Just breezing
>over the spec I saw that "NURBs" are mentioned...
>2) Since this is surely to come up again, could some mention of "the
>other spec" be given in both specs (maybe it's there and I missed it)?
>Someone clueless like me will see both specifications and not have a
>clear picture of which technology should be pursued for which purposes
>and which has a brighter future.  To me, they still look like
>competing specifications.  Hmm, maybe W3C is pursuing WebCGM now
>because SVG adoption is lagging or ... That's just an example thought
>process, I'm not trying to be provocative, hopefully you know I'm a
>staunch promoter of SVG ;)
>Thanks again for your responses.
>Jeff Schiller
>On 9/12/06, Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org> wrote:
>>Hi Jeff,
>>On Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 4:08:25 AM, you wrote:
>>JS> You knew someone would ask this eventually, I'm surprised the
>>JS> charter doesn't mention it.
>>(Agreed the WebCGM WG charter does not mention it).
>>It has come up many years ago, in fact. The comparison was discussed at
>>several XML conferences, for example XML Europe 2001:
>>SVG and WebCGM ­ A Comparison
>>Chris Lilley, Graphics Activity Lead, W3C, France;
>>Dieter Weidenbrück, CEO, ITEDO Software, Germany
>>a later, more up to date comparison
>>JS> What is the differences in SVG and WebCGM?  Is SVG intended as
>>JS> general/all-purpose while WebCGM is only for technical/industrial
>>JS> drawings?  This seems like a rather arbitrary distinction.
>>The main difference is field of use. The industrial technical graphics
>>community picked CGM many years ago, its is today very widely used in a
>>particular market segment (primarily defence, aerospace, and
>>Those users wanted an evolutionary improvement to add reliable,
>>vendor-neutral web linking; this requirement was met by WebCGM 1.0.
>>At the same time, CGM has some limitations. Its not easily stylable with
>>either CSS or XSLT; it is not in XML; it lacks the graphical richness
>>needed for design intensive graphics; it has no animation capability.
>>This is why SVG was started, after W3C had grappled with CGM (over the
>>period 1996 to 1998). http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/WD-SVGReq-19981029
>>In general, WebCGM can be converted to SVG 1.1 without loss[1]. Even in
>>the technical graphics community, SVG is also used for training
>>materials etc (which need animation and more graphical richness) but the
>>long lifecycle technical documentation still needs to use CGM. WebCGM 1
>>and WebCGM 2 are still valid ISO CGM and thus can be used in systems
>>whose requirements were drawn upin the mid 1980s.
>>Note that tools for generating WebCGM, such as ISODraw, often export to
>>SVG as well.
>>Some features from SVG, such as having a DOM, are now being added to
>>WebCGM 2.0; but the main driver for WebCGM 2.0 is five years of
>>industrial experience with WebCGM 1.0.
>>JS> Why do we need two standards for scalable vector web graphics?  Can
>>JS> someone outline the purposes, distinctions, directions of these two
>>JS> seemingly competing standards within the W3C ?
>>Hopefully the above clarifies this to some extent. Happy to answer
>>follow-on questions.
>>[1] 99.5%, anyway - the CGM name attribute behaves like a non-unique ID
>>and XML does not have such a construct.
>>  Chris Lilley                    mailto:chris@w3.org
>>  Interaction Domain Leader
>>  Co-Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
>>  W3C Graphics Activity Lead
>>  Co-Chair, W3C Hypertext CG
Received on Tuesday, 12 September 2006 15:18:58 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 19:39:40 UTC