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XHTML2 issue request: no defined mapping from imagemaps to SVG

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 04:08:14 -0400
To: www-html-editor@w3.org
Cc: dean@w3.org
Message-ID: <20040909080813.GC7011@homer.w3.org>

Hi

I'd like to raise an issue with the XHTML2 spec - the imagemap section 
would be improved if it mentioned a mapping into SVG. I'm reading the 22 July
2004 Working Draft, specifically the section on Imagemaps,
http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-xhtml2-20040722/mod-csImgMap.html#s_csImgMapmodule

While I realise HTML imagemaps pre-date SVG, XHTML2 is generally taking
a more daring line regarding backwards compatibility than previous
HTMLs. At W3C we have a lot of specs that overlap in little ways in
their scope, and this is a pretty typical example of that. 'd like
the XHTML2 spec to at least acknowledge the existence of  SVG.
Ideally, you would also define a mapping into SVG constructs (perhaps
SVGTiny or SVGBasic). I'd also like to see consideration of the
arguments for/against use of SVG, or at least a more SVG-centric markup
notation.

In http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-xhtml2-20040722/introduction.html#s_intro
 "As generic XML as possible: if a facility exists in XML, try to use that
rather than duplicating it" suggests that the HTML WG might be friendly
to the possibility of re-use rather than duplication here.

One argument in favour of SVG support within HTML imagemaps, is that 
imagemap authoring tools should be perfectly capable of generating 
both HTML-imagemap markup and/or normal SVG (+RDF metadata) based on the
same authoring session. Image overlays are a form of metadata, and can
be useful for accessibility, search, clipart etc., so anything we can do
that encourages tool builders to offer HTML and SVG saveAs facilities
would be valuable. In its current form, the new XHTML2 work doesn't give
any hint to imagemap implementors that there might be other W3C-blessed
ways of representing rectangles, circles, polygons etc overlaid on
images. 

So, to summarise:

1. please cite the SVG specs from 
http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/mod-csImgMap.html and make at least a brief
prose account of the different representational conventions (XSLT code
would be better)

2. please consider (or point me at the discussion if I missed it)
allowing SVG (or a profile) to be directly used instead of olde-style
HTML imagemaps.

3. if you choose/chose not to go with SVG, consider revising the
notation in
http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/mod-csImgMap.html#s_csImgMapmodule to be
closer to the SVG way, to make things easier on Web developer's brains.

I should stress that I'm not suggesting that the HTML WG need to make a 
full SVG implementation a normative requirement on XHTML2 implimentors,
just that the notations could be more closely alligned.
 
cheers,

Dan

ps. if things stay as-is, might be worth reminding SVG authoring tool
folk that their code probably works as an imagemap authoring thingie
with relatively little effort...
Received on Thursday, 9 September 2004 08:08:15 UTC

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