Re: Support for Vector Images

Andrew n marshall (
Tue, 25 Nov 1997 13:12:09 -0800

Message-ID: <>
From: Andrew n marshall <>
To: "'Chris Lilley'" <>
Cc: "''" <>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 13:12:09 -0800
Subject: RE: Support for Vector Images

On Tuesday, November 25, 1997 11:10 AM, Chris Lilley 
[] wrote:
> One restricted to monochrome, or one that can do monochrome (and 
greyscale and
> color)?

I don't see any reason to restrict this.  It just seemed, in my (very) 
brief research of well-know formats, formats for multicolored graphics 
always assumed the colors were specified in the file.

> Ah yes. Remember the original three formats for inline images, introduced
> with XMosaic? GIF87 (yes well), NCSA HDF (a mite specialised) and ... 
> XBM holds, in it's verbose way, two colors called foreground and
> background. Which is nice and adaptable for certain kinds of artwork
> and would fit nicely into the world of stylesheets if the format itself
> didn't give such poor compression. People rapidly found, though, the
> need to assume that the foreground color was dark and the background
> light; it is difficult to do artwork with any shading or form without
> knowing which of your two colors to use for shadow.

I can understand this would be a problem if you are attempting a contnuous 
tone image, but that seems more like a bad design choice in the decision 
for image. It could have easily been in GIF in those cases.

For illistrations and diagrams, I would think the ability to inherit the 
foreground/background would add to the flexibility and cross platform 
capabilities of the image.  For instance, monochromatic LCD screens on PDAs 
would be able to view such an image with no problem.

> Another way to integrate vector graphics with HTML is to inherit the
> current style sheet state, which will give a foreground and background
> color (and a link color and a background image and placement, if present,
> and the current font settings. There is some work going on at W3C, in
> collaboration with RAL, to look at parameterising CGM graphics from the
> current CSS state in this manner.

Is there a reference to this I can follow?

Andrew n marshall
  student - artist - programmer
      "Everyone a mentor,  Everyone a pupil"