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Lingua Franca of the Web - Will SVG replace HTML?

From: <AndrewWatt2001@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001 15:06:14 EST
Message-ID: <65.ecd4d41.279c9b36@aol.com>
To: www-talk@w3.org, www-html@w3.org
In a message dated 21/01/01 16:38:45 GMT Standard Time, 
sean@mysterylights.com writes:

> HTML is the lingua
>  franca for expressing anything of a document/media nature on the WWW.    

I have been following the discussion on interoperability with interest. 
Sean's comment about the "lingua franca" of the Web was of interest to me.

I am not trying to provoke howls of total outrage, apoplexy or other such 
unsavoury emotional reactions.

I would like, however, to ask the group to consider the possibility that SVG 
(Scalable Vector Graphics) may become the "lingua franca" of the Web.

So why would a "graphics" format possibly have the potential to be the lingua 
franca of the Web?

Unlike HTML, SVG obviously as its name suggests has significant graphics 
possibilities. It also can include XLinks. It can also produce reasonable 
text layout.

Those are foundational capabilities of a Web "lingua franca".

It has its own Document Object Model making scripting with, for example, 
ECMAScript a relatively straightforward proposition.

It works with CSS.

It will work with XForms.

I expect SVG with ECMAScript and XForms to be a powerful "web authoring 

But what about mobile browsers? At least one SVG Viewer for hand held devices 
is currently in beta.

So, in SVG, despite its "intended" use as a "graphics" only medium has the 
capability to be the "lingua franca" of the Web.

The programming metaphor in SVG-only web pages is different from writing HTML 
web pages. But, even without XForms etc simple SVG web pages work.

Why would some people, perhaps many, choose SVG?

With "one language" it is possible to produce "complete" text/graphics web 
sites. For many people who do not have the time/inclination to master a 
combination of XML applications they may find the attraction of a single 
language SVG web authoring tool attractive.

Microsoft has built a software empire on the basis, in part, of providing 
tools which are easily usable for the beginner. SVG, as a single language web 
authoring "solution", may similarly prove attractive to many.


Andrew Watt
Received on Sunday, 21 January 2001 15:07:34 UTC

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