W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > January 2001

Re: Lingua Franca of the Web - Will SVG replace HTML?

From: Kurt Cagle <cagle@olywa.net>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 22:26:04 -0800
Message-ID: <003101bf64a1$906120e0$58ceadd8@aleria>
To: "Daniel Hiester" <alatus@earthlink.net>, "www-html" <www-html@w3.org>
I'm coming out of lurker mode here, but wanted to weigh in with my 1.92
cents worth about SVG and where it fits into the grand "Scheme of Things".

Even if SVG is bang-up successful, it won't displace HTML. As mentioned
previously, it is too semantically poor to want to send messages in it, and
lacks a lot of even basic markup that people implicitly assume should be in
a document language. I look at it this way, though, SVG will likely end up
in the same places for which people use Shockwave Flash now -- animated cool
graphics, technical diagrams, charts, etc. Most Flash sites that I've seen
are visual eye candy but suck as a way of presenting text information.
However, expect that SVG enabled websites will almost certainly end up
making up the bulk of the navigational infrastructure of sites by 2006. The
UA vendors won't get SVG right, but they'll get it close. What works against
most browser manufacturers in attempting to hijack the standards is that the
SVG standard ALREADY EXISTS, and what's more it has several successful
implementations. I suspect this is one reason why the company in Redmond
hasn't yet integrated SVG into their fifth generation browser, though I know
they are working on at least a test case for Gen 6.

As to patent issues, this is already solved. The W3C currently holds
patents, trademarks, and copyrights on SVG. All of the major players that
currently have vector graphics standards in place are also cosignatories to
the W3C, which makes it MUCH more difficult for them to attempt a patent
play on the technology.

Finally, adoption of SVG will take place in exactly the same way that any
other standards get adopted. People are starting to use the Adobe SVG
plugin, and I wouldn't be surprised (actually I would be, but not for the
right reasons) if Microsoft does incorporate an SVG capability into IE6.
What this means is that like most technologies, the advanced people will
start incorporating it, then as the sites become more SVG-ized you'll see a
deluge of SVG books that will hit the market, which in turn will spur
additional adoption. People will use it at first because its kind of cool,
then will use it because it is more efficient, then will use it because its
standard. If at any point this doesn't prove to be the case, then SVG will
go the way of the do-do.

Another point to keep in mind on this front -- SVG is not just a web format
It actually might end up representing something of an exchange format in
much the same way that Postscript has. Once you get
Illustrator,Freehand,Flash and Corel Draw on the same page (pardon the pun)
where they CAN be exchanged through an SVG format, it will significantly
speed the adoption of the standard.

-- Kurt Cagle

----- Original Message -----
1rom: "Daniel Hiester" <alatus@earthlink.net>
To: "www-html" <www-html@w3.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 21, 2001 9:17 PM
Subject: Re: Lingua Franca of the Web - Will SVG replace HTML?

> Uh, just to be the doom and gloom kind of person I some times am, I have
> ask one question: how long will it take UA vendors to get SVG right?
> Especially if they aren't even talking about parsing XHTML as XML?
> And if one company does implement it, how do we know that they aren't
> secretly applying for a patent which just happens to cover SVG?
> And how will we convince web developers that it's okay to use this new
> technology, without descriminating against users of Netscape 2.x running
> their 286 computer from the Smithsonian Museum of Computer Antiques?
> That said, I'd love to see SVG become a usable, commonplace technology.
> just not holding my breath.
> Daniel
Received on Monday, 22 January 2001 01:27:19 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 15:05:56 UTC