W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-svg@w3.org > March 1999

Re: XML and Vectors

From: Jon Ferraiolo <jferraio@Adobe.COM>
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999 10:16:07 -0800
Message-Id: <199903011812.KAA21051@mail-345.corp.Adobe.COM>
To: Jeff Bradshaw <jb@callboxx.com>
Cc: www-svg@w3.org
Hi Jeff,

At 06:36 PM 2/28/99 -0800, Jeff Bradshaw wrote:
>I would hope that WC3 consider Macromedia's Flash Technology (vector) as
>the common standard in vector based graphics on the web.

When the W3C established a vector graphics working group (the SVG working
group), it wanted to define a "stylable" vector graphics language defined
in XML that integrates and leverages other Web standards Here are a couple
of quotes from the briefing package:

Re: XML: "The W3C Advisory Committee is asked to approve the creation of a
new Working Group to carry out the creation of an XML tagset which can be
used to add Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) functionality to XML documents."

Re: styling: "Style sheets have arrived on the Web, and it is clear that
the presentation of a scalable graphic should be modifiable by stylesheets
to allow integration into styled web pages (this is much easier to do if
the graphical format is written in XML). For example, changing the
background color of the document should also change the background color of
the vector graphics embedded within it. Dynamic effects, such as altering
the presentation of semantically tagged parts of the graphics, can also be
readilly realized using style sheets."

Re: leveraging other Web standards: "Since that time, the development of
XML has made it easier to design new structured formats and has reduced
implementation costs by enabling parsers to be shared. XLink and XPointer
provide rich linking behaviour which can be used, together with the DOM, to
produce much of the required interactiveness. RDF gives a solution to many
of the metadata requirements....XML namespaces demonstrate how a new
component - in this case, scalable vector graphics - can be added to the
toolbox used to construct XML documents. "

While the Flash file format has lots of great attributes, it doesn't meet
the above objectives.

>I have seen
>nothing to match the small files sizes of very fast and powerful
>animation's. I have worked as a corporate and freelance graphic designer
>for over 20 years in the CableTV industry and believe that this tech
>will take web animation to next level.

With SVG, we are trying to create a language that:

1) Is open and standard (not controlled by a single vendor, for example)

2) Integrates/leverages other Web standards. For example (one among many),
SVG should expose have a DOM that will allows all aspects of the graphics
to be scripted (and accept events) via JavaScript, thus allowing the same
scripting to be used with HTML and SVG.

3) Has all of the best attributes of the all of the Web vector graphics
languages defined to date, including PGML (submitted by Adobe, IBM,
Netscape and Sun), VML (submitted by Autodesk, HP, Microsoft, Macromedia
and Visio) and, of course, Flash.

If you see particular features which you believe are necessary to make SVG
a more useful format, please send them in. For example, what specific
animation features do we need in SVG? The current spec states that we will
be offering some animation utility functions that are available from the
DOM and JavaScript. Do you think we need to have animation as part of the
language itself?

Regarding file sizes, the SVG working group is paying close attention to
this issue. A key point to remember is that modern Web servers and browser
support gzip compression of Web content. gzip compression does a great job
of shrinking down XML grammars (up to 10:1 compression). In many cases, SVG
files compressed with gzip with be of comparable size with a corresponding
Flash file. No one has done a thorough comparison yet (particularly
difficult since SVG isn't final yet), but just because SVG isn't binary
doesn't mean its downloads will be too slow.

>Jeff Bradshaw
>Call Box Graphics

Jon Ferraiolo
Adobe Systems Incorporated
Member SVG working group
Received on Monday, 1 March 1999 13:13:42 UTC

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