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Re: Question about Stylable SVG

From: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 00:21:06 +0100 (Romance Standard Time)
Message-ID: <14534.57442.580000.658673@ETTE>
To: Apu Nahasapeemapetilon <petilon@yahoo.com>
Cc: www-svg@w3.org
Also sprach Apu Nahasapeemapetilon:

 > >  > Two SVGs is a terrible idea.
 > > 
 > > Indeed. My suggestion is: get the specification 
 > > back on track by removing the recently 
 > > introduced "Exchange SVG".
 > 
 > I think in addition to removing "Exchange SVG",
 > "Stylable SVG" needs to be simplified.

I wouldn't disagree, and we have great men on our side:

  "There is no greatness where there is no simplicity."
     -Tolstoi

 > Currently you need an enormous amount of resources
 > to create a complete SVG viewer. So much so, in fact,
 > that even big companies have no confidence that they
 > will be able to implement everything any time soon.

I'd be interested in seeing your cut list. I don't think style sheets
should be on it for the following reasons:

 - style sheets are simple. Compared to decoding images, running
   JavaScript, and rendering anti-aliased splines, parsing CSS rules
   and decorating the parse tree is very easy.
   
 - styled SVG gives us smaller documents. By grouping stylistic
   properties, graphics will download and display faster

 - SVG decoders will still need to parse the value of attributes
   beyond what an XML parser will do, e.g. the "d" and "font-family"
   attributes.

 - styled SVG allows graphics at a higher level of abstraction than
   the alternative. This is important for securing access for all
   users on the web.

 > SVG is different from most other W3C specs in that
 > it won't be browser-makers that implement the best
 > viewers -- it will be graphics companies. These
 > graphics companies don't also have access to a ready
 > stack of other web-related technologies.

I don't see why browser makers shouldn't make good viewers? After all,
the browser is the computer <g>

 > To make a very good implementation of SVG you need
 > to have domain expertise not just in graphics 
 > technology, but also in traditional browser 
 > technologies such as (X)HTML and CSS. No companies
 > have expertise in both areas. Certainly, small
 > companies will find SVG unapproachable.

Style or not, I think we're beyond the point where one man alone can
make a good browser -- of any kind. Your average small rendering
technology company probably don't want to start implementing HTTP 1.1
either. They should, however, be able to drop their superb SVG
graphics rendering engine into the browser of their choice and reusing
the parsers already in there. The issue is one of software engineering
rather than preferred syntax for SVG. If you have such an engine, let
me know :-)

Regards,

-h&kon

Chief Technology Officer                                Opera Software
Håkon Wium Lie                     http://www.opera.com/people/howcome
howcome@opera.com                                gets you there faster
Received on Wednesday, 8 March 2000 18:12:54 GMT

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