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Re: Towards resolution of SVG 1.2 Flowing text

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 19:21:47 +0100
Message-ID: <353049340.20041102192147@w3.org>
To: Dean Jackson <dean@w3.org>
Cc: "Robert O'Callahan" <robert@ocallahan.org>, www-svg@w3.org

On Tuesday, November 2, 2004, 5:50:10 PM, Dean wrote:

DJ> On 3 Nov 2004, at 02:42, Robert O'Callahan wrote:

>> I have a couple of additional questions for the SVG WG:
>> -- When users ask for additional flowing text features, such as floats
>> and tables, will you add them to SVG 1.3?

DJ> Let me separate the question a little.

DJ> We discussed adding additional text features (for SVG 1.2 and
DJ> future). We rejected them all in favour of using XHTML for such things
DJ> (eg. lists). As SVG layout is not at all like CSS layout, floats are
DJ> way out of scope.

DJ> Then you mentioned tables. There have been many requests for
DJ> grid-based layout mechanisms in SVG (for graphics and text). It *may*
DJ> be considered for a future version of SVG. However, IMO the primary use
DJ> case would be laying out things like UIs (eg. toolbars), not really
DJ> text (although it could be used that way). In preliminary discussion
DJ> of this topic the most common suggestion has been to simply allow
DJ> <html:table> in SVG. Adobe's most recent SVG release does this
DJ> (within a <foreignObject>).

>> -- You say that SVG text is presentational and not semantic, but then
>> why does flowPara exist?

DJ> I don't think it should. I'll be arguing that it should be removed.

Or alternatively, that the definition of a para is presentational. Which
it is, as in languages like HTML which sit somewhere in the middle of the
continuum from abstraction to concreteness. Table, by the way,
especially table which has in the markup spanned rows and columns, is
fairly towards the concrete layout end as well. A higher level, more
abstract markup might represent that as multidimensional data with
various properties, some of which could be grouped and aggregated to make
a 2d table, as one possible presentational for. A pie chart or histogram
could be other presentational forms.

DJ> The other slightly semantic element is <flowLine>. The problem here
DJ> is that Ian's suggested alternative used CSS, which isn't required
DJ> in any SVG implementation. Any ideas?

It breaks a line. That is its defined effect, again largely

 Chris Lilley                    mailto:chris@w3.org
 Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 Member, W3C Technical Architecture Group
Received on Tuesday, 2 November 2004 18:21:53 UTC

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