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Re: SVG 1.2 Comment: 4 Flowing text and graphics

From: Thomas DeWeese <Thomas.DeWeese@Kodak.com>
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2004 13:27:41 -0500
Message-ID: <4189231D.1010306@Kodak.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Robin Berjon <robin.berjon@expway.fr>, Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>, www-svg@w3.org

Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Tue, 2 Nov 2004, Robin Berjon wrote:
>>Ever seen poetry laid out inside a shape? Ever seen ad text following 
>>the shiny curves of the latest spacecraft? Ever seen some sombre lament 
>>about the passing of time animated as it falls through an hourglass? 
>>*That* is what it's for. It's for text when used as graphics.
> All three of those examples are great examplies of documents that need 
> semantic markup. Sure, they are presented with lovely shapes. But at the 
> heart of the issue, they are still text, and it would make just as much 
> sense for them to be rendered aurally using a speech CSS stylesheet, or to 
> a TTY using a UA's built-in styling rules, or to have them indexed using 
> Semantic Web inference rules.

    This is a straw man.  All the above has to do with the fact that it
is text not that it is line broken text.  All of those examples could
be done with the existing text element. So unless you are suggesting
that the SVG WG deprecate the text element, we should focus on the
effect of allowing for line breaking.

    Looking at this aspect of the issue.  While SVG could present
all of the above examples already, the problem is that it would
require a real text engine to produce the SVG output (it would have
to know font metrics, etc).  This makes it very difficult to take a
semantically rich document and generate the desired graphical

    Put another way the inability to reproducibly line-break text in
SVG forces the content to be totally embedded in the presentation,
meaning that if you want all but the simplest text you currently
simply can't separate the text in any way from the graphics.

> If those three examples are examples of when multiline text is to be used 
> in SVG, then multiline text in SVG should be done by applying SVG to 
> documents in other markup languages, not by adding more text markup to 
> SVG, in clear violation of both AWWW and WCAG.

    Adding the ability to automatically line break text makes it much
more likely that text will originate in a semantically rich format and
then be converted to SVG for presentation.  Currently the text has to
be hard-coded into the SVG to do these sorts of effects.  In other
words your arguments could (and probably should) be taken as being in
favor of adding line-breaking to SVG.
Received on Wednesday, 3 November 2004 18:27:44 UTC

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