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Re: SVG 1.2 Comment: 4 Flowing text and graphics

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 01:57:26 +0000 (UTC)
To: Peter Sorotokin <psorotok@adobe.com>
Cc: www-svg@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.61.0411040136280.26363@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Wed, 3 Nov 2004, Peter Sorotokin wrote:
> What is your point: that the feature can be abused or that the feature 
> _never_ does the right thing?

That the feature is over-engineered for the use case that are valid.

> Just look at basically any printed map and you'll see a lot of line 
> breaks (definitely *every* one of my AAA maps uses multi-line labels a 
> lot). Complex diagrams and schematics also use them quite a bit. What is 
> even more important in all of the above cases is that *text is in the 
> shape*. It might not even have word wrapping there, it might be, in 
> fact, a single word, but it is extremely important that it is simply 
> *placed* in the shape.

Multiline labels (small amounts of text that have to be automatically 
wrapped) seem like a valid use case. For such cases, would it not make 
more sense to add small extensions to the existing text model, rather than 
an entire chapter?

For example, one could extend SVG 1.1 10.13.3 ("Text on a path layout 
rules") to handle broken paths. Or the <text> element could take an 
attribute which says which <text> element to spill into if the content 
overflows. Or <tref> could be extended so that if it contains children 
elements, then they are a series of empty <text> elements into which the 
referenced text is to be placed, one at a time until all the text is used 
up (or they are all filled).

The point is all of those ideas would re-use the existing text layout 
model from SVG, wouldn't introduce an entire chapter's worth of new 
features, wouldn't step on CSS's toes, and wouldn't encourage the abuse of 
SVG for what should be semantic-level (HTML) markup.

> Again, according to this (quite radical I should say) argument, SVG must 
> not have any text whatsoever. Text is still text, even if it is only a 
> single word.

Like I said in earlier e-mails, I agree that a small amount of overlap is 
sensible. For example, CSS does borders, despite those being graphics (and 
thus the realm of SVG). But CSS shouldn't start introducing an entire 
vector graphics language, since that would overlap too much with SVG.

Well, SVG can have simple text features, since images do have text. But 
there's no reason for SVG to have automatic line layout, block markup, 
etc, when CSS already does all that.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 4 November 2004 01:57:28 UTC

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