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RE: SVG 1.2 Comment: Detailed last call comments (all chapters)

From: Doug Schepers <doug@schepers.cc>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 22:08:21 -0500
To: "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>, <www-svg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20041104030823.6CBDA13D877@sack.dreamhost.com>

Hi, Ian-

Thanks for the reply. I think I understand your perspective better now.

It's in the SVG Charter to "meet the needs of the user community." The vast
majority of SVG users, as you will observe from the topics on
svg-developers@yahoogroups.com, are using it to developing applications.

It seems that you don't want people to use SVG for anything but graphics.
I'm sorry, but it's a bit late for that.

Ian Hickson wrote:
| 
| On Mon, 1 Nov 2004, Doug Schepers wrote:
| > 
| > Are you saying that sXBL is not a good use of SVG? That 
| creating a GUI 
| > using a guiML rendered in SVG is a bad idea? I doubt that's 
| what you 
| > mean, but that's what it sounds like.
| 
| Yes, I am saying that. It would be very bad for any unknown 
| XML language to be sent over the Web -- sXBL doesn't change that.
| 
| 
| > The semantics would come from the domain-specific XML; this in turn 
| > would lead to accessiblity (when coupled with SVG1.2's new focus 
| > attributes). In fact, this would be a very good accessiblity case.
| 
| Using a language that was well-known (e.g. one that was a W3C 
| Recommendation, such as XForms) would mean that the content 
| had semantics. 
| Using a language that is known only to the sender, and that 
| the user's Web 
| browser has no build-in support for, would lead to very _poor_ 
| accessibility. sXBL can't add semantics any more than CSS can.

I agree that for conventional interfaces, XForms is a great UI XML with
swell semantics. That would certainly be my choice to define an accessible
widget set.

But not all interesting XML dialects are invented at the W3C, and not all
GUIs require traditional widgets. A set of drill-down charts, for example,
might be bettter expressed in a ChartXML than in XForms, for example.
Semantics come from the domain. 


| In any case, using SVG for user interfaces seems like a misuse 
| of SVG, since SVG is a graphics language, not a user interface 
| language. 

You're misrepresenting (or misunderstanding) what I said. SVG should be the
presentation layer of the user interface, not the whole user interface.
Unfortunately, as it stands today, SVG applications must pull double-duty,
and make a very poor UI model; that's why we want sXBL. Let me be clear:
people are going to use SVG for application development; if we have the
tools to do so, we can make those applications as accessible as possible; if
we don't, we'll have to keep on with the methods we're using now.


| A user interface language needs to be usable in any context -- high 
| definition 
| widescreen video output, low-resolution small screen handheld 
| devices, 
| speech-based user agents, braille displays, TVs, to name but a few. 
| 
| XHTML2+XForms, for example, is capable of being fully usable in such 
| diverse environments, and in fact is so usable by default 

No more so than SVG. Are you seriously claiming that XHTML is somehow more
able to be leveraged for speech UAs?

Regards-
Doug
Received on Thursday, 4 November 2004 03:08:27 UTC

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