W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-svg@w3.org > November 2004

Re: Reconsider SVG 1.2

From: Kurt Cagle <kurt@kurtcagle.net>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 16:11:53 -0800
Message-ID: <419BE8C9.7010505@kurtcagle.net>
To: Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org>, www-svg@w3.org

Robert O'Callahan wrote:

> Kurt Cagle wrote:
>
>> Frankly, I agree with you -- there's a fair amount of interop that's 
>> going to need to be done to build a cohesive framework a la XAML.
>
>
> You're not talking about interop. You're talking about throwing away 
> CSS and redoing all its features in SVG.
>
I'm talking about interop, but not CSS interop. I don't think that will 
happen, even if it does happen to be a good thing. CSS has a lot of 
utility in HTML, and has some (albeit less) utility with rendering 
straight XML. SVG does already incorporate many of the features of CSS 
already, because both are presentation layers that support 
container-oriented inheritance, though in many ways SVG is more full 
featured than CSS because the semantics sit at a lower level of 
abstraction.  When I reference interop, I'm talking more along the lines 
of binding architectures (a la XForms), integration with XHTML, X3D (or 
its equivalent), XML Events and the like.

>
> I think you're completely wrong, and ignoring the benefits of 
> leveraging the huge installed based of CSS renderers, authors and 
> users. You're also advocating a major change in direction for the W3C. 
> Nevertheless, please repost your message to the www-svg mailing list. 
> It's important for everyone to know where everyone else stands.

Frankly, I'm not advocating throwing away CSS. I'm just tired that all 
of the CSS people seem to be so dead-set on trying to impose a pre-XML 
standard with no pre-defined extensibility mechanism, no clean XML 
parsing capability, the requirements of a secondary renderer and so 
forth on SVG, simply for the sake of arguing about an installed base. 
Within the SVG domain, there IS NO installed CSS base, and any CSS 
renderers that exist will have to be rewritten for SVG anyway, 
regardless of what the final specifications end up looking like. To me 
its a lot like saying "Well we have this really cool toaster over here, 
and we need to roast turkey." Yes, the toaster does heat things up, but 
the prospect of slicing all that turkey up into bread shaped and sized 
pieces does not really appeal to me much.

As to your comment about advocating a major change within the direction 
of the W3C, I'm more puzzled than anything about that. What radical 
change is that? The preference of using XML solutions to pre-XML 
solutions for solving problems? You may be right on that front, though 
the shift from DTDs to XSDs, from DOM manipulation to XSLT2, from HTML 
to XForms, from HTTP Post to SOAP all would tend to argue pretty 
strongly in the other direction, not to mention SVG itself.

Perhaps you're talking about the tendency to create forward thinking 
specifications in response to studied changes in methodology and mindset 
rather than becoming reliant upon technologies that were produced 
initially (and quickly) to solve immediate problems with the lack of 
presentation layer in the initial HTML and the dangers of schisming.

Maybe you're referring to the increasing sophistication of ontological 
formats with RDF and OWL as the space of relational knowledge management 
becomes more well known, rather than simple labelled flat bundles of 
properties, or the use of XPath as a property binding mechanism capable 
of dealing with multiple levels of document bidning and reasonably 
sophisticated transformation instead of the much more loosely bound and 
weaker CSS selectors specification.

Forgive me my skepticism, but I see nothing in the current direction of 
the W3C that favors CSS; CSS works pretty well in HTML web pages, I'll 
grant you that, but by the very dint that it preceded XML by a few years 
means that it is NOT optimized for the XML world, and that is where even 
web pages and almost all user interface technologies are heading. 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but as a writer, developer, and evangelist of 
this technology, I DO try to keep on top of what's going on, and have 
since 1993. To me, CSS is a legacy application that needs to be 
supported for the next several years because there is already a 
reasonably large pre-existing base, but over time, it will fade in favor 
of some XML based standard. I don't necessarily see that standard being 
SVG -- there are aspects to presentation layers that have nothing to do 
with the mandate of SVG -- but it will be something XMLish (XBL, anyone?).

-- Kurt Cagle
Received on Thursday, 18 November 2004 00:12:59 UTC

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