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Re: SVG 1.2 Comment: vector effects

From: <AndrewWatt2001@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 06:27:45 EST
Message-ID: <11.3984b726.2edc61b1@aol.com>
To: ian@hixie.ch, www-svg@w3.org
In a message dated 11/29/2004 10:16:27 AM GMT Standard Time, ian@hixie.ch 

> >the browser vendors did not care about SVG 1.0 when it was released, 
> >when it was simpler than SVG 1.2. Suddenly, they complain that it might 
> >get too complex. 4 years after SVG 1.0 was released.
> To be honest, four years ago SVG wasn't even on our radars. 

What lesson do you draw from that about the far sightedness (or otherwise) of 
your radar?

> Personally I was at University involved with two of those projects, and I 
> can tell 
> you that vector graphics were the furthest thought from my mind as far as 
> the Web went.

The thinking of others was a little less narrow.

> >I would be perfectly happy if the browser vendors would provide a full, 
> >clean implementation of SVG 1.0/1.1 and for now leave SVG 1.2 to more 
> >specialized SVG UAs, such as ASV/Batik or others.
> The problem is that whatever we implement, our customers will demand that 
> we do everything that the W3C has stamped.

Is this a fundamental reason for your assorted objections to SVG 1.2? That 
you (corporately) don't have the vision or resources to implement what the 
market wants?

> >As to the complexity of vector effects: yes, they might not be trivial to
> >implement, but they are certainly doable.
> Everything is doable. See my .sig. That isn't really the point. We have to 
> implement a bazillion specs and we have to do so in a tiny amount of space 
> with a finite number of engineering and testing resources. It simply isn't 
> feasible nor desirable to support redundant or rarely-used features.

Isn't there a circularity of argument here? You don't support it, so it's 
rarely used, so because it's (in your perception) rarely used, you shouldn't 
support it?

> >And there are tons of graphics applications out there that do implement 
> >them. Or do you know any serious vector graphics application out there 
> >that does not implement union/intersect/path offset, etc?
> But my point is a Web browser isn't, and shouldn't be, a "serious vector 
> graphics application".

Why? Isn't that statement also indicative of a narrowness of view?

Should the Web browser (or Web client, if you want a less narrow term) be 
permanently fossilised because of that?

> >If you want, you could also do a poll on the svg developers list and 
> >would find out that a lot of people on this list would have a use case 
> >for one or more features of the vector effects proposal.
> That's a self-selected group, and is not representative of the people that 
> Web browsers would be targetting in so far as vector graphics are 
> concerned. 

Perhaps I am the only one who sees more than a little irony here with the 
reference to self-selected groups.

It _is_ an important group, of course, but for most users, 
> their primary contact with vector graphics is sites like:
>   http://badgerbadgerbadger.com/

Fifteen years ago, for most users, there was no perceived need for a Web 
browser. Where would your line of thought have taken us (or failed to take us) 
over the last 15 years?

> ...and I don't see anything in the graphics of that animation that 
> requires more than <path> and animation features.

Has it not occurred to you that there are uses for vector graphics that go 
beyond the needs of cartoons?

> Currently the difference between SVG1.2 and the vector graphics language 
> that Web UA manufacturers would like to implement is roughly the same as 
> the difference between Docbook and HTML, IMHO. DocBook serves a very 
> important role in specialist environments (and there are a lot of those 
> environments), but at the end of the day, HTML is good enough for the 
> Web's document needs. (It leaves something to be desired when it comes to 
> apaplications, but that wasn't what it was designed for.)

Yes, HTML (Horse-and-buggy Text Markup Language?) served and continues to 
serve frequent basic needs.

It seems to me that you are expressing a surprisingly narrow and 
unimaginative view of what a Web browser/Web client can be.

I wonder, do you see any similarities between your viewpoint and those who 
opposed the introduction of any other significant new technology?

Andrew Watt
Received on Monday, 29 November 2004 11:28:22 UTC

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