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RE: reply to CSS WG comments on SVG 1.2

From: Doug Schepers <doug@schepers.cc>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 20:23:25 -0500
To: <www-svg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20050301012327.220CB13DB18@sack.dreamhost.com>

Dear SVG-WG-

The wording here seems to indicate that text-flow to arbitrary shapes may
have been dropped. I hope that this is not the case. I feel that that is a
well-designed and useful feature, and fail to see how it intersects with
CSS's text layout properties, which can do no such thing.

It has been suggested on this list that most authors do not want pixel-level
control over appearance and that specifying a mandatory algorithm in the
Spec restricts UA implementors from using custom solutions to achieve the
desired end (thus reducing a possible competitive advantage). Most SVG
authors (and Web authors in general) I know are more interested in control
and consistency of performance and appearance between implementations than
in proprietary performance gains. I think it is crucial that authors know
what to expect across various UA and Oses; otherwise authoring is a
nightmare (as in the Browser Wars). 

Please do keep textflow in arbitrary shapes, and do mandate a particular
algorithm to do so. If a UA implementor wishes to add an additional
algorithm, allow them to do so using an explicit attribute value like
text-breaking='custom', or somesuch.

If I'm being paranoid and jumping to wrong conclusions, um... Never mind,
then. As you were.

Regards-
Doug

doug . schepers  @ vectoreal.com
www.vectoreal.com ...for scalable solutions.
 

Dean Jackson wrote:
| 
  [snip]
|
|  > a) We are concerned that section 4, Flowing text and graphics, 
| overlaps
|  > directly with CSS. We feel that instead of adding line 
| layout to SVG,
|  > it would be wiser to add a way to specify a fill shape to CSS.
| 
| We have the requirement to provide a simple method for automatic line
| breaking in an environment without CSS. This continues to be the most
| commonly requested feature from the days before SVG 1.0 REC, and is a
| standard feature in nearly all graphical authoring tools.
| 
| Our next draft of SVG will have an revised method for this feature. It
| aligns more closely with the existing SVG 1.0+ text features - only
| adding automatic line breaking (with an option to allow the User Agent
| to choose the break points). The end result can be easily expressed
| using the SVG 1.0+ text elements. We also believe it has less overlap
| with CSS layout. As a graphical language, we're replicating standard
| graphic features and avoiding many text-layout features.
| 
| 
  [snip]
|
|
|  > a) It is unclear how the margin and indent properties apply to the 
| flowed
|  > text feature. Both properties are mentioned in passing but 
| the model
|  > is never fully explained. In particular, it appears to be 
| different to
|  > the CSS model in important ways, although exactly how different is
|  > unclear due to the ambiguity of the description.
| 
| We've modified the flowed text feature to align it closely with the
| standard text features of graphics systems and in the process removed
| the need for layout properties. Therefore margin and indent no longer
| apply.
| 
| 
Received on Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:23:30 GMT

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