W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-svg@w3.org > April 2007

Re: SVG and proper XML design

From: Doug Schepers <doug.schepers@vectoreal.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 10:13:05 -0400
Message-ID: <461E3E71.4090206@vectoreal.com>
To: www-svg@w3.org

Hi, David-

David Woolley wrote:
> More generally, I think one could actually make a good argument for not 
> using XML for SVG. Apart from the political need to use XML, the main
> reasons for using XML in SVG is to allow it to used in mixed namespace 
> environments.  

That ship is halfway across the ocean, but I'm curious what other syntax 
you think would be better, and why?  To me, the ability to structure the 
document, and to have individual elements exposed to the animation and 
scripting, and to take advantage of the entire DOM infrastructure are 
more compelling than allowing mixed-namespace content.

> However, neither Adobe SVG viewer nor Firefox support 
> this and a whole generation of authors has grown up viewing SVG as an 
> external resource for HTML, rather than a truly embedded one for 
> XHTML+XML, or one that can be decorated with additional namespaces.

Why do you say that?

Firefox and Opera do support inline SVG, and ASV as well to a lesser 
extent (limited by IE's lack of support for XHTML and true mixed-ns 
content).  One of the more common topics discussed on the Freenode SVG 
IRC channel is inline SVG, which many people new to SVG find compelling.

The throttling factor is that you have to jump through some hoops to do 
this in IE today, but as they add XHTML and true DOM support, I think 
you will see mixed content increase dramatically (and not just SVG+XHTML).

That said, unless the interfaces for working with HTML improve in its 
next version, I'm going to prefer to work with pure SVG, which has a 
much cleaner and more consistent API.

> The other reason for using XML or SGML syntaxes is that the document is 
> intended to be directly viewable and editable by humans, and tha primary 
> content is the text nodes; i.e. for true markup languages.  If one still 
> wants a printable form, the syntaxes uses by PostScript and PDF are more 
> machine friendly (PDF, although it looks to be binary is really a text 
> format that has gone through a text compressor).

Everyone I've talked to who's had to work with those syntaces to 
generate or alter content has had high praise for SVG.  It's simply 
easier to work with.  Even Adobe's Mars project (which may well be the 
replacement for PDF) uses SVG and XML extensively; presumably they have 
done this for sound business reasons.

> One of the main current drivers for SVG seems to be the mobile phone 
> industry, for which data volume is still an issue, so they would benefit 
> from a less redundant format, even if compression does compensate for 
> the verbosity.

If compression compensates for the verbosity, what benefit would they 
derive from a less redundant format?  Again, I'd guess they have based 
their choice to mandate SVG Tiny on pragmatic, not political, reasons.


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Received on Thursday, 12 April 2007 14:13:16 UTC

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