Re: SVG and MathML in text/html

Hi, Henri-

Henri Sivonen wrote (on 3/10/08 3:03 PM):
> I think we should require that that the DOM representation doesn't 
> undergo changes. However, I'd be ready to allow the serialization stream 
> syntax to be both extended and limited as long as certain common cases 
> appear to work as perceived by authors.

I would be strongly opposed to this, for reasons I'll detail in a 
subsequent email (in short, it would Break Teh SVG).

>> The reason I think this is important is that, if we do not ensure it's
>> valid XML SVG, then we'll have interoperability problems in existing
>> browsers and viewers that support SVG and SVG content tools.
> Allowing inline SVG in text/html is an interop problem with existing UAs 
> no matter what. The justification for introducing such an interop 
> problem is the assumption that the non-inlineability of SVG in text/html 
> is holding SVG back and enabling SVG in text/html would allow SVG (in 
> the sense it exists as a DOM language) take off.

I disagree that this is what is holding SVG back.  I believe that one of 
the major things that's held it back is that, until the couple of years, 
there have not been desktop SVG User Agents that implemented a complete 
and interoperable enough subset of the spec to make it useful for 
authors to deploy.

Obviously, the other thing that's held it back is the fact that Internet 
Explorer has not yet implemented it natively.  As good as the Adobe 
plugin was, that company's lukewarm support (and subsequent 
abandonment), coupled with the reasonable reluctance of users to 
download a plugin (unlike the case for desktop Flash, which came 
preinstalled), was the real deal-killer.

Now, SVG is much more widely deployed, and implemented natively and well 
on 3 of the 4 major browsers.  IE's browser share is declining steadily, 
making the browsers with native implementations much more important, 
despite lack of support in IE.

There is now strong interest in SVG, evidenced by the fact that we're 
talking about it here.  I think that now, just when it's really taking, 
is the wrong time to be discussing drastic changes that would severely 
fracture the uses of SVG.  Rather, I think that now is the time to 
consider all the things that SVG got right, and look at how those can 
work well in HTML.

> I disagree that the blog post casting me as a Capulet is on this topic. 
> It was on the ARIA topic, which is a different topic (new attribute bits 
> without parser changes vs. namespaced elements with parser changes).

I agree that ARIA is probably now a moot point (though not quite 
off-topic), since they adopted a non-namespaced syntax.

(For the record, there was no insult intended in casting you as a 
Capulet... I cast myself as an equally biased Montague, after all; the 
point of that post was an attempt to humorously show how different camps 
can try to come together, and I hope the ending was not as melodramatic 
or tragic as the inspiration.)

> (I disagree with Anne's case-insensitivity bit, though. I think SVG and 
> MathML scopes should put the tokenizer into a case-preserving mode.)

I'm glad to hear that.

-Doug Schepers
W3C Team Contact, SVG, CDF, and WebAPI

Received on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 09:16:47 UTC