SVG 1.2 WD - Format of the specification

In the 29th April SVG 1.2 WD feedback was sought on the format of the 

Comments on issues like this tend to express personal preferences but I will 
try to explain why I find certain approaches helpful or not.

I have read dozens of W3C specifications, each of which has provided its own 
range of options other than the normative single HTML/XHTML document.

I find two formats additional to the normative XHTML format very useful.

1. A PDF of the whole spec. For a very large specification like SVG this can 
be very useful. I learned much of what I know about SVG from the PDF of the 
SVG 1.0 spec, which I found much more manageable, for want of a better term, 
than trying to learn from one huge HTML document. I guess one factor is being 
able to see / hide the Navigation Pane in Acrobat and navigate from it, is 
much more convenient than having to scroll back up to the beginning of a long 
HTML document to switch to a desired chapter. A well-presented PDF makes the 
reader's task significantly easier when faced with a huge spec, such as SVG.

2. A zipped file of linked XHTML Chapters. When that is available for a 
specification it can be very useful to have certain chapters open in 
different Mozilla tabs and then switch from one piece of text to another by 
switching tabs rather than scrolling or otherwise navigating. When you want 
to see exactly what is said in two or three places to try to put a concept 
together that is an approach that I have found very helpful.

With three formats -  the single XHTML file, a good PDF and a zipped file of 
linked XHTML chapters I think a reader has options to solve several 
information assimilation / collation tasks. If the SVG 1.2 specification is 
made available in all three formats that, I think, will help readers. And 
that's the aim, isn't it? :)

BTW the WD mentions normative "HTML". The WD is in XHTML 1.0.

Andrew Watt

Received on Wednesday, 30 April 2003 03:55:11 UTC