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   Re: In praise of SVG

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  • From: Peter Murray-Rust <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>
  • To: <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2000 15:30:53 +0000

At 06:26 AM 2/25/00 -0800, Dave Winer wrote:
>Peter, I agree totally!
>We've done an evaluation of SVG, and are very very excited about it.
>All kinds of tools are possible, and combined with JavaScript in a web
>browser, we believe that applications with the graphic fidelity of early
>Macintosh apps (mid 80s) will be possible in the web browser.

This is one of he great features - Dave has a very different perspective
from me - presentation vs semantics - though we doubtless overlap. 
>And it has great implications for the Web as a publishing medium.

When people involved in printing/publishing see SVG they start to salivate.
The antialiased rendering that some implementations have is truly beautiful.

Here is a wild idea. Would it be a useful exercise to create an XML browser
in SVG?

As people know I wrote JUMBO as a generic XML browser (*not* just
chemistry!). The first incarnation was in Java AWT 1.02. This was truly
horrendous - you have to create all your objects out of bitstuff.
Collapsible Trees, hyperlinked text, mouseclicks all had to be done at the
pixel level. JUMBO 2 used SWING - a great advance. But I came in at early
adopter stage where one is never quite sure whether the bug is due to the
author or implementation. JUMBO 2 gets a remarkable number of downloads,
though it has rough edges, unfinished business and bugs. It never used a
proper W3C DOM since it predated the first stable spec - instead it uses
Swing trees, etc. Although I really like the MVC approach I found some of
the implementation quite challenging

With SVG we have:
	high-quality rendering and a fine array of primitives
	a declarative model of programming which (IMO) is much more "compact" than
	access to a standard W3C DOM
	interaction with other DTDs, especially XHTML
	co-existence with HTML for text management

Why reinvent the wheel? - there are browsers out there already... I feel
that SVG might be more portable for some activities than having to use
different methods to access the DOM according to manufacturer. I am not yet
convinced of the portability of ECMAScript. SVG "browsers" could be
embedded in other applications without having to include a full Web
browser. And one XML area that HTML does not support is collapsible trees. 

Is this barmy?


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