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[xml-dev] Edd Dumbill on SVG

I commend to you Edd's XML.com article on SVG for a description of how XML
"standards" CAN be done properly.


First, it emphasizes the importance of clear prose:

"It starts with a useful Concepts section that explains the key points and
motivations behind SVG. The specification itself is beautifully formatted,
comprehensively hyperlinked, and filled with examples. In addition, it is
also very well indexed and useful as a reference, both for SVG processor
implementers and those wishing to create SVG diagrams in XML."

Second, it recognizes the value of "we shall ship no spec before its time"
(to paraphrase Orson Welles' old wine commercial): "Another encouraging
feature of SVG is that it has had significant implementation experience
during its development, which appears to have been highly beneficial to the
Working Group. This has resulted in a commercial vendor, Adobe, with
software support
for the specification already in its third public release cycle."

Third, the SVG WG (unlike most other W3C groups, the DOM being the notable
exception in my biased opinion) accepts the proposition that one size does
NOT fit all:  "The Web is increasingly no longer limited to the traditional
PC. There's a significant emerging constituency of devices with limited
display size: PDAs and cell phones... Indeed, the mobile and PDA use cases
have been identified by the SVG Working Group, which proposed two profiles
of SVG, Basic and Tiny, as part of SVG 1.1/2.0."

Unfortunately, as Edd points out, a couple of key client-side vendors (one
of whom is quite vocal in promoting "standards" when they suit its own
strategic purposes) have shown little interest in supporting SVG.  We can
only hope that its use cases for mobile devices help it find a niche, or ...
(taking another toke off the hookah <grin>) ... that maybe SVG will provide
a way for the niche browsers to strike a few blows against the empire and
get some healthy competition going again in that market.

Am I smoking (metaphorical) dope here, or does SVG almost make one believe
that there is hope for the XML world after all?