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First of all I must say it's very refreshing to hear comments from someone
tech-savvy who's working in a field like graphic design who is prepared to
look at the technologies without religious dogma.
>I'm desperate to see a powerful SVG editor built that speaks to
>designers and animators.
Yes, (me too!) and products like Jasc's WebDraw and (from what you said) SVG
Studio seem to be going in the right direction.
But I want something that does more than
>just draw Bezier curves and do timeline-based object management. I
>want something that transforms XML documents into SVG (in other
>words, lets you create data-driven SVG).
But there you're talking of systems we already have - producing XML from
data sources is the stock-in-trade of a probably a high proportion of the
people on this list. I think I can safely assume you've mastered XSLT ;-)
It is necessary to see what the results look like, but something like the
Adobe browser plugin will do that. Ok, I do agree that there's still a lot
that could be done tool-wise to keep the designers away from the programmers
(and vice versa), but the tools XML folks already use cover quite a sizeable
chunk of the requirements.
The real power of XML in
>publishing seems to me to be the repurposing of documents. Just
>saying SVG is XML isn't a good justification for using it. I want
>to repurpose documents so that I can store them as XML and send
>them out as Flash/SVG, PDF, and HTML. We're not there yet.
We're very, very close. Transforming XML docs to HTML is usually trivial, to
SVG it isn't much harder. FOP (Formatting Objects Processor)  can do
stuff like SVG, PS & PDF already. There may be problems using Flash as a
target format for technical and/or legal reasons, I really don't know. All
this stuff can be data driven, server or client, just patch in your existing
>seems like we could be. Of course, who's going to write this
>software? Not me, certainly.
I don't see why not! (heh) - the majority of applications are dead easy if
you know XSLT and/or DOM.
btw, here  are some simple server-side demo apps. The slide maker takes
form data, wraps it up in <tags/> and then applies simple XSLT to get the
SVG. Though it wasn't necessary it uses HTML as an intermediate format, so
although it's not shown in this demo there are two of the publishing formats
you mentioned available. An viewer is needed - the (free) Adobe browser
plugin is probably the least effort, it works transparently inside Internet