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The Icon Bar: News and features: Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0 now a W3C Recommendation

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0 now a W3C Recommendation

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 14:14, 7/9/2001 | , ,
SVG, the XML-stylee vector graphics format, has now been made an official W3C recommendation according to this press release.

So what? I hear you cry. Well, SVG is a "vendor-neutral, cross-platform" format capable of generating fairly complex graphics, with animation capabilities, within a small file size. Although the technology is very different, think GIF without the copyright problems, only better. Scripting capabilities also mean you can do groovy stuff like a nicely shaded analogue clock, stretchable to any size, which shows the correct time - and continues to update as long as you look at it.

And the RISC OS angle? In a nice bit of fortuitous timing, the imminent release of RISC OS 4.2 includes a copy of old favourite (!)Draw that saves in both native and SVG format; no doubt Vantage is not very far behind, and can we take bets on another ArtWorks plugin from Martin W├╝rthner? If you can't wait, there's also a free Draw to SVG converter already available.

On the rendering side, Warm Silence Software already have an SVG rendering plug-in. All of this means that, for once, there's a new technology that RISC OS users can actually use and participate in.

Source: Slashdot

  Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0 now a W3C Recommendation
  (15:36 7/9/2001)
  Richard Goodwin (16:00 7/9/2001)
    Rob Kendrick (16:38 7/9/2001)
      Richard Goodwin (17:27 7/9/2001)
        Guy Inchbald (17:42 7/9/2001)
          Michael Stubbs (18:36 7/9/2001)
            Andrew Weston (19:38 7/9/2001)
              Gunnlaugur Jonsson (03:15 8/9/2001)
                Michael Gerbracht (08:06 8/9/2001)
                  Rob Kendrick (10:43 8/9/2001)
                    Rob Impersonator (15:09 8/9/2001)
                      Rob Kendrick (20:16 8/9/2001)
                        Gerph (14:57 9/9/2001)
Rob Kendrick Message #89065, posted at 15:36, 7/9/2001
Unregistered user Erm, GIF is totally unsimilar to SVG except they are both used to store an image... that's like saying Draw and Sprite files are basically the same thing.

Also, GIF doesn't suffer any 'copyright' problems.

Also, SVG files are rarely smaller than Draw of WMF files, so I wouldn't describe them as 'small' either.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Richard Goodwin Message #89066, posted at 16:00, 7/9/2001, in reply to message #89065
Unregistered user Oh, here we go, Rob "Pedantic" Kendrick rides again.

I said GIF and SVG are different - they can just be used for similar things (i.e. drawn images, not really photographic images). Because these simple images can be animated in a way that, for instance, PNG can't (without moving to MNG), people should think about using SVG where they used to use GIF. Hence, "think GIF without the copyright problems".

And yes, GIF does have copyright problems. Not the GIF format per se, but the LZW compression patent makes exporting GIF savers to the US a problem - hence no-one without deep pockets will make a commercial GIF savers these days. Example: Vantage. Example: InterGIF, which has to have a disclaimer that it's completely non-commercial in the docs. SVG, who cares - it's an open format.

And who cares if SVG is smaller or larger than Draw or WMF?!? They can do some very clever things in one command, and so can potentially produce images the same screen size as a GIF in less space - even given that GIFs are compressed and raw XML is not. Having hand-written some SVG, I know that I can get a nice graduated fill in a matter of bytes. They're certainly a hell of a lot smaller than raw bitmaps!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Rob Kendrick Message #89067, posted at 16:38, 7/9/2001, in reply to message #89066
Unregistered user Oh, here we go, Richard "Makes factually incorrect statements and argues when he's pointed out wrong" Goodwin rides again. ;-)

GIF, I repeat, has no copyright problems. Although for format could be said to be copyrighted by CompuServe, now AOL, they give no restrictions on its use. Unisys, however, own the patent on the LZW compression method. Patent != Copyright. Further more, exporting LZW from the US is no problem; it is not considered a weapon under US law like encryption. Unisys just ask for a royalty from any commercial GIF compressor. This is vastly different from what you have stated, and only leads to further confusion for other people.

Although you don't compare the file size of a typical SVG file, you do say 'small file size', leaving the reader to assume it is small when compared to most other formats, which is also untrue, and only leads to confusion.

Honestly, this place is becoming nearly as much of a vacuum of fact as slashdot :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Richard Goodwin Message #89068, posted at 17:27, 7/9/2001, in reply to message #89067
Unregistered user Makes one wonder why you stick around. Or perhaps I should stop crediting Icon Bar readership with intelligence and go into the whole history of why GIFs are bad, compare every file format to every other, and so on in excruciating detail before I even start writing a news item. Sometimes things have to be written short form, and sorry, but I don't have time to right an essay on copyrights, patents and whatnot.

There are days when I really don't know why I bother.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Guy Inchbald Message #89069, posted at 17:42, 7/9/2001, in reply to message #89068
Unregistered user I really hate to interrupt.

The new !Draw SVG export is described as "basic", so no animated icons yet a while.

And how many platform- or application- dependent scripting dialects are going to appear, all no doubt conforming to a plethora of non-standard standards?

And then there'll be all the newsgroup threads on how embedded bitmaps astonishingly still don't scale smoothly like the vector stuff.

Hohum, friday afternoon and all's well.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Michael Stubbs Message #89070, posted at 18:36, 7/9/2001, in reply to message #89069
Unregistered user Rich, if someone wants to tear your article to pieces in a pedantic manner, simply ignore them and they might go away.

Whenever I've released details of Web site redesigns, there's always a group of people who tell me how bad I am for using a fixed width table, or darig not to use a .png instead of a .jpg or some such annoying complaint.

They're all the same people!!!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Andrew Weston Message #89071, posted at 19:38, 7/9/2001, in reply to message #89070
Unregistered user You do an exhausting job Richard and a service to us all.
Now, can you help me with a couple of games? ;-)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Gunnlaugur Jonsson Message #89072, posted at 03:15, 8/9/2001, in reply to message #89071
Unregistered user Rob, compare the SVG files to GIFs, PNGs or JPEGs and they'll seem small. That's the only comparison that should be made. Draw and WMF are totally irrelevant to the issue since neither has anything to do with the internet for which SVG was designed.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Michael Gerbracht Message #89073, posted at 08:06, 8/9/2001, in reply to message #89072
Unregistered user When the SVG files can be animated, where is then the big difference between SVG and Flash?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Rob Kendrick Message #89074, posted at 10:43, 8/9/2001, in reply to message #89073
Unregistered user <chuckle>
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Rob Impersonator Message #89075, posted at 15:09, 8/9/2001, in reply to message #89074
Unregistered user <fickle> ;-)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Rob Kendrick Message #89076, posted at 20:16, 8/9/2001, in reply to message #89075
Unregistered user I can't actually see what I've changed umpredictably, there. Perhaps my impersonator doesn't have a good grasp of the English language? ;-)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Gerph Message #89077, posted at 14:57, 9/9/2001, in reply to message #89076
Unregistered user Briefly. Richard; you're wrong to compare GIF to SVG; they're so different it's unthinkable. Compare to Flash, by all means, but don't compare to GIF because they're very dissimilar. If you want concepts that people can understand, then say that SVG is like Drawfiles, but non-proprietary.

However... Some months before that argument began, the discussion was related to SVG. Nobody has actually asked me anything about SVG for many moons, even in light of this announcement. But, if anyone is interested in not correcting other people, you can find the current implementation details and TestSuite compliance summary at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/justin.fletcher/SVG. This is a temporary site, that I've just stuck up there. And of course, the changelog for the SVG handlers are up on http://www.movspclr.co.uk/cvs, as ever.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]

The Icon Bar: News and features: Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0 now a W3C Recommendation