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"SVG is just a file format ..." - Discuss

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  • AndrewWatt2001@aol.com
    ... I thought it might be useful to respond to John Dowdell s oft repeated and highly misleading Macromedia mantra, SVG is just a file format ... . The truth
    Message 1 of 2 , May 2 4:09 AM
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      Quote from a piece of John Dowdell propaganda:


      > SVG is just a file format for
      > vector graphics, and never solved the practical problem of widespread
      > computer viewability

      I thought it might be useful to respond to John Dowdell's oft repeated and
      highly misleading Macromedia mantra, "SVG is just a file format ...".

      The truth is that SVG is much more than a file format - it is a declarative
      vector graphics programming language.

      Of course SVG may be serialised as a file format. So can the C language, or a
      host of other programming languages. But not even Macromedia suggests that
      the C language is "just a file format". But perhaps there isn't the same
      commercial imperative for Macromedia to spread misleading information about C
      as it has to spread misleading information about SVG.

      Andrew Watt


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • ronan@roasp.com
      (This is an opinion piece)... Andrew, I want to say that you re right. And I also want to say you re wrong. I just can t decide which way to go on this. On the
      Message 2 of 2 , May 2 5:58 AM
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        (This is an opinion piece)...

        Andrew,

        I want to say that you're right. And I also want to say you're wrong.

        I just can't decide which way to go on this.

        On the one hand, SVG is like SWF is like HTML is like PDF...
        These are all ink for a paperless world. Not much more than that.
        Now, that said, SVG is a special kind of ink. The kind that is free, does
        not require a proprietary pen, is eqsily readable by anyone who wants to
        learn how, and is not limited to a few monks in some 12th century monastery.

        SVG is in my eyes the evolution of ink. Just like paper replaced mud bricks
        or stone as the physical medium to carry messages, svg stands to replace
        html in the internet. Like all big improvements, it's underrated by the
        legacy people (Believe me I KNOW Legacy... I code Perl :/ ).

        So is SVG a file format? yes.
        And is SVG a fundamental shift in how the web can be used? yes.
        And is SVG any different than SWF in fundamental functionality? no.
        And is SVG a framework as well as a file format? yes.
        And is SWF special in any way that SVG is not? no.
        And who really cares? Nobody.

        And is there an advantage to using SVG for vector graphics?
        Well... Writing was available only to the select few in Europe until the
        printing press was invented (I like that cute analogy).
        I agree with John Gage's feeling that SVG is the internet's printing press
        for vector graphics. It brings vector-graphics application design to the
        people. It could have just as easily been SWF in that place, but because
        it's profit based, it's doomed to go the way of the Church. It once was THE
        ONLY TRUE WAY and now is relegated to SOME OBSCURE PROPRIETARY WAY.

        But we souhldn't argue about all of this. Natural selection is already doing
        this for us. Companies are cowards and will adopt the path of leasts
        resistance when it comes to vectored graphics. For now, this path is still
        favouring SWF from the point of view of penetration. But soon, very very
        soon, this advantage will melt away and the path of least resitance will
        point increasingly at SVG.

        So my conclusion is that we (like me right now) are wasting valuable
        bandwidth addressign the pros and cons of SVG vs SWF. Simply put, there are
        already many more ways to generate SVG than SWF available, and this ratio is
        increasing daily. SWF could have been great if they had spat out advanced
        support (flash6) a year ago or if the generation engines were not so
        proprietary. But they didn't release flash 6 early enough and the generation
        engines for dynamics are proprietary.

        So evolution is taking place all on its own and if my instinct is right
        internet decay will take care of erasing swf from our the web application
        context of our memories in a few years. Case in point, gif format images are
        slowly dissapearing from the net and being replaced by png images because of
        their proprietary nature and of because of unysis.

        So...

        Let's do other things and revisit this topic in a year. Then, we'll see
        which file format/framework/etc is dominant (or being talked about at all).

        Ronan
        www.roasp.com
        www.perlsvg.net

        Boy, I bet I know of at least one person who's gonna flame this...


        ?-----Original Message-----
        ?From: AndrewWatt2001@... [mailto:AndrewWatt2001@...]
        ?Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2002 1:09 PM
        ?To: svg-developers@yahoogroups.com
        ?Subject: [svg-developers] "SVG is just a file format ..." - Discuss
        ?
        ?
        ?Quote from a piece of John Dowdell propaganda:
        ?
        ?
        ?> SVG is just a file format for
        ?> vector graphics, and never solved the practical problem of widespread
        ?> computer viewability
        ?
        ?I thought it might be useful to respond to John Dowdell's oft repeated and
        ?highly misleading Macromedia mantra, "SVG is just a file format ...".
        ?
        ?The truth is that SVG is much more than a file format - it is a
        ?declarative
        ?vector graphics programming language.
        ?
        ?Of course SVG may be serialised as a file format. So can the C
        ?language, or a
        ?host of other programming languages. But not even Macromedia suggests that
        ?the C language is "just a file format". But perhaps there isn't the same
        ?commercial imperative for Macromedia to spread misleading
        ?information about C
        ?as it has to spread misleading information about SVG.
        ?
        ?Andrew Watt
        ?
        ?
        ?[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        ?
        ?
        ?
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