canonical expressions -- part 1
- [Part 1 is background. Part 2 is the part that makes the most sense to read: practical questions. Part 3 is a generalization pertaining to the nature of writing and visual expression with finite alphabets.]
One of the many things that appeals to some of its enthusiasts about SVG SMIL* is its sparseness and elegance. Having the animation "close" (in the document/reading/authoring sense) to the objects being animated ** makes good semantic sense.***
But beyond the good sense of having things close to the very properties that define their uniqueness, there is the sheer parsimony of it all. Having fewer keystrokes translates (often) into more understandable and maintainable code. ****
A similar sense of elegance in areas, not necessarily involving animation, appeals to others in the SVG community because there is a sense, in so many instances, that of all the intriguingly different ways of making the same "picture" with SVG, some are obviously "better".*****
One of my students recently inquired about sources for public domain SVG imagery. The obvious repository, thanks in large part to the Inkscape community, is http://www.openclipart.org/ . Another of my students inquired about accessing those images through server-side scripts to dynamically bring them into web pages, and this, of course, made me go and revisit some of the sodipodi-infested discards and treasures at that site.****** .
From there I visited Wikimedia Commons, another good source of iconography. That is where part 2 of this story commences.
**rather than tucked away in some possibly encrypted CSS file served from an off-shore data-warehouse
*** which means enhanced accessibility in, at least, some universe.
****Though developing ISO 14000 guidelines for declarative programming is probably a decade or two away since we'll have to revamp ISO 14000 to become parsimony-compliant first, and that will require a needs analysis that is, itself, ISO 14000 compliant)
***** though it would be hard to characterize what "better" means, in a way that would generalize beyond the uniqueness of particular circumstances.
****** The treasures there are numerous, but they are often neither scriptable nor accessible. I have written some scripts to help add descriptors to the content, but it made me wonder again about the overall efficacy of robot-generated tags for human accessibility. Where does garbage go in the information age?
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