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summary of the discussion on “XML Human Readable”

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  • Laurent Tardif
    This is a summary of the discussion on “XML Human Readable” on the 15 of october. This mail can be aslo be found there with some link in the text :
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 29, 2001
      This is a summary of the discussion on “XML Human Readable” on the 15 of
      october.
      This mail can be aslo be found there with some link in the text :
      http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~tardif/SVG.html
      And a subset of the mail use to make this summary can be found :
      http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~tardif/SVGLong.html


      This is a summary of the discussion on “XML Human Readable” on the 15 of
      october.

      Definition:

      The first point, is to define what I think most of the people in the
      group call human readable in the SVG/XML communoty:
      Human readable can be defined as a syntax than a human can read and
      write, but also that can be easily processed by a program. In the XML
      community we can add also something like: and which can be easily parsed
      and processed (by XSLT or DOM manipulation).

      Objectives of the Human Readable file:

      The discussion starts with the current path syntax. Somebody suggested
      to extend it to obtain something like :
      <path id=”myPath” …. >
      <start id=”Point1” x=”10” y=”20”/>
      <lineTo id=”Point1” x=”20” y=”20”/>
      <moveTo id=”Point1” x=”50” y=”50”/>
      <lineTo id=”Point1” x=”60” y=”80”/>
      </path>

      The motivation for this syntax was (excuse me if I made some
      misinterpretation) :
      1) have an id on each point to allow this node to be referenced
      <path id=”myPath” …. >
      <start id=”Point1” x=”10” y=”20”>
      <Animate begin="0s" attributeName="x" from="10" to="60"
      calcMode="linear" dur="3s" repeatCount="none"/>
      </start>
      <lineTo id=”Point1” x=”20” y=”20”/>
      <moveTo id=”Point1” x=”50” y=”50”/>
      <lineTo id=”Point1” x=”60” y=”80”/>
      </path>

      2) Allow some automatic processing or generation of the path via XSLT or
      other automatic tools
      3) To these two points I think we can add validation of the SVG document

      I think, most of the people will agree with these facts, but the main
      argument against this solution was the size of the SVG file.

      I agree than the size of SVG files is an important challenge, but this
      challenge must not overide the other challenges which are simplicity and
      automatic processing of the file.

      Summary of the arguments:

      If I try to forget my “verbose SVG addict point of view”, and if I take
      the “independent point of view”, I can try to list the advantages and
      disadvantages of each solution:
      Long Path:
      + Simplicity
      + Readability (human or program)
      + Ease of animation declaration and interaction on subpart of path
      - Increase the size of the file
      Short Path :
      + Size of the file
      - Need micro-parsing
      - Animation on subpart of the path required scripts
      - Difficult to validate SVG document with the current XMLTool.

      Upon considering the above list, without hesitation my answer is, to
      use both long path and short path, so that every body, according to
      their need
      use the solution they prefer. And, at the same time look at some
      solutions to solve the size probleme of the SVG file.

      I think, at some solutions like: <path description="verbose"
      collapsable="true" > can give some information to the DOM
      implementation, for this node, not to have a full representation but to
      convert the verbose version to the short one.
      The server can also do this conversion before sending the file.

      Also on the file size challenge, when I see some file like :
      http://64.224.73.212/home.svg (130kb), where 90% of the file is scripts,
      it encourages
      me to think that built-in functionality are good (look at this 7Kb of
      SVG with few scripts :http://www.visionmonster.com/svg/ )

      For the file size problem, when I see the SVG source of :
      http://chuma.cas.usf.edu/~jmaranto/tafkaopener.svg, I’d like a solution
      for the font
      element to be found, and maybe a pen attribute on the shape element, or
      some element like TextAlongAShape can help.
      Something like : <TextAlongAShape text=”myText” Shape=”MyShape”/>
      And so the previous example can be something like:
      < text id="MyText"> Hello World </text>
      <Circle id="MyShape” x="10" y="20" r="20">
      <animate attribute=”r” from=”10” to=”20” loop=”infinite”/>
      </circle>
      <TextAlongShape text=”MyText” Shape=”MyShape” movingAlongShape=”true”/>


      That’s all for the summary.

      Laurent



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