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SVG & Macromedia

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  • Alek Traunic
    I have been reading through the comments that have been added about what is perceived as a lack of support for SVG by the industry, Macromedia and Microsoft
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 17 1:23 PM
      I have been reading through the comments that have been added about
      what is perceived as a lack of support for SVG by the industry,
      Macromedia and Microsoft specifically, and I don't really feel the
      heart of the matter has been reached. As I stated in a previous post
      I feel it is still too early in SVG's growth to condemn any company
      from keeping quite on the matter. Regardless of that, here are my
      two cents.

      Microsoft is their own beast and I don't see them having much concern
      about SVG, or anything else for that matter. The past has shown that
      they work with the philosophy that their way is the only way. They
      will only come around after everyone else has proven a technology
      first, so I'm not going to concern myself much with what they do.
      SVG will become what we make it just fine without their support.

      Macromedia's situation is very different. Just by being vector based
      SVG and Flash beg for a competitive comparison and that puts
      Macromedia on the spot. I've even had to describe SVG in relation to
      Flash for some of the non-technical individuals that are curious
      about what I am working on. I suspect though that if Flash were
      Macromedia's only product they would have no issue with SVG. In fact
      I suspect they would embrace it. LiveMotion and Flash are the only
      two products out there that could be rapidly re-deployed to become
      quite impressive SVG development tools. Some have said that
      Macromedia is unwilling to create a product that develops an open
      standard. This is not the case at all, Dreamweaver is a good product
      and all it does it write a file that could be created with just a
      little more effort in any text editor. My concern with Macromedia is
      that they have called SVG static and on a couple occasions played
      down that SVG is actually incredibly dynamic. In my own experiments I
      have done some work with altering SVG pages with new content and
      graphics on the fly all depending user input into a form. I am also
      in the midst of doing a similar experiment using ASP and a database.
      The goal with these experiments has been to learn about what SVG can
      do that Flash and Generator cannot do. The biggest discovery, and I
      think biggest threat to Macromedia, is that SVG makes Generator
      useless. I admittedly do not have a great deal of experience with
      Generator but from what I have seen a combination of SVG and a
      server-side scripting language should be able to do anything it can
      do and more. This is a threat, but I really hope it does not turn
      them against the technology. With Dreamweaver, Flash, and Freehand
      Macromedia really does have the knowledge to make a very impressive
      XML/SVG development tool. With that being said it is also very
      apparent that Adobe plans to beat them to the punch this time around.

      When you look at LiveMotion, GoLive, Illustrator, and the Internet
      related features showing up in all their other products Adobe is
      poised to take the lead in the XML/SVG arena. Overall, competition
      is good, and I like to have choices. Personally I'd adopt the Adobe
      product line for SVG because I like their interfaces better, but I
      know a great deal of Flash users that would rather stay with an
      interface they know, even if that means only being able to do Flash
      and not moving forward into SVG. I hope Macromedia does not try and
      leverage that tendency. That could mean sacrificing their Generator
      line, which I doubt they are happy about.

      I have been really impressed with SVG and taking my DOM knowledge
      from DHTML has allowed me to move into it quickly. Still I would
      love to have a fully developed creation tool that is more than just a
      graphics program with an export feature. SVG also has some
      shortcomings that I would have thought would have been better
      considered (i.e. no "textbox" that wraps long lines) that present
      limits to fulfilling it's potential. Also just the fact that it's
      definition is still evolving and that there isn't a product that
      supports the full spec yet play into it's weakness as a competitive
      tool. But I am anxiously awaiting the future of this standard. In
      the meantime I will work with what we have and hopefully turn some
      heads. Awareness will bring about support, so it is our job as
      developers to see how much we can do.

      Wade Harrell * Sr Content Engineer
      Iguana Studios Inc * 16 W 19th * 10th Floor * New York, NY
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