Paul Prescod's put up a fascinating piece on SVG that I think is worth reading even if you don't care about SVG per se: http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2003/07/16/svg-prescod.html It's currently attracting the usual "you don't understand about SWF freedom" remarks from the Flash folks, but there's a piece of the story that I don't think they can answer, and which changes the way I look at XML itself. ---------------------- The world of vector graphics is currently quite fragmented. There are a variety of competing APIs and vector graphic file formats, some proprietary, others domain-specific, and many both. If there had been a dominant one, the Web would have used it and SVG would never have been invented. This situation is analogous to the environment that existed before the rise of the Internet Protocol (IP). Before IP became ubiquitous, companies like Novell, Banyan, Apple, Microsoft and IBM had their own specialized protocols. They all had various strengths and weaknesses, and they are all still used in some capacity today. But IP was so generic that it swept through like a weed, filling every gap left by the established protocols (e.g. long distance file transfer) and then gradually replacing them even in their strongholds (e.g. LAN print servers). Among its strengths, IP was designed to be the neutral zone between the variety of proprietary protocols. If you needed to share information across networks using proprietary protocols, it was much easier for both ends to implement an IP adapter than for each end-point to implement a dozen different protocol bridges. Because IP was not owned by any particular company, each vendor could implement it without transferring control over its corporate direction to a competitor. The implications for vector graphics should be obvious. ------------------------- Paul goes on to explore SVG's weed-like gap-filling properties, and the story is pretty compelling. Take the weak points, then use the benefits of ubiquity and openness to break down the tougher opponents. -- Simon St.Laurent Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets Errors, errors, all fall down! http://simonstl.com -- http://monasticxml.org
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