World Wide Web Consortium Issues Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0 as a Recommendation

SVG Delivers XML-Based Vector Graphics to the Web

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http://www.w3.org/ -- 5 September 2001 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has issued Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation, representing cross-industry agreement on an XML-based language that allows authors to create two dimensional vector graphics. A W3C Recommendation indicates that a specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who favor its widespread adoption.

W3C Meets the Needs of Web Designers with Scalable Vector Graphics

Web designers have requirements for graphics formats which display well on a range of different devices, screen sizes, and printer resolutions. They need rich graphical capabilities, good internationalization, responsive animation and interactive behavior in a way that takes advantage of the growing XML infrastructure used in e-commerce, publishing, and business to business communication.

"With SVG, Web Graphics move firmly from mere decoration to true graphical information," declared Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. "Scalable Vector Graphics are the key to providing rich, reusable visual content for the Web. At last, designers have the open graphics format they need to make professional graphics not only work visually on the Web, but perform as searchable, reusable Web content."

XML Brings Searchability, Dynamism, and Extensibility

"Designers are reaching larger audiences with an increasing variety of Web-enabled devices from palmtops to desktops to printers. They need graphics which can be restyled for different purposes," explained Chris Lilley, W3C Graphics Activity Lead. "But most of all, they need to be able to handle their graphics the same way as their text and business data, which nowadays are in XML. SVG is specifically designed to let them do that."

Web designers demand vendor-neutral, cross-platform interoperability. W3C's Extensible Markup Language (XML) has become the universal format for document and data interchange on the Web. SVG 1.0 brings the advantages of XML to the world of vector graphics. It enables the textual content of graphics - from logos to diagrams - to be searched, indexed, and displayed in multiple languages. This is a significant benefit for both accessibility and internationalization.

SVG 1.0 builds on other W3C specifications such as the Document Object Model (DOM), which allows for easy server-side generation and dynamic, client-side modification of graphics and text. SVG 1.0 also benefits from W3C technologies such as CSS and XSL style sheets, RDF metadata, XML Linking, and SMIL Animation, which also advanced to Recommendation today.

In addition to being an excellent format for stand-alone graphics, the full power of SVG 1.0 is seen when it is combined with other XML grammars; for example to deliver multimedia applications, or provide rendering capability for business data - from interactive charts to process visualization. "The declarative facilities of SMIL Animation, combined with scripting through the DOM, opens new possibilities for Web-based interface design," added Dean Jackson, W3C Team Contact for the SVG Working Group and W3C Fellow from CSIRO.

Bringing the XML advantage to vector graphics benefits all industries which depend on rich graphics delivery - advertising, electronic commerce, process control, mapping, financial services, and education all have immediate needs for SVG 1.0.

SVG 1.0 Implementations Demonstrate Interoperability Through Testing

Following W3C Process, the SVG Working Group was required to prove that their specification was sound and implementable. Through vigorous testing, the SVG Working Group was able to demonstrate implementations of SVG in a wide range of Open Source and commercial SVG implementations already available in the marketplace, with more implementations under development.

Created by the SVG Working Group, the SVG 1.0 Test Suite plays an essential role in evaluating SVG implementations. While the changes between the SVG 1.0 Candidate Recommendation version and the final Recommendation are small, the SVG Test Suite, updated to match the SVG 1.0 Recommendation, is to be released once all Quality Assurance work is complete.

Increasing numbers of drawing tools export to SVG 1.0, and SVG can now be viewed on many platforms from desktops to handheld devices. SVG implementations are not limited to static tools. Database-driven, dynamically created graphics are a natural fit for SVG. Forward-looking designers, who already understand the benefits of vector graphics, are now gaining experience with SVG on the client and server ends, and XML integration.

SVG Enjoys Broad, Continued Industry Support

Key industry and research players have contributed to the SVG 1.0 Specification. The newly rechartered SVG Working Group continues to drive the technology forward with work on modularized SVG (1.1) and SVG 2.0, which focuses on profiles for mobile devices and printing. The full list of participants are, in alphabetical order: Adobe Systems, AOL/Netscape, Apple, Autodesk, Bitflash, Canon, Corel, CSIRO, Eastman Kodak, Ericsson, Excosoft, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, ILOG, IntraNet Systems, KDDI, Macromedia, Microsoft, Nokia, OASIS, Openwave, Opera, Oxford Brookes University, Quark, Savage Software, Schemasoft, Sun Microsystems, Xerox, and ZoomOn.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 520 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/