W3C Interaction


Scalable Vector Graphics Working Group

This charter is written in accordance with section 4.2.2 of the W3C Process Document.

About this Charter

This is an extension to the previous SVG charter. The major difference is the adoption of the W3C Current Patent Practice over the previous IPR terms. The SVG Working Group remains a Royalty Free Working Group.

Mission Statement

The working group will be chartered to extend the SVG 1.1 format, producing a modular XML tagset usable in mixed-XML namespace documents. SVG is a graphics format that has been implemented in viewers and authoring tools and has been adopted by the content authoring community as a replacement for many current uses of raster graphics. SVG 1.1 is suitable for desktop and palmtop systems. SVG Mobile Profiles: SVG Basic and SVG Tiny are suitable for mobile and other resource limited devices.

At the same time, several requirements were identified in the SVG 1.1 timeframe that could not be fully realized in the SVG 1.1 specification. The principal request is greater integration with other W3C specifications, such as XForms (to allow SVG form controls); CSS and XSL (to allow wrapping styled text inside graphics); and to ensure that SVG graphics can be placed inline in multi-namespace XML documents. Also, SVG is often used as a rendering library for XML documents. This has generated requests for enhancement to the core SVG 1.1 language that would enable the development of components (or extensions), allowing client-side transformation of arbitrary XML content into SVG for display. Furthermore there is a need to improve printing, for example to allow multi-page print documents. Each enhancement to the core language, along with each solution for integration with other specifications, must be appropriate for all SVG usage scenarios. In particular, SVG will consider the applicability to both desktop and resource-limited devices, such as mobile devices and printers.

The work on SVG will mean that the graphics in Web documents will have a smaller file size, load faster, be more interactive, and be displayable on a wider range of device resolutions from small mobile devices through office computer monitors to high resolution printers. This will be a significant advance in Web functionality. Interoperability, both in multiple browsers across multiple platforms and while being read and written by multiple authoring tools, is a prime focus. See the activity statement for the overall goals and rationale of this activity area.

Scope and Work Items

Architectural Constraints

The architectural constraints on the technology to be developed are:

Technical Items

Tracking and Maintenance Items

Success criteria


This group will operate through 30 June 2004.


The group will create one or more Working Drafts, Test Suites, Implementation Reports addressing the technical, tracking and maintenance items mentioned above, and track early implementations leading towards the release of further SVG specifications and the establishment of a deployed base of SVG conformant software. The test suites will be distributed under the appropriate W3C Document or Software licenses.

The precise Working Drafts in production at a given time are listed on the WG page.

The group will produce two Proposed Recommendations, drawn from stable Working Drafts.

Minutes of teleconferences and face to face meetings are also available from the WG page

Patent Policy

W3C promotes an open working environment. Whenever possible, technical decisions should be made unencumbered by intellectual property right (IPR) claims. This is a Royalty Free Working Group, as described in W3C's Current Patent Practice.

Working Group participants disclose patent claims by sending email to patent-issues@w3.org; please see Current Patent Practice for more information about disclosures.

Release policy

A list of documents actively under consideration by the group, is maintained by the chair. To add a document to the list, or to revise a document in the list, the draft should be sent to the chair and/or the group mailing list. The chair will decide on new/revised drafts in collaboration with the group, provided the document falls within the scope of work items for the group.

As documents stabilize, they will be released as W3C Working Drafts. No document may stay on the list of documents actively under consideration by the group for more than three months without being released to the public as an intermediate draft. Documents may be released sooner if consensus is achieved. If the three month deadline is reached, the current draft will be released (and not a draft from three months earlier). If, before this time, anyone in the group feels the current draft will not be not suitable for public release as an intermediate draft, their options are:

Relationship to other forums

Groups within W3C:

Hypertext Coordination Group
The SVG WG will coordinate its work with other Working Groups primarily through participation in the Hypertext Coordination Group.
XML Working Group
The SVG WG does not address changes to XML syntax. SVG will be written in XML 1.0, with the addition of XML namespaces.
Document Object Model (DOM)
SVG content will be accessible from the XML Document Object Model.
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative
The work of the SVG WG will be coordinated with the WAI project to ensure accessibility of SVG.
Coordination with the Xforms Working Group will ensure that SVG will be usable as a rich presentation layer for XForms, allowing integration of form controls in SVG graphics.
Coordination with the SYMM WG or its successor will build on the joint work done to create SMIL Animation, and allow integration of SVG and SMIL 2.0
XML Linking
The SVG format will continue to use the results of the XLink group for internal hyperlinking, linking into and out of the SVG graphic.
CSS Working Group
The work of the SVG WG will be coordinated with this group to ensure that SVG and mixed SVG/other namespace documents can be styled.
XSL Working Group
The work of the SVG WG will be coordinated with this group to ensure that SVG and mixed SVG/other namespace documents can be styled, and that mixtures of SVG and XSL-FO namespace can be generated by XSL-T stylesheets.
Device Independence Activity
The work of the SVG WG will be coordinated with this activity, in particular the Device Independence Working Group to ensure that SVG can be used on a broader range of devices.
Internationalization Working Group
The I18N WG will review the SVG specification to ensure it is adequately Internationalized.

Forums outside W3C:

The SVG Working Group will coordinate with ongoing work within 3GPP in order to best facilitate adoption of SVG Mobile.
Print on Demand Initiative
The SVG Working Group will coordinate with PODI in order to best facilitate the compatibility of SVG Print as a content format for PODI print formats.


One or more public Working Drafts, plus associated Test Suites and Implementation Reports, will be produced covering each of the Work Items, to the following schedule:


A bi-monthly face to face meeting will be arranged. Meeting details are made available on the W3C Member Calendar and from the WG page


The chair of the group will be Chris Lilley (W3C). The staff contact will be Dean Jackson (W3C).

Communication Mechanisms


The archived member-only mailing list w3c-svg-wg@w3.org is the primary means of discussion within the group. Postings to this list are Member confidential, as is the Working Group page and the charter.

The archived mailing list www-svg@w3.org is used for public discussion of Scalable Vector Graphics, and WG members are encouraged to subscribe. There is a public page on SVG, maintained by the chair.


Biweekly 90-minute phone conferences will be held. Minutes will be taken in rotation by WG members and mailed to the WG list within 24 hours.

Voting Mechanisms

The Group works by consensus, including the use of straw polls. In the event of failure to achieve consensus, the Group may resort to a vote as described in the Process Document. Each Member company which has at least one Group member in good standing may vote. There is one vote per W3C Member company. Votes are held by email to allow all participants a chance to vote; there is a two week voting period followed by a period of two working days for the announcement of the result. W3C staff and invited experts do not vote; however in the event of a tie the chair has a casting vote. If the issue is solved by consensus during the voting period, the vote is cancelled.


Participants (Working Group members, Invited experts, and W3C Team members) are required not to disclose information obtained during participation, until that information is publicly available.

by W3C Members

Requirements for meeting attendance and timely response are described in the Process document. Participation (meetings, reviewing and writing drafts) is expected to consume time equal to 1 day per week for a period of one year.

W3C Members may also offer to review one or more working drafts from the group for clarity, consistency, technical merit, fitness for purpose and conformance with other W3C specifications. They are required to provide the review comments by the agreed-to date but are not required to attend meetings.

by invited experts

As decided on a case by case basis, invited experts may attend a single meeting or a series; they may in some cases be subscribed to the Group mailing list. For the duration of their participation, invited experts are encouraged to adopt the same requirements for meeting attendance and timely response as are required of W3C Members.

by W3C Team

W3C Team will ensure that the mailing lists and Group page are adequately maintained and that public Working Drafts are made available on the Technical Reports page. W3C Team will post minutes of teleconferences to the Group mailing list and to the Group page.

A W3C Team member will provide liaison between any non-Team document editors and the W3C Team; including posting revisions of Working Drafts to the Group page.

W3C Team are expected to adopt the same requirements for meeting attendance and timely response as are required of Working Group members.

Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Dean Jackson <dean@w3.org>
Last modified: $Date: 2004/03/12 19:28:32 $