ISSUE-2062: foreignObject content and referenced resource

foreignObject refs

foreignObject content and referenced resource

SVG 1.2 Tiny: Last Call
Raised by:
Doug Schepers
Opened on:
Dr. Olaf Hoffmann
doing some experiments with foreignObject I discovered, that there is some
information missing in the definition or description of foreignObject.
This should be clarified.

1. Compared to SVG1.1 the use of xlink:href is new, but in the attribute
definitions is not mentioned, what should happen with the referenced
resource (what can be almost everything according to 14.1.4 Reference
restrictions), if a user agent decides to interprete foreignObject

For example for a referenced XHTML document (as well as for
embedded XHTML) Opera 9.5 decides to display the top left corner
fragment of the referenced document into the area described by
x, y, width, height attributes following the painters model (earlier
other elements below, later elements on top).
Other parts of the referenced document beyond this area are not

My guess is too, that it is at least intended, that the referenced
document or a fragment of it is somehow displayed inside the
given area (following the painters model), if displayed at all.
But then this should be mentioned in the attribute definition
as for image, use, animate, set etc or in the general
description of the element, as for example for audio and video.

Another interpretation could be, that the xlink:href references
an alternative view, a description (xhtml:longdesc), something
related to the foreignObject content. Or the content of
foreignObject could be an alternative fallback for the
referenced document similar to the behaviour of xhtml:object.

(Side note: the element animation has a similar problem, it
is not mentioned, what the purpose of xlink:href is, however
this can be guessed, but I would like to suggest to replace
"The referenced SVG document represents a separate document
which generates its own parse tree and document object model."
"The SVG document referenced with the xlink:href attribute
represents a separate document which generates its own
parse tree and document object model."
to cover this problem for the animation element, a similar
description could solve parts of problem for foreignObject as

2. According to the SVG1.1 usage and the example
23_02.svg it is possible too to put the foreign content
directly inside the foreignObject.
If additionally an external resource is available with
xlink:href, what happens? What is the intended
relation between the content and the document
referenced by xlink:href?
Is it an arbitrary choice of the viewer, what will be
displayed if the viewer decides to display something
and we assume that both contents are displayable for
the viewer somehow?
a) Is the foreignObject content displayed only?
b) Is the referenced document displayed only?
c) are both content and referenced document displayed?
c1) is the content on top (because of the painters model and
the xlink:href is slightly earlier in the source code than the
c2) is the referenced document on top?
d) should the viewer provide an interface to select, what
to display?

3. Obviously different from SVG1.1 in SVGT1.2 the
foreignObject currently does not create its own

How is the foreign content aligned relative to the
user coordinate system? Is there a chance for the author
to influence, which part of the referenced content is
displayed, if a viewer like Opera 9.5 displays only a fragment
or is this the problem of the foreign language (for example
XHTML, typically creating scrollbars or other mechanisms
automatically to get access to the content of the complete
Is the content outside the x, y, width, height area always
clipped or is it on the viewer to decide this or on the author
to avoid this?
Related Actions Items:
Related emails:
  1. SVG/profiles/1.2T doc-svgt12.html,NONE,1.1 (from on 2008-10-28)
  2. Re: [1.2T-LC] foreignObject content and referenced resource (ISSUE-2062) (from on 2008-10-18)
  3. Re: [1.2T-LC] foreignObject content and referenced resource (ISSUE-2062) (from on 2008-10-17)
  4. Re: Logistics of Open Issues (from on 2008-10-16)
  5. Minutes October 16, 2008, marathon telcon (from on 2008-10-16)
  6. Minutes, SVG telcon Thursday 9 October 2008 (from on 2008-10-09)
  7. ISSUE-2096 (foreignObject): Define foreignObject behavior for referenced content [SVG Core 2.0] (from on 2008-10-09)
  8. Minutes, 7 October 2008 SVG WG telcon (from on 2008-10-07)
  9. Minutes, SVG telcon Tuesday 23 September 2008 (from on 2008-09-23)
  10. Minutes, SVG telcon Tuesday 23 September 2008 (from on 2008-09-23)
  11. Re: [1.2T-LC] foreignObject content and referenced resource (ISSUE-2062) (from on 2008-09-20)
  12. ISSUE-2062 (foreignObject refs): foreignObject content and referenced resource [Last Call: SVG 1.2 Tiny ] (from on 2008-09-20)

Related notes:

Not clear about status. Erik thinks all the issues have been dealt with, 2 actions closed. Need details to respond to Dr. O.

Doug Schepers, 16 Oct 2008, 21:51:53

Agreed, changes made. Commenter satisfied:

Doug Schepers, 2 Nov 2008, 20:57:17

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