SVG Open 2007 – Day 2

There is a typhoon approaching Tokyo, light rain and sun alternating with heat soaking everything.

Cultural Diversity and the Responsibility of Technology

KOBAYASHI Tatsuo is introducing in a very nice way is topics by introducing himself in all languages of the audience Chinese, French, English, Japanese, Dutch, German, etc.

He is giving the example of the character for dragons in 6 ways: same pronunciation, but 6 different ways of writing it. Some of the differences are driven by emotions and style of writing. Unfortunately, often unicode is focused on coding of the information. Some characters will be used depending on a cultural or emotional context.

It happens for example with names : Michael, Michel and Mike share the same origin though they are written in their own languages with the appropriate characters. Same thing happens with chinese characters, different writings of a same concept matter to people, even if sometimes the variation is just a question of one stroke in the character.

Khmer example, what does it teach us about user community?

Tatsuo says: In East Asian language, there is a lot of variations in the number of pages to describe the language, from 2 pages for Tai Le or Buginese to 11 pages for Khmer. The first standardization process for khmer has been conducted by western persons more than local users community. Without input from the local user community, the khmer has been standardized and there later on being implemented by different people. Japanese software developers have also created with a set for khmer with different architecture. The situation is messy. (I would appreciate any fixes on what I might have not understood.)

It is very important to have participation of the concerned community when you are developing something which is mainly used or benefits this community. Lessons learned from this mess.

  • essential to keep in touch. The door for requesters should be open for everyone.
  • feedback from the actual user community. Waiting for it is not acceptable. IT experts should actively reach out to the user community.
  • needed to avoid false expertise and people wanting to help in good faith

Ruby Constraint

Tatsuo doesn’t use fountain pens anymore, though he has used for a long time. The techniques change our way to write or impose patterns that sometimes make our life more difficult. He’s showing two sentences with different groupings.

  • ? (?) ? (???) how it should be
  • ? (??) ? (??) how software tends to do it for readability

the second form looses the meaning of appropriate Ruby markup.


  • not only necessity of unification, necessity of differentiation
  • consider diversity of languages and cultures
  • consider emotional behaviors of user communities
  • consider change of cultural and social norms
  • state of art of the technology is not always desirable for the users
  • sometimes the users don’t know what they want
  • different user communities have different and conflicting requirements from each other
  • sometimes different application fields need different solutions
  • listen to user communities

xfy – unlock the potential of SVG and XML for your desktop

The presenter is mostly going through the features of xfy.

Panels of SVG implementers

Representatives of different companies are talking about the state of art of implementations of SVG in their different products, from Mozilla to mobile phones and so on. SVG is used for Mangas or games for example. There were some comments about the integration of SVG into HTML.

There are 300 millions of handsets through the world with SVG preinstalled (source?) and Michael Smith said that “there were around 100 million mobile subscribers of any kind total in Japan” and maybe “10 million handsets with SVG support”. Though it depends on what we define by SVG support.

Geofoto.ch – Presentation of Georeferenced Photos of Switzerland

Andreas Neumann is introducing a system for uploading and geolocalizing photos online: GeoPhoto. The distinct features are

  • Display of viewing angles (target)
  • automatic assignment of geographic Data based on location
  • structured keyword handling and filtering
  • high quality base maps
  • QA – images and medata are checked.

From the Web site,

Geofoto.ch Geophotomap is a geographic foto browser that allows to browse through georeferenced digital photos. The camera viewpoint and view angle are displayed along with photo metadata. Filter and search options allow to quickly navigate or search for images. Minimum browser requirements: Firefox 2.0 or higher, Opera 9.0 or higher, Apache Batik SVG viewer, Safari or Internet Explorer with the Adobe SVG plugin.

The product is in development and there are still features to come.

The whole of the application UI is done in SVG, EmacScript, GUI description in XML, and CSS. the Vectordata and photodata are stored in a spatial Database PostgreSQL and PostGIS, the communication between client and server is done with PHP scripts. Maps are coming from an open map server of UMN Mapserver. The requests are handled with XMLHttpRequest. It uses also ImageMagick (perl) for importing and generating thumbnails.

EXIF is a standard but it is not always used in a standard way unfortunately. Camera vendors are taking freedom with the way they record EXIF data. There is a system of keyword and keyword aliases.

Future enhancements contain Better map graphics, Upload support, online editing of metadata, keywords and viewing angle, Improved geographic namesearch, displaying the target points optionally or together with the standpoints, temporal navigation: night/season/month/year.

Someone is mentioning the system from Microsoft for sharing photos and getting photos of the same place.


  • Is there an API, so someone can write a client to communicate with your system? Answer: not yet planned
  • It is an SVG application, how do you share URI to one specific view? Answer: not yet done but yes important.
  • Have you tried to develop a portable client for other platforms? Answer: yes it should work on any clients which supports http and SVG. (for example Batik)
  • Have you tried to manage communications between users, like real chat discussion about a photo? Answer: no. But yes it would be interesting.
  • Have you tried to create a module for managing commerce. Two persons (freelance and photographer) discussing about a photo and decide to establish the price and delivery? Answer: Not planned.
  • What is the granularity of users management? Answer: not done yet.
  • What about XMP? Answer: I didn’t know about it.
  • How do you associate the target points and the map? Answer: with medata for now, but targeting on the map would be useful.

An SVG Client built in OGC Web Map Service layers

Barend Köbben introduces what are Web Mapping Service and their uses. There are many WMS out there, but some with (limited) SVG. All treat SVG as ‘static graphics format’ only which is bit of a pity. SVG can do much more. SVG can hold attribute data, provide animation, provide application logic. You could provide a map which is also an application. They decided to think about a map including a GUI.

A built-in GUI delivers you to have a separate application. Data includes built-in client side GUI. Very practical for example in a mobile phone.

Lightweight Spatial Data Infrastructure based on open standard and open-source. It has grown from student projects. We need to have something for clients who do not have money or resources. The first implementation was a JavaServlet to deliver SVG ouput (application) with an XML2SVG.

Location-Aware conference assistant that can help you to localize yourself. For the RIMapperWMS, it uses a spatial database back-end (postGIS), an SFS compliant database. On the server java, on the client dynamic SVG maps.

(Barend is going through the dirty details of the database and the parameters of RIMapperWMS.) ;) An example is given with this Test RIMapper.

A comparative analysis of some browser performance measures in SVG

All SVG examples for this talk are available online.

David Dailey will address several aspects of web browser performance in the context of SVG. He was interested by SVG animation, for example a balloon and then with 10 lines of codes and SMIL you could do Ovales (it works only in browsers supporting animation).

SMIL and javascript creates sometimes bad interactions in terms of performance. Things do not work the same in all browsers. One will be better in a domain and others in another domain. There is also variability on generating the same thing.

simple forms (rect, circle) are faster than simple path than complex path. But surprisingly text seems to be slower to render than simple forms.

Quick recipes for SVG Wow!

It is a demo based session. Most of it showed in Opera browsers.

External references

<image xlink:href="..." />
<rect fill=url(...)"/>

External references can be expensive to use in some circumstances. But they can be very useful for images like bitmap. SVG documents referenced by animation support scripting.

Hmmm cool demos. And each time the SVG code is really simple. I wonder if there are available online.

Better Integration

  • implementation of foreignObject which makes browser in browser. it is a kind of iframe.
  • SVG images for buttons in CSS list-image: url(blabla.svg) WOW nice
  • HTML 5 Canvas and SVG – Using an SVG sprite in a Canvas
  • SVG for canvas patterns
  • SVG as texture for 3D Canvas. (not in any spec)


  • Video support in Opera
  • Using realtime SVG filters. showing for example traces or grayscale in realtime on a video. Working well on Core Duo Macbook.
  • clippings
  • animated mask on video

some other things

All demos will be put online later on.

One thought on “SVG Open 2007 – Day 2

  1. The Geofoto project looks very interesting, I have been trying to make something pretty similar, the SVG angle is quite impressive. It would be nice to see XMP / RDF support added for more than just the current keyword search. Has anyone heard what the future development/release plans are for this project?

    Cheers! Dan

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