World Wide Web Consortium Issues Scalable Vector Graphics as a Candidate Recommendation

Implementation testing the key to Interoperability

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http://www.w3.org/ -- 2 August 2000 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has issued Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) as a W3C Candidate Recommendation. Advancement of the document to Candidate Recommendation is an invitation to the Web development community at large to make implementations of SVG and provide technical feedback.

Web Designers Need 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.

"Designers are reaching larger audiences with an increasing variety of Web-enabled devices. 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."

XML Brings Searchability, Dynamism, and Extensibility

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 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.

Related W3C specifications such as the Document Object Model (DOM) allow for easy server-side generation and dynamic, client-side modification of graphics and text. SVG also benefits from W3C technologies such as CSS and XSL style sheets, RDF metadata, SMIL Animation and XML Linking.

In addition to being an excellent format for stand-alone graphics, the full power of SVG is seen when it is combined with other XML grammars; for example to deliver multimedia applications, hold business data, or render mathematical expressions.

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.

W3C Ensures Stability of Developing Technologies, Builds Test Suites

Candidate Recommendation state is an explicit call for implementations to the developer community at large, to use a maturing specification and build applications based on it. There are already many open source and commercial SVG implementations available. W3C is ensuring the whole of the SVG specification can be implemented, thus ensuring cross-vendor, cross-platform interoperability.

W3C is extending its first SVG Test Suite, and updating it to match the Candidate Recommendation of SVG. "We are providing developers with the critical tools they need to check their implementations against the spec," explained Lofton Henderson, editor of the SVG Test Suite. "Test Suites enable developers to make conformant and interoperable applications, which can then be used with confidence by designers."

SVG Enjoys Industry Support, Implementations Available Now

The SVG Working Group consists of key industry and research players including, in alphabetical order: Adobe Systems, AOL/Netscape, Apple, Autodesk, Canon, Corel, CSIRO, Eastman Kodak, Excosoft, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, ILOG, IntraNet Systems, Macromedia, Microsoft, OASIS, Opera, Oxford Brookes University, Quark, Sun Microsystems, and Xerox.

Increasing numbers of drawing tools export to SVG, and SVG can now be viewed on many platforms. Forward-looking designers, who already understand the benefits of vector graphics, are now gaining experience with SVG and XML integration.

SVG will remain in Candidate Recommendation while the working group evaluates implementations for support of each SVG feature, and integrates public feedback.

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, reference code implementations to embody and promote standards, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 440 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/