Submission request to W3C (W3C Staff Comment)

We, W3C members The Boeing Company, Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC), Inso Corporation, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), Xerox Corporation, hereby submit to the Consortium the following specification comprising the document(s) linked below:

WebCGM Profile -- A Web Profile of CGM

which collectively are referred to as "the submission". We request the submission be known as the WebCGM submission.


CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile) has been an ISO standard for vector and composite vector/raster picture definition since 1987. It has been a registered MIME type since 1995. CGM has a significant following in technical illustration, electronic documentation, geophysical data visualization, amongst other application areas. WebCGM is a profile for the effective application of CGM in Web electronic documents. WebCGM has been a joint effort of the CGM Open Consortium, of which a number of we submitters are active members and contributors, in collaboration with W3C staff under the W3C-LA project. It represents an important interoperability agreement amongst major users and implementors of CGM, and thereby unifies current diverse approaches to CGM utilization in Web document applications. WebCGM's clear and unambiguous conformance requirements will enhance interoperability of implementations, and it should be possible to leverage existing CGM validation tools, test suites, and the product certification testing services for application to WebCGM. While WebCGM is a binary file format and is not "stylable", nevertheless WebCGM follows published W3C requirements for a scalable graphics format where such are applicable. The design criteria for the graphical content of WebCGM aimed at a balance between graphical expressive power on the one hand, and simplicity and implementability on the other. A small but powerful set of metadata elements is standardized in WebCGM, to support the functionalities of: hyperlinking and document navigation; picture structuring and layering; and, search and query on WebCGM picture content.

In addition to the support of us, the W3C member submitters, the WebCGM Submission has significant support and has received contributions from amongst important non-member organizations: OASIS (Organization for Application of Structured Information Standards, Board of Directors agreement, 8/11/98); ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC24, the ISO committee for computer graphics and imaging standards (SC24 has a Cooperative Working Agreement with W3C, and has just granted Category C liaison status to CGM Open); key commercial, CGM intelligent graphics implementors, such as InterCAP, IsoDraw, and Inso; NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology); and, the work on WebCGM has been supported and funded by the European Commission through the W3C-LA project.

Intellectual Property Rights

The Board of Directors of the CGM Open Consortium, of which a number of us submitters are active members, has authorized the following representation regarding copyright. The WebCGM document is copyright CGM Open Consortium Inc. and notice of such cropyright should be included in any publication or distribution. CGM Open grants to W3C the right to use, reproduce, distribute and display publicly this contribution, under the W3C license (http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/copyright-documents.html) provided that CGM Open's copyright is acknowledged and the appropriate copyright notice is included on all copies. CGM Open grants to W3C the right to create and publish derivates words based on the submission, provided that the CGM Open copyright notice continues to be included in these derivate works, along with the W3C copyright notice.

The name WebCGM™ is a trademark of CGM Open Consortium Inc. CGM Open grants to W3C the right and license to use the trademark for the processing, establishment, and maintenance of WebCGM as a W3C Recommendation, according to normal W3C requirements and procedures.


The following are registered marks refered to in this request or the submission: n/a.


The submission may be distributed free of any fee.


The following should be noted as regards licensable technology involved in any third party implementations of the technology specified in the submission: it is resolved that the final published WebCGM Recommendation will not require the licensing of any proprietary technology for conformance of implementations to the Recommendation.

Implementations of CGM are numerous. There is a significant number of NIST-certified implementations at well. We note that CGM has the valuable attribute that cerification suites and product certification services exist, to enhance interoperability, and it is anticipated that these resources could be leveraged for use with WebCGM.

A survey of leading CGM technology vendors suggests that at least three WebCGM implementations are planned for completion in 1998. CGM Open is investigating the possibility to make viewers freely available to end users in run-time form.

Suggested action

We request that this submission should be made into a Proposed Recommendation without delay.

Because of the maturity and highly developed state of the WebCGM specification, and because it represents an interoperability agreement of a stable ISO standard which has achieved high consensus amongst CGM users and vendors, we do not believe that processing within a Working Group is appropriate or required, nor is any new Activity required.


To help with this work, we expect to be able to provide at least one part-time document editor to the Consortium.

Change control

Prior to completion of the processing as a W3C Recommendation, should any changes to the document be required, we would expect any such changes to be handled according to normal W3C processes. We would expect to have the document come under W3C process control when processing as a Recommendation is completed.


Inquiries from the public or press about this submission should be directed to: webcgm-info@cgm.com.


this 19th day of August, 1998,