W3C NOTE-WebCGM-19980819

WebCGM Profile

W3C Note 19 Aug 1998

This Version:
Latest Version:
David Cruikshank, The Boeing Company
John Gebhardt, Intercap Graphics Systems
Lofton Henderson, Inso Corporation
Roy Platon, CCLRC
Dieter Weidenbrueck, ITEDO/IsoDraw
Ty Bartosh, Jeppesen Inc.
Forrest Carpenter, System Development Inc.
Maryse Da-Ponte, Aerospatiale
Bruce Garner, Analyst/Consultant
Alan Hester, Xerox Corporation
Bob Hopgood, CCLRC
Chris Lilley, W3C
Don Larson, Larson Software Technology
Kevin O'Kane, Auto-trol Technologies
Brad Powell, Zeh Graphic Systems
Dave Rahnis, Bentley Systems
Lynne Rosenthal, NIST

Copyright 1998 CGM Open Consortium Inc.
W3C liability, trademark, document use and software licensing rules apply.

Status of This Document

This document is a submission to the World Wide Web Consortium (see Submission Request, W3C Staff Comment). It is intended for review and comment by W3C members.

This document is a NOTE made available by the W3 Consortium for discussion only. This indicates no endorsement of its content, nor that the Consortium has, is, or will be allocating any resources to the issues addressed by the NOTE.


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.


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