W3C | Submissions

Comment on VML Submission

W3C is pleased to receive another submission in the field of 2D vector graphics, yet more evidence of growing interest in representing graphics on the Web in a way which is scalable and structured. The VML submission provides a user-extensible set of graphical primitives, with control over fill style (compare with PGML paint server) and some control over clipping and shielding.

VML is expressed in XML, which allows VML graphics to be modified with style sheets along with the document in which they are contained. The submitters have clearly given thought to style sheet binding, to the necessary stylistic differences between editors and viewers, and to containment in HTML; they have also taken care to address the points in the W3C Requirements document.

The notion of statelesness in VML is interesting, and may well promote hand editability although possibly at the expense of expressive power; it should be compared with the saving and restoration of graphics state in PGML (which may give greater expressiveness, although possibly at the expenswe of editability). W3C is pleased to note that the interaction with existing work such as HTML, XML, CSS and DOM has been addressed, and that the impact of XML namespaces has been considered in this submission.

This submission falls under the Graphics activity and it clearly addresses an issue listed on the Graphics activity page: 'There is increasing interest in a useful, Web-oriented, open format expressed in XML which would be independent of any particular renderer or platform.'.

Next Steps

W3C has produced a briefing package proposing a new Working Group, in the Graphics Activity, on this topic. Should this be accepted by the W3C Membership and a new Working Group be created, the VML submission would be placed on its agenda as one input towards the creation of an XML vector graphics format.

The W3C membership is invited to discuss the disposition of the submission in the w3c-ac-forum mailing list or to advise the director in confidence via the W3C staff contact.

Disclaimer: Placing a Submission on a Working Group agenda does not imply endorsement by either the W3C Staff or the participants of the Working Group, nor does it guarantee that the Working Group will agree to take any specific action on a Submission.

Chris Lilley, W3C Graphics Activity Lead