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OASIS CGM Open specification - WebCGM 2.0 - Introduction to WebCGM


1. Introduction to WebCGM

This section's subsections are informative, unless otherwise indicated.

1.1 Terminology

This subsection is normative.

The key words words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

1.2 Normative references

This subsection is normative.

ISO/IEC 8632:1999(E)
Information technology - Computer graphics - Metafile for the storage and transfer of picture description information
- Part 1: Functional description
- Part 3: Binary encoding
- Part 4: Clear text encoding

Available at the ISO page of Publicly Available Standards. CGM:1999 was reaffirmed by ISO, without changes, at its 5-year review in 2004. The WebCGM profile is defined by reference to the ISO standard.

RFC 3986
Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax, available at http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3986.txt .
RFC 3987
Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs), available at http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3987.txt .
RFC 1951
Deutsch, P., "DEFLATE Compressed Data Format Specification version 1.3", RFC1951, Aladdin Enterprises, May 1996,
URL: http://www.w3.org/Graphics/PNG/RFC-1951
ISO/IEC 10646-1:1993, AM2:1996
Information technology - Universal multiple-octet coded character set (UCS)
- Part 1: Architecture and Basic Multilingual Plane
AMENDMENT 2: UCS Transformation Format 8 (UTF-8)
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) Specification, Version 1.0, URL:
RFC 2119
IETF RFC 2119: Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels, S. Bradner, March 1997. Available at http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt .
XML 1.0
XML 1.0, third edition, http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-xml-20040204/ .
Namespaces in XML

1.3 Non-normative references

SVG 1.1
DOM Level 3 Core
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Core Specification, available at http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-DOM-Level-3-Core-20040407/.
DOM Level 3 Events
Document Object Model Level 3 Events Specification, available at http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/NOTE-DOM-Level-3-Events-20031107.
HTML 4.01
HTML 4.01 Specification, available at http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/.
CSS 2.0
Xpointer Framework
Cascading Profiles
Definition and description of how to write a profile based on WebCGM as the starting point, for closely related technical application sectors. At http://www.cgmopen.org/technical/cascading-profiles.html
WebCGM 2.0 Requirements
The requirements used to define the new functionality for WebCGM 2.0. At http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/download.php/14243/WebCGM_20_Requirements.html
SpecGL 1.0
The W3C QA Framework: Specification Guidelines, has guided the inclusion of the normative Conformance clause, and other conformance-related details of WebCGM. At http://www.w3.org/TR/qaframe-spec/.

1.4 About WebCGM

The scope of this WebCGMTM 2.0 specification includes three components:

  1. an intelligent graphics profile of the ISO Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) standard (ISO/IEC 8632:1999), tailored to the requirements for scalable 2D vector graphics in electronic documents on the World Wide Web;
  2. a WebCGM Document Object Model (DOM), which provides an application programming interface to WebCGM objects in WebCGM-supporting applications;
  3. definition of a standard WebCGM XML Companion File (XCF), which allows applications to externalize some non-graphical metadata from WebCGM instances, yet maintain a tight binding of the metadata to WebCGM objects.

WebCGM is a set of specifications targeted especially at the effective application of the ISO CGM:1999 standard to representation of 2D graphical content within Web documents.

CGM has been an ISO standard since 1987, and CGM has been a registered media type (image/cgm) for the Internet and the World Wide Web since December 1995. WebCGM 1.0, comprising the original intelligent graphics profile of ISO CGM, was first published in 1999, was re-released in 2001 with error corrections, and forms the basis for the WebCGM 2.0 intelligent graphics profile of this WebCGM 2.0 specification.

For much more information about WebCGM, please see the WebCGM FAQ, as well as other numerous other references and reading materials, on the OASIS CGM Open Web site.

1.5 The WebCGM profile and profile rules

The WebCGM profile is a conforming profile of ISO CGM under the stipulations of CGM:1999 Clause 9, "Profiles and conformance", and it utilizes the Profile Proforma (PPF) of CGM:1999 Annex I.1, Proforma tables, for representation of the element-by-element content details.

The WebCGM profile is an "intelligent graphics" profile, which means that in addition to graphical content based on CGM Versions 1-3, the profile includes non-graphical content based on CGM Version 4, Application Structures. The non-graphical content allows the definition of hierarchies of application objects, as well as the association of metadata, such as link specifications and layer definitions, with the objects.

1.6 WebCGM requirements

The original WebCGM 1.0 profile resulted from a collaboration between the CGM Open Consortium and W3C Graphics Activity. The requirements that determined the content selection for CGM 1.0 were derived from:

The selection criteria for the WebCGM profile include:

The upgraded content of the WebCGM 2.0 profile -- a set of additions, deletions, and modifications applied to the 1.0 profile -- has been shaped by:

The DOM and XCF components of WebCGM 2.0 derive from requirements generated during 5 years of deployment of WebCGM 1.0 in industry. The WebCGM 2.0 Requirements document summarizes these requirements.

1.7 WebCGM and other profiles

The WebCGM 2.0 intelligent graphics profile, like its predecessor WebCGM 1.0, is a profile of the ISO CGM:1999 standard, designed for effective application of CGM in technical Web applications. WebCGM is not aimed at or optimized for any particular technical application sector, but is intended to satisfy general requirements shared by different but closely related technical Web applications.

Following five years of deployment and application of WebCGM and other technical profiles (such as Air Transport Association's), some divergence began to appear. WebCGM 2.0 represents a major effort towards convergence of intelligent graphics profiles in closely related industries. In fact, it is the intention of the authors and publishers of WebCGM 2.0 that it be used as a basis for the definition of industry-specific profiles. The use of WebCGM as a core profile from which specific-industry technical profiles are derived and defined is defined in Cascading Profiles.

1.8 Editions and releases of WebCGM

CGM:1999 Clause 9, "Profiles and conformance", prescribes that profiles shall maintain revision control by using a standard "ProfileEd" keyword. Instances of a profile carry this edition information in their identification section.

This release of WebCGM is Edition 2.0 ("ProfileEd:2.0"). Higher editions may be defined in the future.

This release is the first release of WebCGM 2.0. There may be future releases of WebCGM 2.0, for maintenance and defect correction.

1.9 Roadmap to this specification

WebCGM is written in these major sections:

1.10 Document sources and Registration Authority

This subsection is informative (non-normative).

Copies of the ISO standards may be obtained from ISO:

ISO Central Secretariat
1, rue de Varembe
Case postale 56
CH-1211 Geneve 20

For the purpose of this Recommendation and according to the rules for the designation and operation of registration authorities in the ISO/IEC Directives, the ISO and IEC Councils have designated the following as the registration authority:

National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA)
(Joint Interoperability Test Command)
The Registration Authority for Graphical Items
Building 57305
Fort Huachuca

For more information on the CGM standard itself, the CGM Open Web site has both bibliographic references, and short articles on CGM topics:

CGM Open

The following World Wide Web sites have more information on CGM:

W3C WebCGM Overview

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