10 Oct 2002 sej   » (Master)

SVG

I'm extending the export mechanism on ivtools drawing editors to support SVG. It's rendering model is complete enough, so it looks like I'll be able to finish the job. The only remaining puzzles are how to implement stipple fill patterns and binary stencils. I might have to use rather inefficient paths that do a run-length encoding of the bitmap.

cross-platform vector graphic applications

Another puzzle I'm turning over in my mind is the appropriateness of SVG for interactive (cross-platform) vector-graphic applications. Is it a markup language the best starting point for applications that might incorporate video and sound as well? SVG seems a perfect fit for static rendering to paper (or even the screen), but it seems the representation of dynamic elements would quickly get unwieldy in the jungle of W3C standards.

So what is the alternative? Apple and Microsoft have adequate foundations for vector-graphic applications, but each goes out of its way to thwart cross-platform development. You might say Qt, but they have no particular support for vector-graphics as far as I know (yes, they have a painter class, but do they have classes for direct manipulation, undo/redo, rendering with transparency and anti-aliasing, save/restore/export/import, etc.?).

My thinking is reverting to X11 as the cross-platform development environment of choice for multi-media and vector-graphic application developers. Is running everything from within an X server any less aesthetically pleasing than running everthing from within a web browser?

(No, I didn't forget about Flash -- I just overlooked it for now, for reasons I might have to articulate later.)

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