The World Wide Web Consortium has issued Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation, representing what the organization describes as “cross-industry agreement” on an XML-based language that lets authors create two dimensional vector graphics.
A recommendation from W3C, of which Apple is a member, indicates that a specification is “stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who favor its widespread adoption.” Web designers have requirements for graphics formats which display well on a range of different devices, screen sizes and printer resolutions. With SVG, Web Graphics move firmly from mere decoration to true graphical information, Tim Berners-Lee, W3C director, said in a statement announcing the consortium’s decision.
“Scalable Vector Graphics are the key to providing rich, reusable visual content for the Web,” he said. “At last, designers have the open graphics format they need to make professional graphics not only work visually on the Web, but perform as searchable, reusable Web content.”
Chris Lilley, W3C Graphics Activity Lead, said that SVG is specifically designed to let users handle their graphics the same way as their text and business data, which nowadays are in W3C’s Extensible Markup Language (XML) has become the universal format for document and data interchange on the Web. SVG 1.0 brings the advantages of XML to the world of vector graphics, Lilley said. It enables the textual content of graphics to be searched, indexed and displayed in multiple languages, he added.
SVG 1.0 builds on other W3C specifications such as the Document Object Model (DOM), which allows for easy server-side generation and dynamic, client-side modification of graphics and text. SVG 1.0 also benefits from W3C technologies such as CSS and XSL style sheets, RDF metadata, XML Linking and SMIL Animation, which also advanced to Recommendation today.
Besides Apple, other companies contributing to the SVG 1.0 spec were Adobe, AOL/Netscape, Autodesk, Bitflash, Canon, Corel, CSIRO, Eastman Kodak, Ericsson, Excosoft, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, ILOG, IntraNet Systems, KDDI, Macromedia, Microsoft, Nokia, OASIS, Openwave, Opera, Oxford Brookes University, Quark, Savage Software, Schemasoft, Sun Microsystems, Xerox and ZoomOn.