XML for 3D geometry and objects

Didier PH Martin martind at netfolder.com
Fri Jan 21 16:14:36 GMT 2000

Hi Brandt

Brandt said:
Maybe - Microsoft have standardized on (and deployed in Office2000) VML.  So
now we have VML versus SVG.  SVG won't revolutionise anything while 90% of
application users are running VML.

I'm not qualified to take sides, but I don't think we need both.

Didier replies:
So what is happening is that Microsoft supports VML in office and that Adobe
will support SVG is most of their products. Moreover, they'll provide a free
renderer (which is already quite fast even if it is an alpha version). The
actual 2 D drawing capabilities of SVG are far more superior to VML. There
will be an Adobe plug-in for illustrator that will generate SVG files. This
plug-in is also in alpha tests. A very useful feature of the Adobe browser
add-on is that you can manipulate the SVG elements with a DOM, therefore you
can have interactivity in addition to rendition. This is not the case with
VML which is quite passive.

Stay tune for their beta release due, I guess for this summer. or apply for
their early testing program and become an alpha tester. I can tell you the
add-on is funny to play with. For instance, I have a map SVG file and I can
add or suppress map information layers with check boxes. I could do that
because of the SVG DOM. Because of the availability of a _fast_ and _free_
SVG renderer, the interest to provide drawings in this format may increase.
By the way, the Adobe browser add-on works with both Mozilla (or Netscape)
browser and IE. VML works only in IE. I made comparisons with actual Java
applet based SVG renderers and I got a ratio of about 2 to 1 and often even
more difference in speed with the Adobe plug-in. Also, I created forms
created from XML and transformed into SVG instead of HTML. And believe me,
the results are surprising, you can now render nearly as seen on the
original paper form. Also, this is not the case with the actual HTML forms.
Same thing for part catalogs, I could create an highly interactive parts
catalog using SVG and the DOM. Again, the result is a lot superior to
WebCGM. Sorry, I can show my SVG stuff since you need the Adobe browser
add-on, only if you are near New-York, I'll show that at the WebNewYork
conference at the end of the month (ref: http://www.webfm.com)

Didier PH Martin
Email: martind at netfolder.com
Conferences: Web New York (http://www.mfweb.com)
Book to come soon: XML Pro published by Wrox Press
Products: http://www.netfolder.com

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