XML Goo-i-ness Inside

Microsoft pre-released their XAML-in-the-browser technology, WPF/e earlier this week. XAML inside.

XAML “smells” like the W3C’s Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). DOM-inside-a-DOM, Declarative animation, 2D graphics. XAML maybe not SVG, but it certainly tips its hat to SVG.

Adobe today pre-released their XML-in-a-PDF technology, Mars, for Acrobat 8. Essentially, Mars as a technology is presently delivered as plugins for Adobe Reader 8 and Acrobat 8 Professional. You can save an existing ‘binary’ PDF out as a .mars file. These .mars files are like .jar or .war files: manifested, structured ZIP files. Looking inside a description of a page, you have an SVG Tiny 1.2+ (as Adobe state, SVG/FSS0 representation. The specification clearly documents that .mars takes the current concept of PDF, a document format, and extends this as XML.These technologies do not directly intersect: an XML representation of SWF rather than PDF would be closer to XAML. Having cross-platform viewer support for Microsoft’s XPS would be closer to PDF.

I was premature in saying SVG was deprecated.

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) Deprecated.

RIP Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG).

Deprecated equals don’t use it. The momentum in the web-world has slowed to grinding halt.

Whilst SVG is a W3C technology, not owned by Adobe, the original specification came from PGML.

Sad, there was much potential for SVG. All it would have taken was Adobe to make a standard programming model and builder application and SVG really could have taken off. SVG is an example of good technology becoming cannon fodder, lost in the charge to an enemy: rather than technology being used for good.

Today, we have two XML-based model for generating rich interfaces: MXML and XAML. One is in the operating system and a part of a download, the other requires a bolt-on application in the browser.

SVG pre-dated these technologies by some years. A standardised widget library; extension into 3D and co-operation by large companies could have advanced the world of rich, connected applications.

Standard file formats invite competitiveness in software applications. Consider open, standardised file formats like world-free trade. The most efficient and best survive. A darwinian selection for the best.

Better luck next time.


Having lots of fun with XSL-FO. I don’t know why I didn’t go and learn this stuff sooner. In my experiments, I am using styles and flows as defined by Adobe FrameMaker overriding the XSL-FO commands. Next stop: XSLT.

All this is in aid of some Adobe Document Server demonstrations I am doing over the next couple of weeks. Also learning how to use JScript as an ASP language. I would have preferred to be coding in PHP; but the COM to PHP stuff is a little beyond my ken at the moment. Keep things as simple as possible. Oh yes, the music of the 1980s assists greatly.