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.
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.
Saw an inspiring presentation from Tony Wheeler, Founder and CEO of Lonely Planet.
Some interesting Adobe Enterprise XML Strategy Stuff
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.
Presentation from OpenPublish 2002. Scripting+XML=Productivity
For those who attended the XML Asia Pacific conference, the demo files I used Adobe Tips, Tricks and Techniques