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Subject: movements and adoption of CGM on the web

CGMOpen members and interested parties,

--------Background or generalities----------------

CGMOpen as a standards body or technical group to
standards bodies has made major contributions to
the CGM world.  But it is time or really past time
to determine what role CGM will have on the web.
Many organizations are rapidly moving to place
information and technical documentation on the web.

A vast majority of information on a particular product
(object) has a short life cycle.  Once the object is 
created it does not need to be modified.  Let's look
at the industries where CGM has taken hold; automotive, 
aerospace, petroleum, military, large structures.  The
life expectancy, maintenance, re-use and investment
in resources is high.  In some instances the life cycle
of this information is between 20 and 40 years are more.

As time passes, faster hardware and new software with 
greater functionality and different formats are introduced.  
Some of theses products and formats are great for a 
particular task but for whatever reason do not survive the 
test of time.  CGM has stood the test of time and because 
of organizations like the ATA and CGMOpen has continued to 
add additional capabilities.

Along comes SGML/HTML/XML and the explosion of the web and 
everyone trying to utilize this new tool and technology.  
The W3C can barley keep pass with the demand for additional 
capabilities that the market place demands from the web.  
Everyone realizes that the growth needs to be done in an 
agreed upon manner or we will have chaos and/or small islands 
of isolation (a past buzz phrase).  Therefore the need for 
standards and formats with the ability to add new functionality
as time moves forward and the user demand increases.

----------------MAIN PORTION OF MESSAGE-----------------------------

I have read and re-read Lofton's messages from March 7.  I was
planning on waiting until Sunday to bring up specific issues but 
now it seems appropriate.  We have sold CGM to our respective 
fields of expertise and it is serving a purpose.  But to be 
realistic, one real test of a format software, or technology is 
how many different other software packages or companies are 
writing drivers, interfaces or are utilizing that format.  One 
time in the past 2 to five years, I saw a statistic on the number 
of packages having CGM support.  The functionality or capabilities 
for their products came from 3 or 4 companies.  These companies 
only have so many resources to devote first to the development of 
their product line and then the standard itself.  I fully 
understand and realize this concept.

But the user community needs solutions and additional capabilities.  
We are attempting to use CGM in ways that the developers of the 
products and standards did not envision.  Greg Gallants comments 
on using CGM's within a Document management and content management 
system and having a DOM so that others can access CGM objects is 
vital to the success of the continued use and growth of the standard.  
Also the comment on scripting and usage tying CGM and the browser 
worlds is also a must.  The CGMOpen BHO is a great start.  But as I 
was involved in this and subsequent discussions, I know this falls
short of the users needs.  

I know a great deal of time and resources  went into the development 
of this project.  Some companies spent many resources in planning/
discussion time and recoding their products.  I know that some of 
the member companies have recently released products that they have 
major capital costs in developing and need to re-coop development 
costs and make profits.  This is reasonable and expected.

But, I know of a few procurements currently on the street and many 
R&D efforts that are ongoing and member companies have been contacted 
to include parts of their technology.  I have spoken with many of you 
regarding some of these issues.  No one wants to or needs to give away 
what they have spent a great deal of capital to develop.  But the 
bottom line is that many of these efforts do not need all the 
functionality that your tools provide.  I do not know what numbers these 
third parties are offering for your CGM technology.  Yet, I do feel that 
CGM missed a window of opportunity to be more widely used on the web, 
hence the creation of SVG.  I don't know how many windows of opportunities 
come along in a formats life time.  But I do know that some good formats 
such as Beta for video recordings did not gain momentum and essentially 
faded away.  I do not want this to happen with CGM.  If we want the 
standard to be more widely used we must as a community/organization do 
what is necessary.

I know there are numerous technical issues to work through with many 
financial implications behind each one.  But, also look at the millions 
of dollars that are being spent by the industries using CGM.  Also, look 
at the potential market if tools were developed that would allow any user 
to create, edit and display a CGM file.  

I thank you for your time on this message and the issues that it will 
raise.  I look forward to the Cleveland meeting and the successful 
workings of CGM and CGMOpen.


Harry Whittaker
Navsea, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
9500 Macarthur Blvd.
Bethesda Md. 20817-5700

(t) 301-227-3388
(f) 301-227-3343
e-mail whittakerhw@nswccd.navy.mil

-----Original Message-----
From: Lofton Henderson [mailto:lofton@rockynet.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2001 3:20 PM
To: cgmopen-members@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: From Greg (MGX)...

CGM Open Members --

I have been having some dialog with former member/rep Greg Gallant, 
Micrografx.  As an aside, he expressed these thoughts about CGMO TC 
initiatives, which I pass along for your information and consideration...

>I would hope that making significant progress on the WebCGM DOM is among the
>initiatives.  I believe that much deeper interaction between browser
>scripting logic and the drawing structure will be necessary for more complex
>distributed applications. Also, a standardized XML Schema/DTD for WebCGM
>would facilitate the use of CGMs within Document Management and Content
>Management systems.  Further, I hope that some progress will be made on the
>adoption of an animation model.


Lofton Henderson
1919 Fourteenth St., #604
Boulder, CO   80302

Phone:  303-449-8728
Email:  lofton@rockynet.com

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