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Subject: Requirement: SVG Integration

Doug Schepers


+CATEGORY (select one or more from below)

+SCOPE (select one or more from below)

Dynamic, interactive, semantically-rich, Web-friendly, reusable graphics

The W3C SVG Working Group applauds the OpenDocument TC for their 
decision to use SVG, by adopting some SVG elements and attributes.  As 
we understand it, one goal of the ODF specification is to reuse existing 
specification where appropriate, and in this case, it makes sense to 
specify complete support for SVG 1.1 and SVG Tiny 1.2 as they are 
specified, rather than only as part of ODF Draw format.  In the next 
version of the ODF specification, there should be support for SVG as a 
regular image and as vector graphics (or "line art"), in addition to the 
ODF Draw format.

With native SVG support, ODF would enjoy several "network effects" 
though the increasing prevalence of SVG among authoring tools and 
viewers.  Developing and maintaining ODF implementations would be made 
simpler, since there are many existing open-source SVG libraries, in 
both C and Java.

In contrast to ODF Draw format, SVG is inherently web-publishable, with 
native support in Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Google Chrome, and in 
Internet Explorer through plugins or script adaptions.  While OOo 
currently supports SVG as both an import and export format, this extra 
step makes effective round-tripping more difficult, with regards to 
using existing content, and editing in Inkscape, Illustrator, CorelDraw, 
Xara, and other major graphics authoring tools.

Additionally, there is good existing clipart content through various 
open online clipart repositories, which would add value to ODF by making 
it easier to author content through reuse.  This would also tie ODF into 
the growing SVG and open-graphics communities.  With the recent addition 
of SVG/VML drawings to Google Docs, this would also provide a common 
graphics format for two of the most popular office suites.

Where the SVG specification may not meet the needs of ODF, there are two 
options.  First, ODF can simply extend SVG using its own namespaced 
elements and attributes.  Second, the SVG WG is interested in working 
with the OpenDocument TC to add missing features to the SVG 
specification.  We are already planning on adding some common features, 
like connector elements, which we see are supported in ODF, and we are 
open to hearing more use cases and requirements.

We feel that this is a pivotal opportunity for open document formats, 
and that a synergy between ODF and SVG will work to everyone's benefit.

Please let us know any issues or factors that would make adopting SVG as 
a first-class component of ODF difficult.  We may be able to help remove 
barriers or clarify confusion.

Note that OOo, while it does have some support for SVG, does not treat 
SVG as a first-class format, as outlined here:

By clarify how SVG should be supported, there would be much better 

Reference SVG 1.1 and SVG Tiny 1.2 as mandated formats for ODF-Next, as 
a regular image and as vector graphics:

For extensions of SVG, ODF should follow the guidelines detailed in the 
SVG specification:

Currently, SVG is allowed in ODF, as stated in 9.3.2 Image, "While the 
image data may have an arbitrary format, it is recommended that vector 
graphics are stored in the [SVG] format and bitmap graphics in the [PNG] 
format."  However, there is no mandate that it be supported, or details 
about the precise manner in which it should be supported.  After a brief 
review of the OpenDocument specification, we recommend that you add more 
detail regarding SVG in the following sections:

  4.5 Page-bound graphical content
  5.8 Inline graphics and text-boxes
  9.3.2 Image, to allow SVG as a link to an external resource, or 
embedded directly in a document
  9.3.3 Objects, to allow SVG as Charts or Drawings
  9.3.10 Client Side Image Maps
  13 SMIL Animations, to match SVG's animation functionality.

The SVG WG is available to help provide more details during the 
OpenDocument specification process.

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