Linked by Christian F.K. Schaller on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 19:25 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Computer graphics have long been dominated by bitmapped images. However, the free software community has taken an innovative lead by adopting scalable graphic formats on its desktops. Inthis article I cover the history and rise of scalable graphics on the desktop from my angle - as a proponent of its use in the GNOME platform. This article mostly focuses on SVG's progress from a GNOME point of view, both because GNOME has progressed the furthest and because I am most knowledgable with GNOME's efforts. I will however mention major landmarks in other projects where appropriate.
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I tend to think that Vector graphics make a lot of sense for icon sets. Things like panels, menus, toolbars, etc... often have the ability to adjust their sizes. The Gnome Panel, for example, can be 24px high or 240px high. Sure, you could achieve something similar by creating a huge TIFF and scaling it down. However, I think that is a horribly inelegant solution. Icon scalability is especially important for visually-impaired users who want large, high-resolution images.

No one is going to replace OpenGL or DirectX with SVG, nor should they. Those are 3D rendering engines. SVG is 2D. Quake is a 3D game. Majohng is generally thought of as a 2D game. There is room in the world for both 2D and 3D games. Having the ability to scale the Majohng tileset is an interesting feature. It's not clear that you'd want to write Majohng in OpenGL. It's not a first person shooter...

Finally, if you're interested in something like magazine layout, what you really want is something like XSL-FO controlling the layout of child SVG, TIFF, and text elements. You probably do not want to solely rely on SVG for that. See the Apache XSL-FO project and Batik for more information on the subject.

Of course, this is beside the fact that no published SVG recommendation supports color profiles (like CMYK and ICCM) that are essential for any real publishing or pre-press uses. The SVG draft 1.2 does, but that is a few months away from becoming a bona-fide recommendation and probably years away from widespread adoption and implementation. YMMV.