New path commands will be added to make the drawing of arcs easier: “arc”, “ellipse”, and two forms of “arcTo”. These will match the path implementation found in canvas.
If arcTo isn’t enough goodness for you, making rounded corners for shapes, polygons, and polylines will be child’s play with a new rounded corner option where one supplies the radius for the rounded corners. It is still to be decided if generic paths will have this option.
- Speaking of polygons, SVG2 will have a star/polygon element for convenience. It will support most if not all the options available with the Inkscape Star Tool.
- A new extrapolated line join style was tentatively approved at the last SVG Face-To-Face meeting (see my previous blog entry). It is now approved to be added to the specification.
Hatches have been approved. The exact syntax has yet to be worked out. It will be something like:
<hatch id="complex" angle="90" hatchUnits="userSpaceOnUse" pitch="10" x="0" y="0"> <hatchPath offset="0" stroke-width="1"/> <hatchPath offset="5" stroke-width="1" stroke-dasharray="5 2 1 2"/> </hatch>
<hatch id="complex" angle="90" hatchUnits="userSpaceOnUse" pitch="6" x="0" y="0"> <hatchPath offset="0" stroke-width="1" d="m 1,0 c 0,4 8,6 8,10 8,14 0,16 0,20"/> </hatch>
Marker fill automatically matching stroke color got a step closer to reality with “context-fill”, “context-stroke”, and “context-fill-opacity” being approved for SVG2. A new property, “context-value” was also endorsed. This value allows one to pass in stroke style properties such as “dash-array”.
<marker id="yeah" fill="context-stroke" .../>
- The Working Group endorsed auto-smoothing of mesh gradients (without smoothing, gradients are subject to Mach banding). Auto-smoothing is done both by Adobe and CorelDRAW. However, when they export the meshes, for example to PDF, they export an 8 x 8 array of patches for each native patch since PDF (and PostScript) don’t have smoothing built in. The Working Group has asked the Adobe representative if Adobe would be willing to make public their smoothing algorithm. This would allow, for example, Illustrator to directly write smoothed meshes to SVG.
- Connectors, useful for flow charts, organizational charts, etc. will be standardized in a separate module. A very simple routing (basically a straight line) will be provided. Content creation programs (e.g. Visio, Dia, Inkscape) can override the default routing and supply a more complicated connecting path. See the Editor’s Draft for details.
- As a result of a comment at SVG Open, the Working Group has approved Internationalization of <title> and <desc> elements. One will be able to supply multiple elements with different “lang” attributes. An SVG renderer will select which element to use via these attributes.
- The Working Group is investigating a new type of noise for filters that would be easier for hardware acceleration.
Mozilla demonstrated the use of SVG inside of Open Type Fonts. Firefox nightly has experimental support for Mozilla’s SVG OTF proposal. Adobe also has a proposal on the table with a different syntax. The two proposals will need to be merged.
The SVG Working Group had a three day Face-to-Face meeting in Rigi Kaltbad (Switzerland) just after The Graphical Web (formerly SVG Open) conference. Thanks to the conference organizer, Andreas Neumann, I was able to attend the meeting in person. While a lot of the work focused on the nitty-gritty details of more interest to browser vendors and developers, there were still a number of things of interest to artists and designers: