Yesterday, the weather was nice, so after a late lunch on the screened in porch (where we let our cats explore as we ate… they don’t get to go out there much), we went for a bike ride. Our house is surrounded by a woods, and there’s a muddy trail that connects us to the Bolin Creek Trail, which is a paved bike/walking path that runs through the woody part of the central town. For reasons unknown –there was no special event that I know about– there was a biplane flying around over the town. That’s Chapel Hill. And on the way back on the dirt trail, there were 2 white-tail deer. The deer are no surprise in themselves… our neighborhood has a lot of them. But they were running from us with their tails lifted high, and their thick tails must have been a foot long! The effect was exaggerated by the white stripes on their behinds. I had just never seen such extravagantly long tails on deer before. We were both fascinated. I wish I’d brought my camera.
In addition to geometric shapes, SVG has advanced graphical text capabilities. In SVG 1.1, there are several elements specifically designed for the presentation of text. At the most basic level, there is the <text> element, which can have child <tspan> elements that can be positioned and styled independently of the other text content, like this:
Then there are more advanced options, like rotated text
or the <textPath> element
The future of SVG text support holds still more. In the next version of the SVG specification, SVG Tiny 1.2, there are even more useful text features, like the <textArea> element that automatically wraps text to a shape (rectangles on for mobile devices, but any shape at all in future versions of the specification). There is also the new ability to make any text editable by simply including an attribute to the text element. And there are great features from SVG 1.1 (the current version) that are not yet widely implemented, such as SVG Fonts, which let you embed a font into an SVG file so the reader sees the page the way the author intended it, and the <tref> element that lets you directly quote text without duplicating it. All these features will give more control to authors and give a better experience to users.
But is that enough?
I just sent in my confirmation letter for my presentation at SD West 2007, a respected technical conference series in Santa Clara, California. I’ll be speaking on (can you guess?) SVG (you got it!) in a talk entitled Scalable Vector Graphics: Shaping Up the Web. The conference will be going on March 19-23, 2007. My company is really working on getting speaking engagements, so I think this may be only one of several that I’ll be doing in 2007. Of course, I will be speaking at –and helping to plan– the SVG Open conference next year as well. I normally give a 101 class introducing SVG there, in addition to a presentation on current projects I’m developing.