Reinventing Fire

SVG Logo!

December 19, 2006

Filed under: SVG,Work — Magister @ 3:10 am

Whew!  Many many months ago, we decided to do a contest to come up with a logo for SVG.  We wanted something iconic that people could use on their Web sites to show that they were using SVG, and for companies to put on their packaging and promotional material.  Little did I know what a huge undertaking this would turn out to be!

I basically ended up running the contest myself: wrangling sponsors, trying to get official W3C sanction, building the site, setting up the rules (amid conflicting opinions by the aforementioned sponsors), hand-editing all those entries that were not-quite-right (thanks, Inkscape… it’s a good drawing tool, but the code output is lousy), and generally reaping the results of my hubris.  And all of this was on top of my programming work, standards work, travel, and attempt to have a real life.  (Okay, I did have some help along the way, and obviously the judging was by a panel.)  We had setbacks… hundreds of entries by one person alone due to my foolishly allowing unlimited entries on a piece of bad advice; a cancelled SVG conference where the winner was to be announced; slipping deadlines (due to just not having the brain cycles to spare), and some impromptu international copyright legal hoop-jumping to make sure that the winning logo could be distributed and used for free.

But in the end, I think it was worth it.

I really like the new logo (and most of the finalists, too), and I think it will help “brand” SVG, so that even if normal people don’t know what SVG is, they will come to associate the logo with dynamic, interactive graphics.

A Real Weekend

Filed under: Real Life — Magister @ 2:41 am

After the rather intense week-long meeting I hosted, it was nice to kick back this weekend.

We started off by attending the office Christmas party on Friday night in Raleigh, at an upscale Mexican eatery called Jibarra. (Contrary to what you might expect, it was actually fun, since all my co-workers are pretty cool.)

Saturday morning, we showed my friend Andreas around Chapel Hill. He and Erik (both SVG guys) stayed in our guest apartment for the week of the meeting, and Andreas stayed an extra day. We brunched at Weaver Street Market (the local organic community grocery/hangout for yuppies and hippies), then walked along Franklin Street (the main strip) to UNC campus. Andreas took snapshots of old buildings that caught his eye (and which, naturally, had previously escaped my attention). We browsed for used books and saw the local sites, dropping him off at the airport in mid-afternoon.

That evening, we hosted about 20 people for our monthly local atheist meetup, where the conversation turned largely on politics, as is pretty normal (when I’m around). The meetup is generally at someone’s house (much easier to do the ritual sacrifices that way), and this is our first time to host more than 2 or 3 people at our new place. Turns out one of the women, who we’ve known for a while, knew the previous owners of our house! She and M and I talked about Morocco, since she’s planning a trip there.

Then, on Sunday, M and I went to see a play in Raleigh. It was a Burning Coal production of Einstein’s Dreams, adapted from Alan Lightman’s novella recounting permutations of how time could have worked (but doesn’t). I like geeky plays like this… I loved Arcadia and Proof, and I hope to see Copenhagen and Fermat’s Last Tango. We topped the day off with a delicious Thai dinner at Sawasdee… our first visit to this quirky little restaurant. Boy, I sure wish Chapel Hill had better restaurants.

Okay, I confess that I also coded a bit and took care of some stuff for the new SVG logo, but on the whole it was my first relaxing weekend in a while. Oh, and I played some Zelda on my Wii!

Jiggy With SVG, Eh?

Filed under: Conferences,SVG,Technical,W3C,Work — Magister @ 1:59 am

We really had a productive face-to-face meeting of the SVG WG last week. Converging on Raleigh were Chris Lilley of W3C (Scottish, but living in France), Andreas Neumann of ETH (Switzerland), Andrew Shellshear of Canon (Australia), Andrew Emmons of BitFlash (Canada), and Erik Dahlstrom or Opera (Sweden), and Antoine Quint of The (mysterious) Venice Project (France). We locked ourselves in a room and finished up the revised test suite, broke the ground on the errata document.

At one point, our Canadian colleague stated, quite straight-faced, that he was (and I quote) “jiggy with” a resolution on a particular technical point. My jaw dropped. I didn’t know anyone was jiggy with anything anymore… but he went on to claim that it’s a common thing for Canadians to say. Just when you think you know a country, they drop a bombshell like that…

Read on for a brief summary of the proceedings…

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Get An Ointment For That

December 13, 2006

Filed under: Conferences,SVG,W3C,Work — Magister @ 12:44 pm

All this week, 6th Sense Analytics (my employer) is hosting the SVG Working Group’s F2F (face-to-face meeting). Normally, the SVG WG conducts its business via email or twice-weekly “telcons” (voice conferences enhanced by concurrent group chat sessions in IRC). But there’s nothing like sitting around a table, locked in a room together, to get resolutions on issues. Thus, the quarterly F2Fs.

So, a contingent of the SVG WG is gathered here in Raleigh (well, Morrisville), NC. We’ve been hard at work knocking out the long-overdue SVG 1.1 Test Suite (more later), liaisons with other standards groups, and other matters.

For dinner the first night, we went to a pub in Raleigh called Hibernian. Our chair, Chris Lilley, entered us into the pub quiz under the obscure (dare I say geeky?) moniker “SVG++”. When the announcer was introducing the teams by names (most of which involved being drunk), he exclaimed, “SVG-plus-plus…? What is that, a disease? Get an ointment for that!”

If you’re really interested in the gruelling details of the F2F, read on…
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