Reinventing Fire

Getting to the Point

July 13, 2010

Filed under: Standards,SVG,SVG 2,Tech,W3C,Work — Magister @ 11:18 am

SVG paths have a pretty good set of shape commands, enough to let you draw any 2D shape you might want in an authoring tool: horizontal, vertical, and diagonal straight lines, elliptical arc segments, and cubic and quadratic Bézier curves. Béziers are great, giving you precise control over the position and curve interpolation of each point in a concise format, using control points (“handles”), and are easily chained together to create complex shapes.

But let’s say you have a series of points, and you want to draw a smooth line between them, e.g. for stock data, an audio wave, or a mathematical graphing equation. Béziers are not as handy there, because not all the points needed to define a Bézier spline are on the curve itself. Obviously, you can decompose any set of points into a set of Béziers, but that takes math, and who wants to do that? (Put your hand down, nerd. I’m talking to the normals.)

Sometimes, you just want to lay down a set of points, and let the browser draw a smooth curve (unlike polylines, where each segment is just a straight line between the points). Like this:

Please use a modern browser.
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Slow News Day

Filed under: Meta,Search Engines,Standards,W3C,Work — Magister @ 12:38 am

My last post was slashdotted. Not servers-melting slashdotted, but unusual-volume-of-comments slashdotted. I posted it late on a Saturday night, so I guess they had no other news fit to print.

It was interesting, and a little bit exciting, to be linked from Slashdot. I have no great insights, but a few observations.
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