Jiggy With SVG, Eh?

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…

The test suite took far longer than expected, as expected. We spent nearly 3 days locking down what we’d hoped would take a few hours, but these things rarely go smoothly. But we were determined that it would be published before we closed shop, and published it was. One reason it’s so vital is that it will serve as the backbone of the SVG Tiny 1.2 Test Suite, which we need for that spec to move forward.

We made up for the lost time by working an extra day, meeting for 5 days instead of the usual 4.
We also began the SVG 1.1 Errata, a document that will correct some mistakes (ranging from mere typos to troublesome ambiguity to maldesigned features) from that earlier spec. Our publication goal for that document is early January. An errata is critical for new implementations, so they don’t have to implement bugs while trying to conform to the spec, and so they know how a feature is supposed to be implemented in the first place.

We also took care of a few liaisons with other standards groups, both within W3C and outside. We reviewed the upcoming XBL2 spec (a pretty exciting technology that I will talk about at some later point), and tried to coordinate features with another specification from the MPEG group which is mandated to use SVG. We intended to communicate with the CSS Working Group about their CSS 2.1 spec, which is moving toward Candidate Recommendation status, just to make sure that our 2 technologies don’t needlessly clash, but the chair of our group fell deathly ill the day we meant to do that (unrelated, I’m sure… well, probably). We’d set a pretty aggressive agenda, so I’m not surprised a couple of things got lost in the shuffle.

In addition to all that bureaucracy, we did some exciting first steps toward our next specification. Going forward, rather than publish a monolithic spec that takes forever to publish, we will be making smaller, more focused specs that will combine, Voltron-like, into a larger, more powerful spec. The first 2 modules (as we’re calling them) have their early drafts done: SVG Print, and SVG Filters. We reviewed them and resolved some issues there.

Finally, we ended the face-to-face on a fun note by judging the SVG logo contest. I’ll write a separate post about that, but suffice it to say that I was pleased with the winning entry.