SVG Open 2005

Again a long time since last blog...

This week, monday until thursday, there was SVG Open in Enchede, the Netherlands. I got
an invitation to be part of the svg implementators panel by the organising team. I took
a long time deciding to go, but had I known it would be this much fun, I would have
visited more days, not just the final day!

Unfortunately the day did not start so well, We have had train problems all week where
I live, so even though I got to the station early in the morning (at 7:00), I didnt make
it to Enschede until 11:30, missing lots of talks. On the plus side, at least there was
some air conditioning in the train, very convenient, since yesterday was a hot day..

I had little trouble finding the conference center, registered, met Ruud Steltenpool, the
student who organised the conference. Obtained a name tag, got a bag full of goodies, then
made sure wifi was working properly.

The first talk I could attend was the plenary session of the svg spec group. It was nice to
be able to see the faces behind the names, like Chris Lillie, Craig Northway, Robin Berjon and
Vincent Hardy. There was some friendly discussion about svg 1.2 full and tiny, and what the specs
group had been working on lately.

Before lunch I made sure to meet Jim Ley(JibberJim), so he knew I was there to join the implementators
panel. After lunch and some photo shooting outside, I met Craig Northway, who was kind enough to
answer some questions on his paper on svg 1.2 compositing to me, despite the fact he was jetlagged, tired and had a cold :} He also provided a link where the background removal in svg 1.2 fitted in
in comparison with the pdf model.

After that, the implementator panel talk started, with implementors from sun, ikivo, batik, opera
and mozilla (and me for ksvg). It became clear a lot of implementators are aiming for svg 1.2, not just
the mobile market, but for desktop too. OTOH it probably makes more sense for mobile, since svg 1.2
Tiny is (almost) out, and svg 1.2 Full is not out yet.
There were many good questions asked, and for ksvg there were questions on size of the team, the way we worked and especially the relation with Apple/Webkit. Another important issue seemed to be to donate
test cases to the w3c. There was discussion about code sharing for things like SMIL between
implementors, but as a practical reason against it the fact that some implementations use java, some C++
was put forward.

After the panel discussion, I finally met Andreas Streichard(mop), a long time ksvg contributor. We
discussed the current status of the project, and how the website was maintained (not). In discussions
with others, people really seem to lack a status overview. Also further discussion with Andreas Neumann,
who was very interested in our work and asked a lot of questions :) There were a lot of people
interested in ksvg, which did me a lot of good :)

After the final talk, Tim Rowley(tor), Jonathan Watt(jwatt) and myself got together to compare
status of mozilla svg with ksvg2. It turns out we have a large overlap in the functionality we offer,
though mozilla/ff is strong in embedding, and we are strong (relatively) in animation. There was a lot
of discussion about all things svg related, our relation to Apple, how mozilla reviewing works etc. I
mentioned it was really a pity that pan/zoom was not in mozilla svg, apparently they hear this a lot.

I walked back with them to the hotel, where I met briefly with Cameron McCormack and Doug Scheepers.
After that it was time to catch the bus to the station and head home. The journey back was problematic
again, this was such a bad week for travelling by train, so I got back at 22:30.

Random remarks:

People I would have liked to meet there: Antoine Quint(graouts) and Maxim, agg2 author.

Renesis was there for a sales pitch, but apparently nothing concrete yet. Also not in the
implementators panel. Nobody from Adobe apparently was attending.

I got the impression the hottest thing at the confernece was sXBL(aka sexball :)).

Conclusion, a very fun and useful conference, where visiting for one day is not enough.


The conference looked interesting to me too, but I was too late with subscribing. So it would cost me 100 Euro's to get in. That was slightly beyond my budget :)

Bram Schoenmakers
KDE Netherlands (

By Bram Schoenmakers at Fri, 08/19/2005 - 14:16