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graouts (2892)

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Antoine Quint is an SVG Consultant and Research Engineer at Fuchsia Design in Paris, France, where he lives with his cat Stig Elmer. He also likes to tell people about XML and SVG at conferences held in nice places, write his "Sacré SVG!" column for and attend meetings of the W3C SVG Working Group -- to which he is an invited expert. He's also got a book in the works with his friend Robin Berjon.

Journal of graouts (2892)

Friday February 21, 2003
04:43 AM

Going to OScon

Yay! Got my "Programming SVG" tutorial accepted. See you there!

-- junior

Wednesday February 05, 2003
04:04 PM

Migrating OS X

I keep asking OS X questions here, but you guys know so much. Anyway, I am in the process of buying a new 12" PowerBook. I'm giving the iBook away to an old buddy.

I'm pretty happy with the setup I got on my iBook. What I'm looking for is a solution to migrate all my data, programs, preferences, etc to the new PowerBook. I also have an external FireWire drive to help me. Here's a scenario I thought about:

- Boot the iBook in FireWire drive mode from the PowerBook - create a gzipped tarball of my complete iBook hard drive - move that tarball to the FireWire drive - Boot the PowerBook in FireWire mode from the iBook - erase all contents of the PowerBook and unzip the tarball on the blank PowerBook hard drive

I've got no clue if that would work. How about the .Mac synchronization, can I use it for that purpose. Help much appreciated here!

-- junior

04:01 AM


Interesting read over at Planet PDF about Adobe's Image Viewer. If you ever wondered where Adobe was going with SVG and PDF, this might well enlighten you. New SVG features available through this now are text wrapping and flowing, video, audio and transitions (à la SMIL). Oh, and there's a Perl script out there to generate a PDF file from an SVG. More about this soon...

-- junior

Tuesday January 28, 2003
05:55 AM

Looks like SVG is soon going to have its own use Perl;! The owner of is kindly lending us the domain so we can create an SVG community website. More soon...

-- junior

Sunday January 26, 2003
02:31 PM

Sweet things on eBay

Since I am going to Boston in March I thought I would check out a few music items on eBay that I would have a hard time finding in France. When it comes to guitars, eBay is pretty much the Holy Grail. Today I found this amazing Gretsch guitar, and I got the winning bid. Another month and this bad boy will be mine, hahaha!!! I also got my eyes set on small Stella guitar. All I would need then is a fine Martin folk guitar... Anyone here got a fine one for sale?

-- junior

Tuesday January 21, 2003
07:01 AM

Automatic mount at log-in on OS X

Yesterday Paul provided some help resolving the automatic XP share mounting at system login on OS X. I researched thing a bit further and came up with a pretty good solution with some help from my friend William Dell Wisner.

I created two shell (could/should be Perl as Robin noticed) scripts, one for login mounting the XP share and another one for logout umounting the share. Then I edited the /etc/ttys file and edited the console line to add something that looks like:

console "/System/Library/CoreServices/ -LoginHook /Users/antoine/Scripts/ -LogoutHook /Users/antoine/Scripts/" vt100 on secure window=/System/Library/CoreServices/WindowServer onoption="/usr/libexec/getty std.9600"

This solved the case!

-- junior

Monday January 20, 2003
12:01 PM

Mac OS X Question

Since a lot of people here use OS X and are quite knowledgeable, I thought I would post my OS X question. Here is the problem I have: I have an OS X iBook and an XP box on my home network. On my XP box I have created a network drive that always give me access to my iBook in a simple way from Explorer, and I only put the password once. On OS X, when I want to connect to my XP box, I have to do Apple+K in the Finder to "Connect to Server", then have to retype my username/password each time (although I ask it to add it to my keychain), and when I log out and log back in the network drive unmounted itself. Is there any way to do this a bit more automatically? I would very much like to have my XP shares show up as a mounted drive automagically when I log in and preferably not type my username/password each time too. Any help is greatly appreciated!!

-- junior

Tuesday January 14, 2003
11:04 AM

SVG 1.1 and SVG Mobile are W3C Recommendations

While I personnaly did not do that much work for SVG 1.1 (besides tests, etc.), I am thrilled to pass the information that SVG 1.1 and SVG Mobile are W3C Recommendations. A variety of related documents have been made available by the W3C team: a press release, some testimonials and the indispensable FAQ. I particularily like this last one since you can see real pictures of real devices displaying SVG Tiny animations and the SVG Tiny files themselves. I understand some of the devices are not on the market just now but it's a matter of time before you can go to the shop and buy an SVG-enabled phone. And remember kids, this is all open and standard, no dodgy proprietary stuff!

-- junior

07:17 AM

New Adobe SVG Viewer?

Anticipation is rising on the SVG-Dev list on an upcoming update of the Adobe SVG Viewer to version 4. Adobe have just released the mysterious Adobe Image Viewer 4.0. Apparently, this is an add-on for Acrobat Reader meant for visualizing presentations created with the upcoming Photoshop Album digital photo software.

Altough the Image Viewer page says nothing about SVG, it appears that it encapsulates new and updated SVG DLLs on Windows built last September, far more recent than those of SVG Viewer 3.0. Also, there is a page on the SVG Zone for the Image Viewer summarizing modifications on codes governed by the MPL. Installing the Image Viewer does not change anything when viewing SVG in browsers where the SVG Viewer 3.0 is still handling everything. Anyway, now it is clear Adobe have some updated core SVG components initially available in the SVG Viewer. It shouldn't be too long before someone from Adobe gives us an update on this on the SVG list.

-- junior

Wednesday January 08, 2003
04:35 PM

Odd Keynote XML Grammar

Here is an email I sent on both XML-dev and SVG-dev as an answer to Tim bray inviting us to check out APXL, the XML grammar for the new Keynote software.

> The XML vocabulary for Apple's new "Keynote"
> powerpoint competitor. Apparently it includes a
> fairly complete vector-graphics facility.


Although I am by nature an Apple enthusiast (and already ordered Keynote) I must say I am a little puzzled by what I see from the XML grammar used by Keynote.

As you noticed, it includes quite a lot of vector graphics information, which I must note differs from SVG. What I wonder is why did they have to use a different grammar. From what I understood from Steve's keynote, Keynote leverages Quartz2D (OS X's fantastic drawing/imaging API). If you ever took a close look at Quartz2D you'll notice that feature-wise it is pretty much closely matches the graphics capabilities, main differences are compositing model (Quartz2D seems to only support SRC_OVER - don't quote me on that though, some experts from the SVG WG could offer more details) and maybe some filters. The bottom-line is that Apple could very much have built Quartz2D on top of SVG rather than PDF. It is also worth noticing that Apple took part in SVG 1.0.

I don't criticize Apple for not chosing SVG over PDF (although I wish they would use SVG), but I'm puzzled by why they are not using it in the Keynote XML grammar. Let's take a look at a few things that stroke me as blatantly weird things:

APXL - <g transformation="1 0 0 1 12 24.75">

Ok, the <g> element, which I guess is a pretty close mapping to SVG' s own <g>. However, the "transformation" attribute here reminds me of the SVG "transform" attribute. Different attribute name, and also different attribute grammar. SVG would have it written <g transform="matrix(1 0 0 1 12 24.75)">. Since it seems that feature-wise this is doing the same thing, why use a different grammar? There are other "close but no cigar" occurences such as the generic <shape> element with a "path" attribute close to SVG's <path> "d" attribute, gradients

Other dodgy things I've seen is APXL constantly avoiding leveraging CSS. Not only are there no CSS properties but rather (arguably regrettable in SVG too) presentation attributes and even <styles> elements, but also APXL fails to leverage CSS types such as RGB colors. Another weird thing is the failure to use reusable definitions for things like gradients. In SVG, one defines gradient elements (both linear and radial) once and can reuse them as many times he likes. In APXL we can see things like this:

<styles> <fill-style fill-type="gradient"> <gradient end-color="0.00392157 0.690196 1" start-color="0.6 1 0.8" gradient-angle="180"/> </fill-style> <dash-style pattern="none"/> <shadow-style opacity="0" radius="0"/> </styles>

We can once again see differences in the APXL grammar for gradients. You'll also see that drop-shadow is also done differently than the way you do it with SVG.

It seems to me that there are no graphics features in Keynote that are not available in SVG. Actually, there are similarities in the way that graphics data are expressed in APXL but I fail to see any SVG leveraging. I think this is quite dissappointing design from Apple and a bit of a dirty XML serialization to me. XML is great for defining open and interoperable grammars, but what's the point of re-inventing the wheel here?

Keynote does look real sexy though!