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From "Randy George" <rkgeo...@cadmaps.com>
Subject Re: SVG CAD editor?
Date Tue, 30 Jan 2001 22:47:26 GMT

	I know the Batik developers are swimming fast just to provide basic SVG
viewing tools, but does this idea have any merit for the future?

	In addition the Apache Software Foundation recently announced the Batik
project whose goal is to provide open source Java tools for manipulation and
use of svg-xml documents. ( http://xml.apache.org/batik/ ) This development
has some possible implications for the engineering design world dominated by
large CAD vendors. These CAD vendors are attempting to add Internet
capability to their PC era software systems, but what if some open source
community integrates vector editing capability right into the browser?
Vector editing based on SVG DOM level 2 in the browser changes SVG emphasis
from portability to cross platform interactivity. An elementary drawing
editor capability is intrinsic to the DOM APIs. Sub-elements consisting of
lines, text, polylines, and polygons, as well as general paths, markers, and
defs, may be deleted, added, moved, scaled, and copied. Class attributes on
each element can be referenced by associated style sheets, CSS or XSL, to
control visibility, line type, and color analogous to design layers. Because
the SVG DOM provides interfaces for building elementary 2D editing
capability, browsers can become drawing editors! Since the vast majority of
engineering design work is still in 2D this capability would be adopted by
the engineering design community wholesale.

	An incidental benefit of open source development would be the breeching of
the Linux wall. There are currently no viable CAD design tools available for
Linux workstations, which is a major roadblock to adoption of Linux in
engineering offices. Incorporating SVG editing into the browser would make
design functions cross platform in a big way. SVG documents could be viewed
and edited on the entire platform spectrum from IBM big iron to palm
devices, without complex intermediate and proprietary software frameworks.
Transition to Internet era CAD design would leverage open source Linux and
cross platform Java making real design collaboration over the Internet
possible for the AEC community.


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