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From: Jake Voytko (jakevoytko_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-06-13 20:12:17

On 6/13/07, Cédric Venet <cedric.venet_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> This question has probably already been answered when defining the
> subject,
> but I wasn't there. So if you don't mind:
> Why does this library export is graph only in SVG?

The idea behind using SVG is that it is fully supported in Firefox, Safari
(partial support) , and has a plug in for IE. (I'll explain why the wiki
link didn't work in a second). All of the discussion I've seen/participated
so far (I didn't look through much of the discussions that occurred before I
joined the mailing list in late March) Boost documentation was the most
immediate benefactor from the work done here.

I signed up for this GSoC project, so in some sense, I'm making what the
customer ordered :P... but it is not a waste in any sense of the word. The
images produced are vector graphics, making them just as sharp at any level
of magnification, the image format is open and robust, the image is written
in plaintext (so the images can be indexed by browsers). Image sizes are
usually smaller than .jpegs and .gifs, which save on bandwidth. From a web
standpoint, that's huge.

Also, (probably something I will do after the GSoC project ends), it will be
possible for the svg_plot class to parse an existing document. This will
allow changes to be made to individual elements of existing plots, which is
not something that could so easily be accomplished in a jpeg, gif, or a

I have nothing against SVG but (for example):
> - the picture on the wiki didn't show up correctly event after I installed
> a
> plugin, I needed to clic on it for them to display on a lank page (I use
> IE7, like a majority of users). Also, I took the plugin from adobe and it
> seems they don't plan to support it anymore after the end of the year.

Adobe will keep the link for the SVG plugin available through the year 2008
(but will stop updating it in the beginning of 2008), and hopefully a year
and a half is enough time for me to make this work in another format ;). The
Renesis project is also working on SVG plugins, and when Adobe's is no
longer available, I expect their solution to be just as good.

SVG support was one of the big request items in the IE7 bug tracker before
they "temporarily" closed it. They mention SVG when talking about "The
Future Beyond IE7" (
All of their major publicity recently is focused on web standards, but then
again, who knows?

I didn't embed the SVG image into an <embed> or <object> tag because I have
Firefox, and I was hoping I could hold off making an example page with
embedded images for a little while. If I embedded it into the page like you
would a Flash image, it would show up fine for you. I'll set up an example
page on my @ site soon (as in tonight or tomorrow), and you will
see the images in their full glory.

- If I want to put the svg in a latex document, I would need to convert it
> to ps/eps. It would be easier to output directly in ps format.
> - If I want to display the graph on the screen at runtime, it would be
> difficult.
> Use case:
> - with eps backend => latex document
> - with GDI or openGL backend => runtime plotting
> - raster backend => solid image (png, jpeg)

Sorry.. the major use cases that were important to the Boost at the time of
development were web based. The whole point of GSoC is to get people
interested in contributing for communities, and I'd like to keep going after
this is done. Everybody I deal with has been helpful and intelligent. I
intend to extend these headers and make them usable by the broadest category
of people I can, but it'll be a while before I get to these use cases. (I'm
only one person!) When I start doing that, I may change the architecture,
but for now it's convenient to deal with it in an inherited manner (as,
after all, a svg_plot "IS A" svg document).

At the current point in time, I'm not considering putting it up for final
review immediately after GSoC ends, because there will still be a lot I'll
want to do with it that I couldn't pull off in 3 months, so if and when it
is accepted into Boost, it will have addressed a lot of your concerns. You
brought up some very important, big-picture points, and I thank you for
doing this so that I can consider these things early instead of later in the

Lastly, please excuse my poor English. I don't use English very often.

I understood everything you said.. no worries!


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