Proceedings of the SVG Open

Several of the papers at the SVG Open have been *posted online, including an interesting paper on bitmap to vector conversion, a topic I enjoy exploring.

It’s too bad that WebKit couldn’t be there to represent itself as an SVG viewer. It would be nice to see and compare the future of SVG implementation by The Three.

There’s a whole section on SVG and graphic design, another area I’m interested in; especially considering that SVG Effects have now been added to the Mozilla trunk. I downloaded the Mozilla Minefield build that included this addition, and hope to have some some of my own SVG Effects examples up soon.

I’ve also heard rumors (can’t find where, now) of funding for an SVG plug-in for IE so that we know we’ll have support for SVG in IE going into the future. It would be better to have a native implementation in IE, but with a plug-in we’re assured won’t go away, we can at least move forward in the use of SVG.

*thx to Michael Bernstein for link

Political Web

The web, attention, and truth

Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web Foundation a couple of days ago. The focus of the organization, according to the site is to help make the web more open, robust, and accessible, all of which are commendable. But then Berners-Lee mentioned about ensuring the quality of the web through some kind of labeling system.

Short Sharp Science responded with:

Web licences to ensure that people only read sites they can handle are the next logical step. Fortunately it’s much more likely that the whole idea will quietly be forgotten, which will at least prevent Berners-Lee receiving one of the first “potentially misleading” badges for thinking it up in the first place. Let’s hope the World Wide Web Foundation and its laudable goals have a rosier future.

Karl Martino lists other responses, but brought up another effect associated with the “truthy label”.

Take the current campaign for President. How could a labeling scheme help or hurt?…I guarantee you a labeling scheme, in the political sphere, would favor the those who could utilize attention influence the most effectively, and have little to do with actual ‘truth’.

However, I don’t think we have to worry about the truthy battle any time soon, as I’m not seeing much interest in this announcement. Oh, mention of it has appeared here and there, such as in Karl’s post and in Short Sharp Science, and including this post by yours truly. But most of the web community is focused on some new advance in one or another of the browsers, implementation of a new CSS3 or HTML5 feature, or the invention of yet another server-side language that will kill all others. Well, with an occasional picture of a cat, vacation, or cute little cherub (because we do not live by tech alone).

Either the seeming indifference is due to the fact that the web has grown far beyond the reaches of even its original inventor, and few believe that this effort will have much of an impact. Or we’ve been hit with so many new “initiatives” that all we care about now is what’s working, what’s broke, and trying to ensure pieces of the former do not become part of the latter.


State of Video

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

A lot seems to be going on in the world of online video.

NBC and its affiliates have returned to iTunes, and brought quasi-HD quality with it. Welcome back to Eureka and Heroes, and in a much better quality than previous TV shows. ABC has also started rolling out shows in HD quality.

The move was paired with the release of iTunes 8, which hasn’t necessarily been a smooth upgrade when paired with the AppleTV. The syncing between iTunes and AppleTV has generated some problems, and you can only purchase HD TV shows on iTunes—they’re not available directly on the AppleTV.

Joost is now web-based rather than requiring a separate player. I’m trying it now, and the quality isn’t too bad; about what you would find with Hulu and other lower resolution videos. No HD-like quality yet, but hopefully in time.

The streaming is a little rough, but that could also be a problem along the pipe. One advantage Joost has over so many other online video services is that it provides content for people in most countries, not just the UK, or the US. Of course, we all don’t see the same content.

Still nothing yet from Roku as to when we can expect the additional content for the Roku player.

In the meantime, the first town to go all digital, Wilmington, North Caroline, has not imploded yet from the change, so there’s hope for the rest of the world. The local news stations I pick up using an HD tuner have started to man phone lines during news broadcasts in order to answer questions about the conversion. It’s still going to be interesting times when the switch is turned on.