Vector images?

Richmond richmondmathewson at
Wed Oct 21 04:54:28 EDT 2015

On 21/10/15 10:56, Mark Waddingham wrote:
> On 2015-10-20 21:49, Richmond wrote:
>> This is a very important question to which the answer really does need
>> to be "Yes".
> I think you are confusing the underlying ability to import and render 
> SVG (which will be used by the components which are created to sit 
> atop it - which the current development is a step towards), and how 
> that might be integrated into other parts of the engine and exposed to 
> the user in various ways.

As an end-user ("bottom feeder" ???) I am concerned largely how that is 
"exposed to the user".

I do not doubt your ability to do all the 'magic' (well, to me, at 
least, it is magic) in the background.

I am not confusing anything: I know you can manage "the underlying 
ability to import and render SVG",
and I am hoping you will expose that to the end-user via the menu for 
image import that is already in place in the GUI.

>> What I do know is that as there is a menu item to either import or
>> reference images that would seem
>> the logical place for SVG images to be handled.
> Indeed. The current patch is just the lower-level bit which (a) allows 
> various bits (well, widgets and potentially other parts of the engine) 
> to parse and render SVG and (b) a widget which displays an SVG file.
> It would make perfect sense for the IDE to have an 'import svg' menu 
> item or some such.
>> A longish time ago LiveCode (then called Revolution) allowed one to
>> import EPS vector images
>> via the menu system: why SVG images need to be handled in a completely
>> different way vis-a-vis
>> the GUI entirely escapes me.
> I'm sorry - but this has simply never ever been the case. EPS support 
> only ever existed in UNIX builds of the engine for UNIX platforms 
> which used Display PostScript.

You got me there :)

>> The ability to import, export, manipulate and, possibly, manufacture
>> SVG images in LiveCode is not
>> a "little" development, it is very important.
> Indeed - it is important - although how important will depend entirely 
> on what you are using LiveCode for.

Well, vector images are very widely used, and they do have the advantage 
over bitmapped ones in that they don't go "all fuzzy"
when they are resized: that, at the very least, is a big plus, and IF 
(??????) the Geometry Manager is 'whatever' vector images
would sit very nicely with that.

> SVG, at the end of the day, is just text. 

Well, aren't all 'documents'

> LiveCode is good at processing text, so certainly export of SVG is 
> something which can be done quite happily, and well (and indeed quite 
> sensibly) in script. Indeed, there is even an SVG importer which has 
> been around for a long time (although it is slightly limited by some 
> restrictions on the LiveCode graphic object) also written in script.

Alejandro . . .

> Now, I'm not saying that having builtin import and rendering of SVG is 
> a great thing - because it is - however, it is by no means a panacea 
> that will solve all problems - it will, however, solve specific 
> problems for specific domains (some of which are, I suspect, ones that 
> you face).

I only suffer, except when I forget my "place in the world", from a need 
to churn out really extremely moronic programs for content
delivery and reinforcement to 4-14 year-old EFL learners: and those 
could all be done with RR/LC version 2.

If LiveCode were to stop functioning and go "poof" off the face of the 
Earth, although it would be extremely sad, I would be able to continue
churning out those silly little programs with LC 2 - 4.5 on my 
out-of-date computers at least until I either retire, die, or go bonkers 
(well, um,
some people may think that last one has already happened) whichever 
comes first.

I use RR/LC 4.5 for my Devawriter Pro {Devanagari Sanskrit], PISMO 
[Cyrillic and Glagolitic Slavic] and Grendel [Anglo-Saxon, OHG and runes].

So, anything, post version 4.5 comes as an extremely happy bonus for me. 
So, notwithstanding all my fairly in-your-face criticisms, I think 
LiveCode rocks-its-socks; especially as a teaching medium for 
introducing young children to programming concepts.

I would tell any teachers who are "financially challenged" [= skint] to 
get their hands on either a second-hand PPC Mac or a second-hand intel 
machine and install Mac OS 104/5 or a Debian derivative (respectively) 
and use RR/LiveCode for everything; coupled with GIMP.

> Similarly, an 'export snapshot ... as svg' command would also be 
> useful to solve specific problems for specific domains but, again, 
> isn't going to do so for everyone.

Well, we all know what attempting to keep everybody happy at the same 
time results in: something that makes most people fed up.

>> Vector graphics are part of what we could call "the standard set", and
>> indeed have been for rather
>> longer than perhaps most people are aware, and RunRev's decision to
>> drop EPS image import
>> seemed odd and wrong at the time it happened: importing SVG images
>> would serve to rectify
>> what I, for one, feel was a backward move.
> Again - EPS support was never dropped. It never existed on Windows, 
> Mac or Linux in the first place.

I still feel that Vector graphibs should be automatically "in the list": 
SuperCard seems to cope with them, and has for quite some time.

>> More strength to your SVG elbow!
> Just to go back to my point above about problem solving and applicable 
> domain. For you (and many others), I can see why simple SVG import 
> support is so important. There are a number of tools in the 'producing 
> graphics' domain which generate SVG, and there are a large number of 
> SVG files out there which have graphics which are highly suitable for 
> the uses you are putting LiveCode to.
> However it is important to remember that not everyone uses LiveCode to 
> the same ends - there will probably be as many people on this list who 
> would see SVG as a much lower priority than <insert feature which 
> would help their particular problem domain and endeavours with LiveCode>.


But they are as entitled to bang-on about what they would like just as 
much as I am entitled to bang on about graphics.

If they don't that is not my fault, and possibly their loss.

As my grandfather said; "There is never any harm in asking."

> Serving such a broad user base with a 'high-level' tool such as ours 
> is not an easy task as, ultimately, it takes time and human effort to 
> add any feature that people might want/need. 

I share your pain. I have about 60 sets of parents who are perpetually 
bothering me because "little Ivan" has got knitting classes from 4-5,
and they cannot understand that I cannot reschedule 12 kids for the sake 
of just one of them. I have a smaller number of people to keep happy, 
but I have a smaller income; so that probably squares us.

But, unless one wants to go and live on one's own with a fat bank 
account to takes of one's needs (I wish !!!!), one has to do all that 
juggling to
keep as many people happy as possible without putting other people's 
noses out of joint.

> This is a huge part of the reason for 'why LCB and Widgets' - by 
> making it MUCH easier to extend the engine in ways that are 
> indistinguishable (or getting that way, anyway) from anything else in 
> the engine we can get to a situation where many more people (beyond 
> just 'us' behind the LiveCode Ltd. veil) can help others solve their 
> LiveCode related problems.
> Warmest Regards,
> Mark.

Thanks so much for writing such a well thought-out reply to my post.


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