The coming of SVG

Mike Kerner MikeKerner at
Fri Nov 3 11:18:49 EDT 2017

OOOH.  Cooooool.  So pretty soon maybe I can render interfaces in Sketch
after applying themes from my favorite interface design houses...

On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 9:19 AM, Mark Waddingham via use-livecode <
use-livecode at> wrote:

> Hi all,
> My most recent talk at LCG (in October) was 'Building an SVG Widget' and
> in order to talk about such a thing, I needed to actually build one - so I
> did :)
> So, we are now firmly on the road to full SVG support in LiveCode!
> At the moment the implementation only supports geometric shape tags,
> paths, and solid color fills. However, it supports the standard fill/stroke
> attributes and should work with any SVG file - anything which isn't
> supported just doesn't get rendered (so you have a modicum of graceful
> degradation in terms of features). In particular, you don't need to
> preprocess your SVG file to pull out incompatible tags / attributes, or
> just extract the path (as you do for the SVGIcon widget).
> The current implementation successfully renders quite a wide range of
> simple SVGs (simple in the features they use, rather than how they look!).
> Indeed, it happily renders the (quite widely known) Tiger and Lion SVGs,
> and has been tested on quite a few random SVGs I managed to find on
> Wikipedia. It is certainly more than capable if you want to use simply
> coloured multi-path SVGs.
> LCG attendees got a prototype of a widget to play with - called vectoricon
> - and integrating this initial version this into the product has now got to
> the top of my work-list :)
> The principal thing which I'd like some feedback on right now is the name
> of the widget/control - I think we have a good one, but wanted to see what
> you all thought before committing us to it forever and a day.
> Before getting to that though, I should perhaps explain what a potential
> path for the evolution of this new feature in LiveCode could look like.
> SVG as a concept allows arbitrary collections of vector shapes, images and
> text to be represented in a single high-level way as XML - in particular,
> you can express geometric shapes, raster images and text all in one unified
> form.
> Previously we had proposed producing a 'shape' object which would be a
> 'graphic object on steroids' - allowing affine transformation, higher
> fidelity specification of geometric objects and groups of them; providing
> an 'svgText' interface similar to htmlText on the field. Essentially, the
> proposed 'shape' object would have used a subset of SVG to allow easy
> interchange of what it represents.
> That notion of 'shape' object (and thus the current 'graphic' object) can
> be subsumed into the SVG implementation in an obvious way - if you ask your
> SVG object to be a rectangle, it creates (notionally) the SVG for a
> rectangle internally and uses that - which you would see via the svgText.
> Similarly, as SVG can represent raster images too, we can fold the current
> behavior of the 'image' object into it to - in a similar way.
> The end result here would be a single object which is a generalization of
> two existing objects - image and graphic - but without the
> backwards-compatibility baggage we currently have.
> In terms of using this new object in a consistent way to our current
> model, we propose (subsequently) to generalize the types of objects which
> can be referenced by imageSource and icon properties - allowing them to use
> any object which 'knows how to be used as an icon'. Currently, only the
> image object has this knowledge - but we can extend to other objects by
> getting them to implement the appropriate internal interface. This would
> mean that you could just replace the images you use currently for icons and
> such, with the new control which supports SVG and use SVG instead.
> Given the potential future path of this particular feature, we also
> propose to eventually give it an actual control type - rather than widget
> (although it will still be a widget). i.e. We think it is has such future
> potential that being able to do '<noun> "foo"' in script will be very
> useful (this is almost a requirement if it is to eventually 'replace' the
> image and graphic objects). [ Note: we have also been considering this for
> the browser widget too! ].
> Thus with all that in mind - we are proposing 'picture' as the name of the
> new SVG capable control, with the following ideal roadmap:
>   a) we would integrate the 'prototype' implemented for SVG as
> 'com.livecode.widget.picture'
>   b) we would add a 'picture' noun to the language as the control type for
> that widget
>   c) we would add icon reference support, allowing it to be used in place
> of an image
>   d) we would add graphic-like shape properties, allowing you to use it in
> place of a graphic
>   e) we would add support to the image tag in svg, and image-like image
> properties, allowing it to be used in place of an image
>   f) we would gradually expand support for the range of SVG it can
> directly render (gradients and layers are high on the hit list here)
> In terms of timescale, we are currently looking at delivering 'just' (a)
> for 9.0 (although I do have my eye on at least (c) too - we'll have to see
> how other things we still need to finish for 9 go). The rest all break down
> into bite-sized chunks which I'd hope we could iterate on it periodically
> after that.
> It goes without saying that we are interested in any and all feedback you
> might have on this idea; however, right now, our top priority is naming.
> As I said above 'picture' is our current top (and perhaps only!) contender
> - it says what SVG does (it represents pictures of things), can subsume the
> idea of image and graphic naturally, and is human-friendly. It is also a
> single word which is a current requirement if it is to be used as a chunk
> noun (like 'image', and 'graphic' etc.).
> I look forward to reading any feedback you might have!
> Warmest Regards,
> Mark.
> --
> Mark Waddingham ~ mark at ~
> LiveCode: Everyone can create apps
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