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Created: December 19, 2001.
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W3C Issues WebCGM 1.0 Second Release as a W3C Recommendation.

As part of the W3C Graphics Activity, the World Wide Web Consortium has published WebCGM 1.0 Second Release. The specification has been issued in the form of a revised W3C Recommendation which brings WebCGM up to date with the first release errata. WebCGM is "an interoperable way to exchange dynamic Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) files over the Web. The WebCGM Profile adds hyperlinking to graphics-rich applications such as interactive electronic manuals for engineering and manufacturing. The WebCGM profile specifies additional constraints to improve interoperability, defines how hyperlinking works, and defines mechanisms for use in HTML. Based upon CGM, an ISO standard for vector graphics, the WebCGM profile was developed in collaboration with the CGM Open Consortium to satisfy the needs of specific markets in the aerospace, defense, automotive and electronics industries." A document prepared by Chris Lilly and Dieter Weidenbrück for XML Europe 2001 compares SVG and WebCGM, clarifying that SVG and WebCGM do not compete as graphics standards. Each is suitable for distinct purposes: SVG for high-quality, creative graphics, and WebCGM for technical graphics with a long life-cycle.

Bibliographic information: WebCGM 1.0 Second Release. W3C Recommendation, 17-December-2001. Version URL: Also as a .ZIP archive. Latest Version URL: Previous Version URL: By David Cruikshank (The Boeing Company), John Gebhardt (Intercap Graphics Systems), Lofton Henderson (Inso Corporation), Roy Platon (CCLRC), and Dieter Weidenbrueck (ITEDO/IsoDraw).

Abstract from the recent "Vendor Offering" demo at XML 2001, entitled 'New Vendor Products for REC WebCGM Interoperability': "WebCGM is a stable and mature W3C Recommendation for technical graphics on the Web. Besides having functionality accurately targeted at its functional niche, a standard needs several other things to succeed. The most obvious need is a critical mass of implementations which interoperate successfully. Five vendors of the CGM Open Consortium are now releasing WebCGM products, whose functionality spans the categories of WebCGM content generators, format transcoders, viewers and browser plugins, editors, and validators. These products are being built with the aid of a new WebCGM Conformance Test Suite, which adds the critical component of verifiability. After a brief introduction and pointer to additional WebCGM resources and information, we will present three brief sub-scenarios that simulate snippets of workflow, in which the five vendors will (pair-wise) apply their products and functionality, to demonstrate the interoperable potential of WebCGM and the products."

Abstract from the WebCGM 1.0 Second Release: "CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile) has been an ISO standard for vector and composite vector/raster picture definition since 1987. It has been a registered MIME type since 1995. CGM has a significant following in technical illustration, electronic documentation, geophysical data visualization, amongst other application areas. WebCGM is a profile for the effective application of CGM in Web electronic documents. WebCGM has been a joint effort of the CGM Open Consortium, in collaboration with W3C staff and supported by the European Commission Esprit project. It represents an important interoperability agreement amongst major users and implementors of CGM, and thereby unifies current diverse approaches to CGM utilization in Web document applications. WebCGM's clear and unambiguous conformance requirements will enhance interoperability of implementations, and it should be possible to leverage existing CGM validation tools, test suites, and the product certification testing services for application to WebCGM . While WebCGM is a binary file format and is not 'stylable', nevertheless WebCGM follows published W3C requirements for a scalable graphics format where such are applicable. The design criteria for the graphical content of WebCGM aimed at a balance between graphical expressive power on the one hand, and simplicity and implementability on the other. A small but powerful set of metadata elements is standardized in WebCGM, to support the functionalities of: hyperlinking and document navigation; picture structuring and layering; and, search and query on WebCGM picture content."

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