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W3C Finalizes SVG Specification for Devices

I read about that taking place today via an article on news.com. [1] (Read the official press release from W3C [2]) So the W3C has given its stamp of approval to SVG as the graphical language of choice for cell phones, PDAs and other handheld devices. An interesting quote from the article, “SVG, which is intended to supplant Macromedia’s dominant and proprietary Flash animation technology, has been wending its way through the W3C for years in one form or another. The original specification grew [3] out of a quartet of early contenders, including Microsoft’s Vector Markup Language (VML), and won [4] its recommendation in September 2001.”

This is especially interesting to me as I just did a presentation last night on Flash MX, Remoting and Flash Communications Server to a group of 20 people who from what I gathered primarily do work developing databases and using java to create web services. Most of the experience they have with creating UI or interactivity is with Java and swing. During the presentation there were some interesting questions:

1) What about SVG? Can you do the same stuff with SVG that you are showing us with Flash?

2) How come there is not more of a representation from Macromedia on setting vector graphic standards?

I thought the questions were interesting and I answered them as best I could, giving pros and cons for both SVG and Flash, with my hindrance being that I don’t know nearly as much about SVG as compared to Flash. I posed the following questions to a group of folks I know as food for thought:

How would you answer those questions?

And more importantly, what is the set of criteria that should be used to determine whether one solution is better suited than another when contemplating creating an application or project that is destined for a device?

I welcome comments and feedback on this.

Regarding the presentation I gave, the folks who attended really seemed to like that Flash can be used to consume web services and serve as a front end for backend data sources. They also really liked Flash Communications Server, they loved that two other folks in different parts of the world were able to video/audio conference in just by using the Flash plugin and the fact that the demo I created was made in less than 10 minutes from start to finish using premade components. They also liked the idea of remoting and sucking binary data streams into Flash. Using Flash as an interface/front end to their webservices and java beans/classes was also very appealing. Many of them had never been exposed to Flash as a Rich Internet Application solution, only to cartoons and animated ads. They didn’t realize a lot of the potential for presenting data and rapidly developing and deploying applications on devices.

Special thanks to Christian Cantrell [5] and J, AKA SubCulture06 of the Philadelpha Flash Macromedia Flash User Group [6] for showing up via Flashcom for the demo.

UPDATE: I found this interesting FAQ [7] about the use of SVG 1.1 and SVG Mobile. What are your thoughts about SVG 1.1. and SVG Mobile as compated to the Flash Player for Pocket PC?