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Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) software released from the Apache Software Foundation
May 21, 2001, 20 :57 UTC (0 Talkback[s]) (2167 reads)

The Apache Software Foundation's (ASF) XML Project's Batik Team today announced the release of Batik 1.0, a sophisticated open source, Java-based toolkit for SVG (scalable vector graphics).

SVG is an XML syntax for rich 2D graphics and Batik allows developers to view, generate and manipulate SVG images with unprecedented precision, detail and functionality. Since the release of the W3C candidate recommendation of the SVG specification, Batik continues to set new high-water marks for the implementation of this maturing specification.

"In the past months the Batik team has moved quickly toward realizing its goal of providing a full implementation of the W3C's SVG specification," said Vincent Hardy of the Batik team. "The latest Batik release provides a high quality implementation of many of the high-end SVG features. With the highly modular tool, developers can cut down the cost of creating, viewing and exchanging graphical content between applications or across the Internet, and easily generate, manipulate or view SVG content. The contribution, experience and expertise of companies and individuals has helped create a team dedicated to the success of the project."

By leveraging the force of XML and the visual strengths of dynamic and easily accessible vector graphics, the Apache XML Project's Batik team lead the drive in building an industrial-grade embeddable Web graphics software solution. Batik delivers core components for three main purposes:

  • generating SVG content from any Java applications,
  • viewing SVG content, and
  • converting SVG to and from other formats.

The vision is to help make SVG the central format for exchanging and viewing any type of 2D graphical information while still making it easy to convert SVG images to other formats, for environments that do not yet support SVG natively.

SVG combines two of computer graphic's great practices, vector graphics and raster graphics, in a resolution independent framework, enabling SVG images to be rendered with high quality on any screen or printer. The SVG framework also includes many sophisticated graphics features such as gradient paints, filter effects, and sophisticated text support. This unique combination of graphical features in one standard format makes it ideal for describing any rich image content, from CAD diagrams to postcards to Grandma. Furthermore, by using an XML syntax, SVG is extremely easy to generate, search, transform and manipulate. Unlike other formats, SVG becomes a powerful tool for anybody managing image content for the Web or other environments.

New features in Batik 1.0 release:

  • Filter effects such as drop shadows and lighting effects.
  • Internal and external use -- allows developers to create.
  • Highly structured SVG images where common components are easily reused.
  • Masking and clipping.
  • Markers.
  • Linking -- the ability to define SVG graphical elements as "links" (similar to HTML hyperlinks) which can point to other graphical elements in an SVG image (for example allowing you to zoom in a portion of a map) either in the same SVG image, in another SVG image or in another document (such as an HTML page).
  • Sophisticated text support -- Batik now supports control over complex text layout (such as individual glyph advance).
  • Run-time extensibility -- Much of Batik can now be extended at run-time, providing among other things new graphics primitives, and support for new image file formats.

With this release, Batik provides extensive support of most static SVG features and includes:

  • Improved SVG generator -- allows all applications to easily export their graphics in the SVG format. This generator has been extended and made more flexible.
  • Improved packaging of the Batik modules -- making them easier to integrate into applications. For example, developers can plug in the Batik's viewing component to add SVG viewing capability into their applications without having to know anything about SVG.
Batik delivers a number of sample applications that leverage its core components, such as an SVG browser. Screenshots of that browser can be seen at: .

In the near future, the Batik team aims to provide developers worldwide support for full dynamic behavior, including scripting and SMIL (synchronized multimedia integration language) for animations.

"Our relationship with the Apache Software Foundation allows Sun engineers to develop technology implementations in a collaborative environment and better enables Sun to deliver robust products based on open standards. The Batik project demonstrates the synergy between the Java platform's portable code and XML's portable data," said Jon Bosak, Distinguished Engineer from Sun Microsystems. "We are proud to have worked in cooperation with Kodak and ILOG on this remarkable toolkit for SVG-based graphics."

"Kodak congratulates the Apache Software Foundation and the Batik project on the 1.0 release of the SVG toolkit. Batik will significantly advance SVG as an important element for enabling both graphical and image-intensive creative Web-based applications," said Daryl Hunt, Director of Strategic Standards at the Eastman Kodak Company . "Because of its open source nature, ISV's will be able to leverage the powerful and extensible framework it provides to develop new classes of creative applications and to deploy SVG in environments not previously possible. Such applications and systems could prove fundamental to delivering new products and services through our Internet photofinishing services."

"The goal of the Batik project complements ILOG's goal of creating and delivering the richer, more compelling online experience that Web content providers and users want, and we congratulate the Apache Foundation and the Batik team for this important milestone," said Jean-Francois Abramatic, Senior Vice President of ILOG Research and Development. "A supporter of SVG since its inception, ILOG will continue its commitment to the standard in our roles as a W3C working group member, Batik technical committee member, and with real products, such as ILOG JViews, one of the first SVG products on the market."

The Batik project's name comes from the famous and highly developed art traditions of the Indonesian island of Java. The Apache XML team seeks to honor and capture Java's rich history of creating geometric patterned and colorfully designed textiles through Batik's high quality graphical representation capabilities.

The Batik Project encourages participation through its mailing list: . For more information about the Batik project please see .

Related Stories:
Jakarta Velocity 1.0 Released(Apr 02, 2001)
Velocity v1.0 Beta 1 released(Mar 23, 2001)
Announce: Melati 0.53(Feb 14, 2001)
SysAdmin: Linux as an Application Server -- The Tomcat Way (Jan 15, 2001)
InfoWorld: Apache Group, Apache Server Project(Jan 02, 2001)
PR: New ILOG JViews One of First Products to Support SVG, Emerging XML Graphics Standard(Dec 04, 2000)
PR: Sun Microsystems Announces Early Access Availability of Key Java Technologies for XML(Dec 04, 2000)
PR: Sun Microsystems Adds Support to Third Apache Foundation Project: Batik(Dec 04, 2000)

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