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Tap the Power and Flexibility of Scalable Vector Graphics with O'Reilly's SVG Essentials

February 19, 2002

Sebastopol, CA--How can you create a high-res image that scales perfectly on any monitor, PDA, or cell phone? Or build a web page with graphics that update automatically if the content is changed? With Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), the new XML-based graphics standard from the World Wide Web Consortium, all manner of such "intelligent" graphics are possible.

According to J. David Eisenberg, author of the new O'Reilly book "SVG Essentials," "SVG is becoming the format of choice for exchanging vector data because it's open, transportable, and cross-platform. With SVG, web and XML developers can create Web documents that are small, quick-loading, and interactive. Plus, because it's an XML application, you can use all the XML tools on your files."

"It's easy to create XSLT stylesheets that take source XML data and create SVG," notes Eisenberg. "For example, you can take an XML data source that lists weather data, run it through an XSLT stylesheet and produce a series of USA Today-like weather diagrams. You can take the same data, run it through a different stylesheet, and create a bar graph of daily temperatures. These easily built tools add a lot of power above and beyond the normal 'drawing program' features."

SVG Essentials takes you through the ins and outs of SVG, beginning with basics needed to create simple line drawings and then moving through more complicated features like filters, transformations, and integration with Java, Perl, and XSLT. The book goes beyond "how to" and explains the concepts underlying SVG. "SVG Essentials" covers the gamut of things you can do with SVG, including:

  • Creating web graphics that automatically update
  • Generating graphs and charts from information stored in a wide variety of sources
  • Creating diagrams that users can explore by zooming in and panning around
  • Exchanging detailed drawings, from architectural plans to CAD layouts to project management diagrams
  • Managing graphics that support multiple languages or translations
  • Creating complex animation

The book even delves into the markup at the foundation of SVG, providing a solid base for creating your own custom tools. It includes appendices that explain key technical tools like XML, matrix math, and scripting, along with a reference to the SVG vocabulary. Whether you're a designer searching for an easier way to handle web graphics or a programmer building and managing complex data visualizations, you can get the job done with SVG Essentials.

Online Resources:

SVG Essentials
By J. David Eisenberg
February 2002
ISBN 0-596-00223-8, 364 pages, $34.95 (US) $52.95 (CA)

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