Tim Bray’s Keynote

My comments will be emphasised, the rest is my notes on what Tim says.

  • Good reasons to use SVG - scalable, programmable, extensible, human-readable.Human Readable? geek readable perhaps
  • Not a single API for all SVG applications, just like with XML, this is good!
  • Does a good job of coping with namespace extended stuff - SVG first substantial XML vocab that does it well.
  • Textual data formats are better than binary ones, better interop.I think by “human readable” he means “text editor-able”
  • SVG not always more compact than bitmap.
  • Bad reasons to use SVG:
  • “a picture is worth a thousand words” - US constitution could not be a single image.
  • “We need graphics for the novices” - Dumbing down novices, graphics better for power users, dealing with huge amounts of info. (visualisations)
  • “You should see this cool animation” - animated killed 3D, animation draws people away from getting good content, coolness over utility.
  • “kartoo”? flash search engine. Dazzling beautiful - USELESS!
  • SVG is good for data graphics, not a photo of a rose. Sweet spot between technical and design areas. Designers don’t know how to talk to tech people, and the reverse of course.
  • Magazines/newspapers spent huge amounts getting designers making their info look good.
  • Mark Bernstein quote on all computer content production tools will be programming tools (I paraphrased of course).
  • Tufte wrote the book on data graphics, buy his books - they’re FUN! (I think he’s on commission :-)
  • Rule 1 - Every drop of ink should be information. highest ratio of data/ink is best.
  • Demos how to improve a barchart, remove grid, background, frame, tick marks.
  • Rule 2 - More info on the screen the better. highest ratio of data/area is best.
  • Mapmakers are the best at this.
  • Map of cornwall, showing 20 highest rated pubs etc. (from antarcita’s products.) Other visualisation maps.
  • How to get through to everyone?
  • Tim Bray isn’t impressed with what SVG folks have achieved so far - not successful until everyday folks use SVG (hmm, right tool for the job???)
  • Antarctica didn’t ship SVG version of Visual Net - couldn’t sell it to enterprises - SVG isn’t in the browser.
  • World of the webbrowser in a bad way, no widespread IE7 until 2007, even if it has SVG in it.
  • No innovation in mainstream browser market.
  • Tim Bray’s weblog sees 52% IE (so - it’s not quite Google)
  • Best news would be one or two big orgs to standardise on mozilla (Pipe dream!)