It’s just data

Sculpting the Future

James Boyer: We’re adding support for the DELETE method, which is more reasonable can be done now that the return code will be available. One practical result of this is that you will be able to write an XForms that speaks ATOM. [via James Governor]

This is très cool from a “positive” epidemic point of view.  One of the long ranging topics on the Atom mailing lists was the (now apparently somewhat presciently named) CarrotVsOrange debate that essentially boiled down to “should the APP limit itself to features that enjoy nearly 100% penetration today, or should it look forward to (and therefore, indirectly affect) what will be supported tomorrow?”  If you look closely at the frowny face’s on PutDeleteSupport you will often see a smiley face nearby with a newer version of the library.

Of course, whether XForms itself becomes a positive epidemic of its own or not remains to be seen.  Undoubtedly it will get a boost riding on the ample coattails of the ODF efforts.  There seems to be a demand for pushing the state of the art in the use of Forms by those that make and use Office applications, who’d a thunk it?


SVG followed a similar track, and now has attained enough of a critical mass to appear on my radar.  After all, it is supported by my desktop, my browser, and my office applications, what’s not to like?  And a simple paint like program (which I used to generate that faux modern art that you probably can’t see on the right) is only a simple apt-get install away.  Undoubtedly they all support a different subset of SVG at the moment, but once there is enough content out there, I’m confident that this will work itself out.

In any case, all this has got me thinking... what about a S5 like application embellished with Scalable Vector Graphics (S6 anyone?) for resizable presentations with rounded edges and gradient coloring... all wrapped up in a nice and neat XHTML wrapper.

Of course, this could also be done with AJAX and canvas too, which leads to the next decision point I see the web collectively making.  Do we want the next layer of programming to be fundamentally imperative (i.e, JavaScript based) or declarative (i.e., fundamentally document based)?  I don’t have a crystal ball, so I don’t know how this is going to sort itself out (lots of good people pursuing both sides), and this isn’t fundamentally an either/or winner-take-all proposition — one can certainly script SVG with JavaScript, and DOJO is an example of a document based approach to AJAX.

I’m kinda rooting for declarative based approaches, as while I can imagine sanitizing SVG in syndication feeds, the idea of sanitizing code in the form of JavaScript is beyond me.  And declarative based approaches combine well, for example, one can style SVG documents with CSS

In any case, don’t be surprised if the next presentation I post to the web requires SVG.  If the browser you use doesn’t support it, c’est la vie.  Or as my kids would say, “it sucks to be you”.