vector graphics support (was Re: image support (was ...))

Subject: vector graphics support (was Re: image support (was ...))
From: Paul Rohr (
Date: Thu Mar 02 2000 - 15:19:57 CST

At 01:28 PM 3/2/00 -0500, Jon Niehof wrote:
>IIRC, wv complained about not including WMF support in my
>build, since I didn't have the appropriate library
>installed. Do you think we could use wv's support as a
>basis? It seems like it should handle it...

The other part of this thread was discussing raster image formats, which can
all be converted to our native PNG via existing libraries.

Over the long term, our approach for vector graphics (like WMF) should
probably be to handle them all by converting to a single native vector
format (which we have yet to support at all). The obvious candidate here is
SVG, which has managed to be both bloated and immature, but still seems to
be headed for PNG-equivalent status among vector-graphic formats. Clearly,
adding enough GR_Graphics support for an XP implementation of a reasonable
subset of SVG would be a cool feature for AbiWord.

In the mean time, I believe people were considering doing lossy conversions
from vector formats like WMF directly to a raster representation (ie, PNG).
That way we could still display those images, even though any future ability
to edit them properly would be lost.

As people volunteer to tackle this problem, they'll face the tradeoffs of
implementing the following two code paths:

  (a) WMF, etc. --> SVG --> GR_Graphics --> display
  (b) WMF, etc. --> PNG --> display

I'm not sure how many vector graphics formats are in common use, but the
more of them there are, the more appealing path (a) sounds, because all the
rendering work gets done once downstream for all formats, and the first step
is just translation.

However, running code trumps all abstract arguments, so I'll shut up now.


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