Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Web Office suites and Vector Ajax

I’ve already argued that the lightweight web office suite will gain popularity, but not as separate presentation, spreadsheet and word processing applications, but one integrated application that caters for all three.

This application will have to take advantage of Vector Ajax – the use of inline VML / SVG to store and transfer data. That’s because it will allow lines, circles and more complex shapes to be drawn on the page.

VML / SVG is perfect for the task. It’s accessible, part of the DOM, and contains all the functionality you need (plus more) to handle drawing and annotations. In comparison, Flash doesn’t offer the same integration with the DOM – any office website will be a combination of HTML and graphics.

In fact, the <foreignobject> element in SVG is also perfect for displaying the "slide sorter" view, where you can see all the slides scaled down together and re-arrange their order.

I’m very surprised that there haven’t been more start-ups offering web presentation suites. After all, presentation software translates very well to "road warrior" types that have internet access, but no corporate LAN access. I suppose this is partly because the technology is quite a rare skill (SVG / VML) and tricky, due to differing implementations on each platform.

Maybe Google, as rumoured, will offer a presentation application as part of Google Apps.

When this happens, we’ll see the next phase of vector graphics adoption on the internet.

1 comment:

stelt said...

implementations are also maturing nicely for the next phase in adopting vector graphics on the web: http://wiki.svg.org/Viewer_Matrix