On 16-jun-2006, at 22:57, Ted Faber wrote:
SVG is currently exportable into most major bitmap formats.
http://librsvg.sourceforge.net/ the converter is rsvg. Runs out of
box on most free unices.
Of course, you can't go back from the bitmap to the vector, which is
exactly the point.
Right. And since most of us don't have native vector displays, you
can't work directly with what you see, you need to go through a layer
of software. When you're designing stuff that has to look pretty in
print, such as logos, you'll want to use vector so you can use
whatever native resolution you find on your way down the road.
Figures in technical documents are a very different matter: there is
no reason for making the pixels so small that you can't see them as
individual pixels anymore. The opposite is true: if you make them
nice and big you can make each and every one of them count, think
MacPaint. Yes, this looks bad and backwards, but it's very easy to
draw in the first place compared with the more advanced stuff, and
this goes double for editing an existing image. With a 16 color
640x480 bitmap you can easily pick pieces up and move them somewhere
else, and align them exactly. With vector graphics this is infinitely
Once you've sampled the image to put it in a bitmap
you've lost information.
You assume that there is information in the barely visible details. I
hope this isn't true for the technical drawings you work with.
One of the complications with vector graphics is that you can scale
them easily, but they're not usable at every scale. For instance, I
regularly receive Visio documents where the text is SO small that I
can't read it even if I make the picture fill my entire laptop
screen. Apparently the person who created that image likes small
fonts and has a very high resolution monitor. With bitmaps you can
easily set a maximum size and whether text is readable is painfully
obvious so this problem can't really happen.
But we are describing an *archival* format. It's not important
that they be editable,
Yes, it is.
It's useful, but the primary issue is to be able to view them. That's
what archival means.
JUST being abble to view them isn't good enough.
Even if you care about editing, it really depends on what kind of
editing you want to do. Edge detection is not so easy in a vector
representation, but selecting a box or hunk of text is much easier. I
think I'm much more likely to do the latter on an RFC document than
Well, if you like doing this in SVG or PDF, I have no problem with
that. As long as the normative version is the simple version: ASCII
for text, simple bitmap for images. Or even better: no images.
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