May 21, 2001

Scalable vector graphics software released by Apache Software Foundation

Author: JT Smith

The Apache Software Foundation's
(ASF) XML Project's Batik Team today announced the release of Batik 1.0, a
sophisticated open source, Java-based toolkit for SVG (scalable vector
graphics).
SVG is an XML syntax for rich 2D graphics and Batik allows developers to
view, generate and manipulate SVG images with unprecedented precision, detail
and functionality. Since the release of the W3C candidate recommendation of
the SVG specification, Batik continues to set new high-water marks for the
implementation of this maturing specification.
"In the past months the Batik team has moved quickly toward realizing its
goal of providing a full implementation of the W3C's SVG specification," said
Vincent Hardy of the Batik team. "The latest Batik release provides a high
quality implementation of many of the high-end SVG features. With the highly
modular tool, developers can cut down the cost of creating, viewing and
exchanging graphical content between applications or across the Internet, and
easily generate, manipulate or view SVG content. The contribution, experience
and expertise of companies and individuals has helped create a team dedicated
to the success of the project."

By leveraging the force of XML and the visual strengths of dynamic and
easily accessible vector graphics, the Apache XML Project's Batik team lead
the drive in building an industrial-grade embeddable Web graphics software
solution. Batik delivers core components for three main purposes:

-- generating SVG content from any Java applications,
-- viewing SVG content, and
-- converting SVG to and from other formats.

The vision is to help make SVG the central format for exchanging and
viewing any type of 2D graphical information while still making it easy to
convert SVG images to other formats, for environments that do not yet support
SVG natively.

SVG combines two of computer graphic's great practices, vector graphics
and raster graphics, in a resolution independent framework, enabling SVG
images to be rendered with high quality on any screen or printer. The SVG
framework also includes many sophisticated graphics features such as gradient
paints, filter effects, and sophisticated text support. This unique
combination of graphical features in one standard format makes it ideal for
describing any rich image content, from CAD diagrams to postcards to Grandma.
Furthermore, by using an XML syntax, SVG is extremely easy to generate,
search, transform and manipulate. Unlike other formats, SVG becomes a powerful
tool for anybody managing image content for the Web or other environments.

New features in Batik 1.0 release:
-- Filter effects such as drop shadows and lighting effects.
-- Internal and external use -- allows developers to create.
-- Highly structured SVG images where common components are easily reused.
-- Masking and clipping.
-- Markers.
-- Linking -- the ability to define SVG graphical elements as "links"
(similar to HTML hyperlinks) which can point to other graphical
elements in an SVG image (for example allowing you to zoom in a portion
of a map) either in the same SVG image, in another SVG image or in
another document (such as an HTML page).
-- Sophisticated text support -- Batik now supports control over complex
text layout (such as individual glyph advance).
-- Run-time extensibility -- Much of Batik can now be extended at
run-time, providing among other things new graphics primitives, and
support for new image file formats.

With this release, Batik provides extensive support of most static SVG
features and includes:

-- Improved SVG generator -- allows all applications to easily export
their graphics in the SVG format. This generator has been extended and
made more flexible.
-- Improved packaging of the Batik modules -- making them easier to
integrate into applications. For example, developers can plug in the
Batik's viewing component to add SVG viewing capability into their
applications without having to know anything about SVG.

Batik delivers a number of sample applications that leverage its core
components, such as an SVG browser. Screenshots of that browser can be seen
at: http://xml.apache.org/batik/svgviewer.html .
In the near future, the Batik team aims to provide developers worldwide
support for full dynamic behavior, including scripting and SMIL (synchronized
multimedia integration language) for animations.

"Our relationship with the Apache Software Foundation allows Sun engineers
to develop technology implementations in a collaborative environment and
better enables Sun to deliver robust products based on open standards. The
Batik project demonstrates the synergy between the Java platform's portable
code and XML's portable data. We are proud to have worked in cooperation with
Kodak and ILOG on this remarkable toolkit for SVG-based graphics."
-- Jon Bosak, Distinguished Engineer, Sun Microsystems

"Kodak congratulates the Apache Software Foundation and the Batik project
on the 1.0 release of the SVG toolkit. Batik will significantly advance SVG as
an important element for enabling both graphical and image-intensive creative
Web-based applications. Because of its open source nature, ISV's will be able
to leverage the powerful and extensible framework it provides to develop new
classes of creative applications and to deploy SVG in environments not
previously possible. Such applications and systems could prove fundamental to
delivering new products and services through our Internet photofinishing
services."
-- Daryl Hunt, Director of Strategic Standards, Eastman Kodak Company

"The goal of the Batik project complements ILOG's goal of creating and
delivering the richer, more compelling online experience that Web content
providers and users want, and we congratulate the Apache Foundation and the
Batik team for this important milestone. A supporter of SVG since its
inception, ILOG will continue its commitment to the standard in our roles as a
W3C working group member, Batik technical committee member, and with real
products, such as ILOG JViews, one of the first SVG products on the market."
-- Jean-Francois Abramatic, Senior Vice President of ILOG Research and
Development.

The Batik project's name comes from the famous and highly developed art
traditions of the Indonesian island of Java. The Apache XML team seeks to
honor and capture Java's rich history of creating geometric patterned and
colorfully designed textiles through Batik's high quality graphical
representation capabilities.

The Batik Project encourages participation through its mailing list:
http://xml.apache.org/mail.html/.

For more information about the Batik project please see
http://xml.apache.org/batik/.

About the Apache Software Foundation
The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal and
financial support for the Apache open source software projects. The Foundation
was established as a nonprofit corporation in order to ensure continuation of
the Apache projects beyond the participation of individual volunteers, to
enable contributions of intellectual property and financial support, and to
provide a vehicle for limiting legal exposure while participating in open
source software projects. For more information on the Apache Software
Foundation, please see http://xml.apache.org/.

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