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SVG Unleashed Paperback – 20 Sep 2002

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About the Author

Chris Lilley has been employed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) since April 1996. There, he is the Graphics Activity Lead and a member of the Technical Architecture Group (TAG). He chairs the current SVG Working Group and was also chair and team contact for the previous SVG Working Group. He has also been a member of the HTML and XSL Working Groups and was for five years chair of the CSS Working Group. He has spoken at numerous Web, XML, Graphics, and Internationalization conferences and is a member of the conference committee for the Unicode, XML Europe, and SVG Open conferences.

Prior to working for the W3C, he was a staff member at the Computer Graphics Unit, University of Manchester, England, where he participated in the standardization of HTML 2.0 and the development of the PNG format. He holds a BSc with honors in Biochemistry from the University of Stirling, Scotland; an MSc in Computing from the University of York, England; and a postgraduate diploma in bioinformatics from the Global Network Academy. Chris contributed Chapter 27 and the Foreword.

Daniel J. Ayers is a freelance developer and author who specializes in leading-edge Internet technologies, primarily using server-side Java and XML. He lives in rural Italy with his wife Caroline and cat Sassi. He is a strong advocate of SVG, believing that it will play an important role in the next-generation Web. Danny contributed Chapters 13, 17, 19, 20, and Appendix A.

Randy George has had a long history with graphics programming going back to his college days in the early seventies. He is currently CTO of Geotechnologies, Inc., as well as the owner of Micro Map & CAD. He has developed a number of map translation programs for the CAD market and also authored more than a dozen articles for journals in the CAD and GIS industries. As CTO for Geotechnologies, he has developed a number of SVG prototypes for the GIS, AEC, and FMS industries as well as some medical and military applications. Over the last couple of years, he has become increasingly excited about the potential for SVG/XML coupled with server-side Java and native XML databases. When not experimenting with SVG and Java, he helps out around the house in Colorado, homeschooling some of his eight children. Randy contributed Chapters 24-26.

Christian Wenz is author of more than two dozen books. He specializes in Web programming and Web scripting (most notable publications are on JavaScript, ASP/ASP.NET, PHP, and WAP; some of them translated into other languages). He is also a regular speaker at both national and international conferences. He lives in Munich, Germany. Christian contributed Chapters 14-16, 18, 22, and 23 jointly with Tobias Hauser.

Tobias Hauser is author of more than 20 books on various topics of computing and the Internet. Apart from Web development, his second focus is on graphics. He has written books on ASP.NET, GIMP, Photoshop, Web Publishing, and PHP and WAP, among other topics. He lives and works in southern Germany. Tobias contributed Chapters 14-16, 18, 22, and 23 jointly with Christian Wenz.

Kevin Lindsey currently lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with his wife Liz. He has been involved in the publishing and medical industries for more than 10 years. Kevin has been an active member in the SVG community since 2000 and frequently posts to Yahoo!'s SVG Developers group. He is also the maintainer of and sole contributor to the Web site. Kevin contributed Chapter 21.

Niklas Gustavsson has taken up technical management, doing mostly Web application development while on sabbatical from his work as a molecular biologist studying regulatory mechanisms in E. coli. in Gothenburg, Sweden. In his spare time, he's involved in several open-source projects, keeps his blog and experiments at and is the housekeeper of the SVG-wiki ( When away from computers, he is planning his upcoming wedding, rides his mountain bike, or spends time with friends. Niklas contributed Appendixes B, C, and D.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Response to Justin Taylor's review 29 Sept. 2004
By Daniel Ayers - Published on
Format: Paperback
A bad review's one thing, but Justin Taylor's is largely nonsense and appears to have been written without reading the book. His suggestion that XML is "the future" and "needs to be addressed" is just plain bizarre - SVG is an XML language! XML is introduced in the book, and the whole thing could be said to be addressing XML.

Coverage of Javascript, or to be more accurate ECMAScript (the ECMA/ISO standard) is included because SVG supports it as its primary scripting language. It's like criticising a book on automobiles for covering "old-fashioned" internal combustion engines. Yes, there are drawbacks to running scripts client-side, but the developers of SVG thought it useful enough to include a language binding within the spec itself. ECMAScript is a current standard, in widespread use. Many wireless devices support ECMAScript, have done for years - Nokia and so on incorporated it for WAP support, long before they started with SVG. Working with server-side languages and SVG is a different matter entirely - the book has extended examples and case studies in most popular languages.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is it a tutorial, is it a reference? It's neither... 25 Feb. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
The authors seem to have had a problem in deciding what to write, a tutorial or a reference manual, and ended up writing something that's neither. I hesitated between a 2 or 3-star rating, and gave the authors the benefit of... Well, not the doubt.
The book consists of six parts: "SVG fundamentals", "Programming SVG Client-Side", "Producing SVG Server-side", "Case Studies", "Looking Ahead", and "Appendices". You will need to download most of the Appendices ("B: SVG Elements Reference", "C: SVG Attributes and Properties Reference" and "D: SVG Document Object Model (DOM)") as only appendix "A: Glossary" is actually included in the book.
Each of the chapters that discuss the actual language ends with a discussion of the part of the DOM that applies to what was discussed in each chapter. Unfortunately, this is too boring to read as tutorial, and at the same it is too unorganized to be used as a reference (the 'discussion' of the entire DOM spreads out over almost 20 chapters).
With respect to the tutorial part of each chapter: whenever I came across parts that were likely to trip my trigger, I was disappointed to read that all the really interesting details "are provided in the SVG 1.0 Recommendation." However, your mileage may vary.
My recommendation is to read some online tutorials (IBM DeveloperWorks and/or the one by David Duce and Ivan Herman) to get an idea of what SVG is all about. Then, if you are interested in doing some SVG 'programming', continue by downloading the aforementioned SVG 1.0 Recommendation and possibily even the SVG Unleashed Appendices. That should give you enough information to avoid the purchase of this book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equips the reader with the practical knowledge 6 Mar. 2003
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Paperback
Targeted to the experienced Web programmer, SVG Unleashed deftly equips the reader with the practical knowledge required in order to create and manipulate Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) programmatically, both on the client and the server side. Part I of SVG Unleashed provides a thorough reference of SVG syntax, elements, coordinate systems and animations, with coverage of the XML Document Object Model(DOM) and the SVG DOM application to each element or attribute. Part II of SVG Unleashed introduces client-side SVG programming with particular emphasis on the use of ECMAScript/JavaScript. In Part III of SVG Unleashed readers learn to use several server-side languages to create SVG documents. Part IV of SVG Unleashed demonstrates SVG programming through several case studies. User Level: Intermediate, 1152 pages
4 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Plain Worthless 20 Jun. 2003
By Three flowers - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, a thought...Javascript and wireless web incompatibility. This book is full of it. Javascript was invented many years ago and is designed to run on the user's machine. This puts a load on the user's processor and for those with slower machines, the load is sometimes too much. Wireless phones don't support javascript and they most likely never will. SVG was created to be a high quality, small and highly compatible format for cell phones and other wireless devices. This book is full and I mean full of javascript to handle almost all of the web and appication solutions.
Now another thought....XML. A new technology which was designed to be portable, compatible and server side, which means no trouble with the user's computers. regardless of how intimidating XML might seem, it is the future and needs to be addressed. SVG was designed to be used with XML and XML was designed for both web and application development. The focus on PHP, Perl and other scripting languages was given too little focus. Old information and technology does not constitute a good resource. This book was a poor example of the true power of SVG and will lead many new developers into the pitfall of using javascript which is doomed for extinction.
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