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A Standards-based Look at XAML's Features : Page 4

Microsoft's Longhorn will introduce XAML, an application development framework for Web and Windows apps. But just how different is XAML from the already-available public standards set by the W3C?


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XAML and SVG Overlap
In addition to hypertext and GUI widgets, XAML supports two-dimensional graphics. The equivalent W3C standard is SVG. Table 4 shows the XAML tags that have SVG equivalents.

Table 4. XAML tags that duplicate SVG functionality.

XAML Tag

SVG tag



Description

Canvas

Svg

A drawing area

Ellipse

Ellipse circle

A mathematical ellipse

Glyph

Glyph

One or more textual characters

Line

Line

A straight line

Path

Path

A pathway across a drawing area that delimits where other content should be applied

Polygon

Polygon

A mathematical polygon that is closed

Polyline

Polyline

A mathematical polygon that is open

Rectangle

Rect

A rectangle or square, possibly with corner modifications.

TransformDecorator

transform= attribute

A mathematical operation that rotates, scales, shears or relocates a shape.


In line with Microsoft's tendency to put the most popular features of a given technology to the front and center, this list of tags extracts from the SVG standard the most obvious graphical elements you might want in a given diagram.

Of all the W3C standards, SVG is probably the one most suitable for generation via point-and-click design tools, rather than hand-coded XML tags. It's encouraging to see that XAML supports simple hand coding, using simple tags, as some of us never want to let go of that. At the same time, there's no way the current features are enough to support a point-and-click two-dimensional design tool, at least not one of any consequence. That's OK, XAML's still in its very early days. Oh, SVG supports CSS styling too. There's that pesky CSS issue again.



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