Creating SVG Content for Wireless Devices - A Case Study

Joel Steele
Research In Motion Limited
5090 Commerce Blvd, 2nd Floor
Mississauga, ON
Canada L4W 5M4
Phone: (+1) 905 629-4746 x4338
Fax: (+1) 905 629-4869
Email: jpsteele@rim.net
http://www.rim.net


Abstract

The SVG Mobile Specification was recently accepted as an official recommendation. But does recommendation status mean success? This paper will view SVG content creation through the eyes of a content developer trying to create real, compelling content on wireless networks of today. This paper will look at a few of the successes and challenges a content creator faces.

The paper will step through the creation of SVG content for a wireless handset. It will take the reader from idea formulation to the final deployment and customer reaction. It will cover the tools used along the way, as well as the process used to get there. Often great ideas need to be reformulated to match the real world restrictions.

SVG has many powerful constructs for creating interesting content. On wireless networks, careful consideration must be given during content development. There exist features that are not possible on today's wireless devices. There are other features that are technically possible but, in practice, not truly useable. Wireless networks have unique characteristics. The paper will touch on a few tips and techniques to address the unique challenges of deploying content wirelessly.

There will be frank analysis of content creation tool strengths and weaknesses, as well as a wish list of features that would make content development considerably easier. The paper will address the limits of content development today and explore the possibilities of the future.

The paper uses the Plazmic Media Engine(tm) solution as the deployment platform and, as such, some of the techniques and workarounds are specific to that platform. These cases are explicitly noted, and the paper is intended to provide hints that are generally applicaable to other wireless platforms.

The author has extensive experience producing SVG demos and production content specifically for wireless devices. He has tested the device capability boundaries. He has worked within the download speed, rendering speed and limited space restrictions of the current generation of handsets. The content has found its way onto devices equipped with Plazmic Media Engine in Asia, Europe and North America.