Putting SVG on paper

In the current economic downturn, publishers need to find new ways of cutting the costs involved in producing their many manuals, catalogs, journals or other documentation.

This area in the publishing market is special because whilst the layout of a manual or a journal might never change, the content inside it will differ from edition to edition. Any technology that can assist or automate the production of the documentation and cut down on the time spent proofing and adapting the layout will help to reduce costs.

One very labour intensive task is the production of diagrams, which is usually a two stage process. First, the XML data needs to be imported into a graphics package where the diagram is produced and saved out as an image. Next, the same XML data is imported into the publishing package along with the image file, where the document can get formatted. Should there be an error in the data, or in the image itself (size, for example), then the image needs to be manually reproduced in the graphics package and reimported back into the publisher.

Advent 3B2 is a recognised leader in the content driven publishing industry and as from the newly released version 8, has the ability to handle SVG natively. Combined with its existing XML and XSLT processing, or with it's new XSL-FO rendering abilities, this manual step in the production can be removed, saving time and money whilst improving the standard of the document being output.

The raw XML data can be imported into 3B2, where at the appropriate place in the document it can be automatically fed through the inbuilt XSLT processor to produce a diagram or chart in SVG, which can then be placed in the correct place at a size suitable for its position on the page. Any further modifications required to the data before publication can then be made once inside 3B2, instantly updating the SVG diagrams.

This presentation will discuss the issues involved in producing content-driven documents. 3B2 will be used to demonstrate how dynamically generating SVG from XML data can simplify the processes involved with publishing documents. Emphasis will be made on how SVG relates to existing specifications such as XSLT and XSL-FO for output into PDF, PostScript or into paginated SVG. Finally, the presentation will cover areas in the SVG specification where improvements can be made to solidify its place in the publishing market, for example extending support for units and colours.