Using XSLT and SVG in Teaching: 3D, Sound and Nostalgia
Bob Hopgood and David Duce
Oxford Brookes University
This presentation discusses a number of explorations around the central theme of the title:
- SEX: SVG, Education and XSLT. Teaching XSLT to students can be made more exciting
if the end product is something more visual than just another XML file.
Producing large SVG animations
tends to involve serious bookkeeping and there is a role for XSLT in handling these tasks.
Management of education resources (slides, primers, tests etc) can also be helped by good
use of XSLT and SVG.
- Nostalgia: students today have little understanding of the history of computing,
computer graphics and, in particular, computer animation. Recreating the past in a modern context
provides challenging exercises for graduates when constrained to using
XSLT as the language and SVG as the output device.
- Sound: in the 1970s, many of the early computer animations attempted to
produce tight sound synchronisation using such techniques as drawing the soundtrack on the
film, sprocketed tape recorders etc. We have explored the possibilities of tight synchronisation
in the context of SVG and XSLT. Are the extensions provided by the Adobe plugin sufficient to
generate significant length animations (say, 6 minute films)?
- PAEPOS: a fundamental problem today is the lack of an XML-based 3D
extension to SVG.
CAMPER was a simple wire-frame 3D computer animation system developed in the early 1970s.
PAEPOS grew out of an
attempt to get students to reimplement CAMPER (a FORTRAN-like language)
using XSLT and SVG. It allows a declarative presentation of 3D animations in perspective.
Central to the presentation are a number of animations created by ourselves and students to explore
the use of SVG in animation. The main ones are:
- Hash Tables: a set of six 3-minute films aimed at showing the basis for and relative performance
of linear and quadratic hash methods. Synchronised sound is available on all six films and
they were produced directly from a description of the algorithm to be animated using XSLT to
- Road Train: this is an SVG update of an earlier SMIL presentation to be shown at AusWeb03.
A road train font is one feature of the animation. A typical Australian sound track is provided.
- Logo Animation: for the Opening Session of WWW2003 we have produced a 6-minute animation
of the IW3C2 logo and the twelve logos of the Conference Series which will be shown before the conference starts.
The aim was to show the derivation of the logos supported by an appropriate soundtrack that
was relevant to the individual locations. The aim was also to show off a number of effects that could be achieved using
- Student Exercises: we have used SVG as a vehicle for both undergraduate and
graduate student exercises and projects. Some of these will be shown to give an idea of what can be achieved
in even quite short periods of time by students. Examples will include a Postman Pat cartoon, animation of
XSLT transformations, an implementation of XHTML+MathML+SVG and constraint-based animation
IW3C2 Logo Animation
Hash Tables Layout
AusWeb Roadtrain Montage