* Scaleable Vector Graphic (SVG) output for charts

For existing requests please see The Wish List
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redvanman
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Posts: 72
Joined: 10 Jun 2010 10:51
Family Historian: V7
Location: Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire

Scaleable Vector Graphic (SVG) output for charts

Post by redvanman » 23 Apr 2021 11:15

This is a proposal for a wish list item for saving or exporting a FH chart in SVG (Scaleable Vector Graphics) format.

The idea came to mind when I started to migrate from a print-based presentation of my family history to a web-based version. I found that the complex, multi-page charts that I had produced couldn't easily and seamlessly be used in the new environment.

SVG is a language based on XML for describing two-dimensional vector and mixed vector/raster graphics. SVG content is stylable, scalable to different display resolutions, and can be viewed stand-alone, mixed with HTML content, or embedded using XML namespaces within other XML languages. SVG also supports dynamic changes; script can be used to create interactive documents, and animations can be performed using declarative animation features or by using script. The SVG specification is an open standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) since 1999.

This proposal would provide the following benefits to FH users:
  • Incorporation of charts into web sites. Currently, FH charts are not included in the pages that can be incorporated in a FH-produced web site - or at any rate, there is nothing in the web site wizard to support this. The only options are:
    • Export to one of the raster formats, and incorporate this as an image in a web page
    • Export as PDF, and display the PDF as part of the web site
    SVG files can be displayed in web browsers as stand-alone pages, or embedded in HTML pages. With suitable markup, elements in SVG files can link to HTML pages and vice versa. The SVG specification is an open standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) since 1999. All major modern web browsers—including Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Microsoft Edge—have SVG rendering support.
    SVG files can be styled using CSS (cascading stylesheets) which could augment or override formatting generated in FH.
  • The option to edit charts outside FH. FH provides excellent charting capability, but there are occasions when users may wish to go beyond this, for example:
    • combining charts and other graphical elements
    • re-arranging boxes or lines in a way that FH doesn't support.
    • creating multiple smaller charts from a single large chart generated in FH
    This is anagagous to what is already possible for reports using export to RTF. Many SVG editors are available, commercial products and free software.
  • Chart images that are crisp and clear at any resolution or size. FH's existing formats (other than PDF) are raster formats which do not have this property.
  • Incorporation of charts into reports. When reports are exported to RTF, they can be processed by external word-processing software. Most modern word processors include support for SVG files, so this would make it possible to incorporate charts (or parts of them) into the body of a report (with all the benefits of scalabilty).
For the full benefits to be realised, any solution should:
  • generate markup that links from boxes on the SVG chart to the corresponding text file. In a FH generated website, the format is indnnn.html but a solution should recognise that that many users export from FH to other products, and permit the user to specify a different format.
  • support the the 'class' and 'style' attributes on all elements to support element-specific styling, using CSS (cascading style sheets).
  • generate SVG charts in the website wizard, with minimal configuration, as a quick way for users to explore the benefits of SVG.
  • export SVG charts to permit their use in the contexts described above.
I'd be interested to see what others think about this proposal.
Alyn


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redvanman
Diamond
Posts: 72
Joined: 10 Jun 2010 10:51
Family Historian: V7
Location: Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire

Re: Scaleable Vector Graphic (SVG) output for charts

Post by redvanman » 23 Apr 2021 14:36

Helen,
Yes I did investigate it - it was mentioned here not long ago, so I downloaded it and gave it a go. IMO its capabilities are way below what FH can offer in terms of producing trees (and the text that goes with them), and it was that experience which led me to think about what should be in this wish list request.
Alyn

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