WebCGM is a profile of the CGM standard (ISO/IEC 8632) that describes how CGM vectors, raster, and hybrid graphics are to be used on the Web. It is a consensus of users and vendors of CGM on a way to exchange dynamic, hyperlinked CGM files over the Web. WebCGM was collaboratively developed by the OASIS CGM Open Member Section and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
What is the difference between WebCGM and CGM?
CGM is the entire standard; WebCGM is a profile of the standard. In other words: WebCGM defines a subset of the entire CGM standard that makes sense for web usage. It also defines specific rules for certain elements, most importantly the so-called intelligent content (hotspots and objects). Learn more here.
What is the significance of WebCGM...why is it important?
WebCGM provides a vendor-neutral standard for 2D graphics that enables creators and consumers to exchange, view, and browse intelligent, vector, raster, or hybrid graphics very reliably. Users are able to create graphics in one tool and view/browse them in another, without loss or distortion of information.
Who implements WebCGM-based tools and who uses them?
Several members of the OASIS CGM Open Member Section support WebCGM in their respective software products. Support of WebCGM in a variety of drawn and viewing packages is anticipated as WebCGM gains acceptance in the Web markets, especially for technical publishing. A variety of companies and industry groups, which currently rely on CGM as an exchange standard, have expressed interest in WebCGM.
What will drive WebCGM's implementation and utilization (adoption) and prohibit it from becoming standards "shelf ware"?
The availability of reasonably priced authoring and viewing tools is essential for its success.
How easy is WebCGM to implement?
CGM toolkits are available for those who wish to build WebCGM capability into their products. Also, ready-to-use software components and standalone products for creating and viewing WebCGM files are available from a variety of vendors.
Which files can I use in WebCGM viewers?
Most commercially available viewers will let you display generic CGM files without graphical objects. CGM files that contain private application structures can usually be displayed in viewers of that vendor only. Although the visual image may be shown correctly by other viewers, the intelligent content may not be understood. Some viewers are restricted to display only true WebCGM files. Learn more here.
How long will it take for CGM vendors to implement WebCGM?
Please refer to the list of products. Substantial progress exists for both the current 2.1 version, as well as the prior 2.0 version.
Will users of existing CGM-based products need to purchase WebCGM-compatible tools or will vendors automatically provide WebCGM capabilities as upgrades, without additional cost?
It depends on the vendor. Some vendors who are already producing intelligent CGM files may choose to offer WebCGM at no additional charge. Others may choose to build new WebCGM products, or offer options to existing products.
How is WebCGM different from other graphics standards?
WebCGM is based on a stable, open, ISO standard. Unlike raster image file formats, which represent pictures as arrays of pixels, WebCGM represents abstract graphical elements such as lines, circles, ellipses, text strings, and curves. These abstract elements can be grouped together into a variety of graphical objects and these objects can be defined to have prescribed behaviors. This makes it very easy to create graphical presentations which react to user inputs in interesting ways. WebCGM has some overlap of scope and application with the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), but detailed analyses of the relationship recognize specialized fields of application for the two.
Why was WebCGM issued as an OASIS Standard and a W3C Recommendation?
Working relationships exist between the ISO/IEC SC24 on the one hand, and the consortia OASIS and W3C on the other. An ad hoc collaboration on WebCGM exists between OASIS and W3C. Users of WebCGM made it clear that they appreciated and wanted WebCGM to have the status of standard in both OASIS and W3C, benefiting from the two organizations' respective procedures. The WebCGM effort is a good example of how ISO and consortia such as OASIS and the W3C can successfully collaborate to bring strong, stable, useful standards to the marketplace.