W3C and OASIS Jointly Issue New Web Standard for Industrial Graphics

Today W3C and OASIS have published WebCGM 2.0, a new industry standard for technical illustrations in electronic documents. WebCGM, which is widely deployed in the defense, aviation, architecture, and transportation industries, has reached new levels of interoperability thanks to this joint effort between OASIS and W3C.

“Today, industrial designers reap the benefits of the cooperative work between W3C and OASIS,” announced Dr. Steve Bratt, CEO of W3C. “When the developer and designer communities asked for new features and improvements in this critical technology, our organizations combined efforts and expertise, and provided WebCGM 2.0. “

“WebCGM demonstrates the benefits that can be realized when standards organizations work together for the good of the marketplace,” said Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of OASIS. “The result of this collaboration between OASIS and W3C is a single open standard for CGM on the Web that has been approved by the membership of both our organizations. This degree of endorsement assures implementers around the world that they can adopt WebCGM with confidence.”

WebCGM Provides Industrial-Grade Web Graphics

Computer Graphics Metafile, or CGM, is an ISO standard for a tree-structured, binary graphics format that has been adopted especially by the technical industries (defense, aviation, transportation, etc) for technical illustration in electronic documents. As the Web emerged as the environment for sharing and creating documents, it became apparent that the best way to use CGM on the Web needed to be clarified, particularly for interactivity such as hyperlinks and hotspots.

WebCGM finds significant application especially in technical illustration, electronic documentation, and geophysical data visualization. It unifies potentially diverse approaches to CGM utilization in Web document applications, and therefore represents a significant interoperability agreement amongst major users and implementers of the ISO CGM standard.

OASIS and W3C Work Together to Build WebCGM 2.0

W3C published the first WebCGM Recommendation, Version 1.0, in 1999. CGM Open, an independent group created to advance adoption of WebCGM, was incorporated into OASIS not long afterward. As users began demanding more features and improvements, it became apparent that there was both interest and support for a WebCGM 2.0. To get that work formally underway, OASIS and W3C signed a Memorandum of Understanding, making it possible for both organizations to work together on the creation of a new standard. This also allowed for the best range of participation from both the OASIS WebCGM Technical Committee and W3C WebCGM Working Group.

WebCGM 2.0 Provides New API, and Fulfills Goals

WebCGM 2.0 adds a DOM (API) specification for programmatic access to WebCGM objects, and a specification of an XML Companion File (XCF) architecture, for externalization of non-graphical metadata. WebCGM 2.0 also builds upon and extends the graphical and intelligent content of WebCGM 1.0. The design criteria for WebCGM aim at a balance between graphical expressive power on the one hand, and simplicity and implementability on the other. A small but powerful set of standardized metadata elements supports the functionalities of hyperlinking and document navigation, picture structuring and layering, and enabling search and query of WebCGM picture content.

WebCGM 2.0 has been approved as an OASIS Standard and as a W3C Recommendation, signifying the highest level of ratification within both organizations.

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