Autodesk, HP, Macromedia, Microsoft and Visio Submit Vector Markup Language Specification to W3C

Autodesk, HP, Macromedia, Microsoft and Visio Submit Vector Markup Language Specification to W3C

REDMOND, Wash., May 28, 1998 — Autodesk Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Macromedia Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Visio Corp. today announced that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has acknowledged their joint submission of a Vector Markup Language (VML) proposal to bring high-quality, editable 2-D vector graphics to the Web.

VML will make it faster and easier to create compelling Web pages by allowing productivity users and authors to cut and paste vector graphics across applications, without any loss of quality or ability to edit. VML is a format based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML), an emerging simple, flexible and open text-based language that complements HTML. The VML proposal is available for review at .

“The Web community has been asking for a high-quality, easy-to-use 2-D vector graphics standard for some time,”
said David Cole, vice president of the Web client and consumer experience division at Microsoft.
“VML meets their needs with faster graphics downloading for end users and easier graphics editing and manipulation for HTML authors and designers. VML will be a key specification in our future platforms and applications.”

Building on Open W3C Specifications

The joint VML proposal builds on the strengths of open industry standards including XML 1.0, HTML 4.0 and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 2.0. This proposal represents the latest efforts by the five companies to advance open standards for Web specifications through the W3C.

Using VML, authors and graphic designers will be able to accomplish the following:

  • Easily cut and paste vector graphics across a wide variety of authoring tools, without any loss in precision, quality or ability to edit. Using intelligent shapes like the ones found in Microsoft Office and Visio products today, authors will be able to adjust an object’s size and shape in any standard text editor or WYSIWYG editor.

  • Quickly deliver fully integrated and scalable graphics on the Web. Smooth lines can be expressed very compactly because VML graphics use paths based on cubic B
    zier curves. This results in reduced download time, as compared to the download times of image graphic formats such as GIF and PNG, creating a more satisfying user experience. Because VML graphics are fully integrated within the HTML document, they can interact and scale with other elements on the Web page, and no additional files are required for download. In addition, hyperlinks may be easily added to the VML elements.

Leading Industry Participants to Incorporate VML Into Their Products

VML will be supported broadly by Autodesk, Hewlett-Packard, Macromedia, Microsoft and Visio in future versions of their products. Microsoft plans support of VML in Microsoft® Internet Explorer, the Windows® operating system and the next version of Microsoft Office. VML support in the next version of Office will allow users to save Office Art graphics as editable elements in their HTML pages for delivery to the Web. VML will preserve the full fidelity of Office Art objects and allow
“round tripping”
; that is, the HTML file can be opened and edited back in an Office application with no loss of quality.

“Autodesk is a strong advocate for interoperability between design, drawing and office applications, as evidenced by its own public data formats, DXF and DWF, which are used widely in many software packages,”
said Anne Bonaparte, senior director of the design team solutions group at Autodesk.
“VML as a standard offers users the promise of even more compatibility, as well as ease of use and reuse of intelligent vector data on the Web.”

“This proposal is a solution to one of the last missing pieces in document layout on the Web,”
said Carolyn Ticknor, vice president of Hewlett-Packard’s LaserJet solutions group.
“The whole Internet community will benefit from faster download speeds, higher-quality graphics printing and lower network overhead.”

“Our collaboration on VML represents the next step in our goal to deliver compelling, interactive vector content, even over low-bandwidth Internet connections,”
said Norm Meyrowitz, president, Macromedia products group at Macromedia Inc.
“Just as the open Flash binary file format (.swf) enables standard playback of vector graphics and animation, VML will provide content developers with an open XML text-based standard for exchange across a variety of tools and platforms. We look forward to extending our family of Web software to support VML in future versions.”

“VML’s flexibility and extensibility has led Visio Corp. to support wholeheartedly its adoption as a Web standard for vector graphics,”
said Ted Johnson, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Visio.
“With VML, Visio users will be able to create, edit and publish their business diagrams and technical drawings to the Web while preserving all the intelligent object behavior that distinguishes the Visio SmartShapes technology.”

About Autodesk

Autodesk is the world’s leading supplier of PC design software and multimedia tools. The company’s 2-D and 3-D products are used in many industries for architectural design, mechanical design, mapping, film and video production, video game development and Web content development. The fourth largest PC software company in the world,

Autodesk has more than 3 million customers in over 150 countries. Autodesk shares are traded on the Nasdaq national market under the symbol ADSK.

About Hewlett-Packard

HP is the official information-technology hardware and maintenance supplier to the 1998 World Cup soccer tournament.

Hewlett-Packard Co. is a leading global provider of computing, Internet and intranet solutions, services, communications products and measurement solutions, all of which are recognized for excellence in quality and support. HP has 125,300 employees and had revenue of $42.9 billion in its 1997 fiscal year. Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at .

About Macromedia

With headquarters in San Francisco, Macromedia (Nasdaq
) is a leading

provider of software products, each designed to help make creativity and interactivity more possible in the new technology ecosystem. Macromedia’s award-winning products for Windows, Macintosh and the Internet are available to business, education and government customers worldwide. Additional information on Macromedia is available on the Internet at .

About Visio

Visio Corp. is the leading supplier of enterprisewide business diagramming and technical drawing software, with an installed base of over 2 million users worldwide. Founded in September 1990, the Seattle-based company pioneered the drawing and diagramming software

market with the release of Visio 1.0 in November 1992 and has since released additional Windows-based graphics applications that offer users a unique and effective way to

communicate and work. Visio’s powerful product line is becoming a worldwide standard for graphical solutions in business, with the support of partner programs and third-party relationships in key market segments. Visio products are available in as many as 11 language versions and are sold in more than 40 countries.

For more information about Visio Corp. and its products, customers can contact Visio at (800) 24-VISIO (248-4746), ext. 93W, or visit the company’s Web site at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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