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SPOTLIGHT

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2010
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab
724.738.2199
karl.schwab@sru.edu

SRU’s David Dailey, three others
going to SVG Open in Paris 

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – David Dailey, Slippery Rock University professor of computer science and a recognized leader in the development of scalable vector graphics, will lead a contingent of fellow faculty and students to the SVG Open in Paris where he is serving on the organizing committee.
 
The SRU professor is one of only a handful experts invited to present workshops at the conference, which is sponsored by such computer leaders as Microsoft Corp. and Google. SRU is again a Silver Sponsor of the three-day conference that opens Monday

 Eric Elder, a computer science major from Slippery Rock, is one of the students presenting their research in Paris.

 “It is certainly exciting and a great opportunity to actually meet and talk with the people who are bringing SGV to fruition. I was at last year’s conference in California and found the workshops and discussion groups very beneficial, both to my classroom work and my research,” he said.

 Elder will present SGV work undertaken at SRU under Dailey’s mentoring that he said will offer methods that could someday become the worldwide standard in portions of SGV programming. His presentation is titled “A proposal for adding declarative drawing to SVG.”

 “We have been working on four areas, including ways of handling gradients [shading], and creation of non-linear patterns, that if accepted by the SGV committee, could become the universal industry standard,” Elder said. “Of course, there will be others offering suggestions and it may take the committee considerable time before it makes a final determination about which protocols are accepted.”

 In addition, Elder said he was excited about his SGV research because the conference will key on the upcoming release of Explorer 9, the latest Microsoft browser product used by approximately 75 percent of all Internet users. Explorer 9, like other name-brand browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera, will all make use of SGV in their operations.

 “This is making what we call ‘2.5-D graphics,’ possible,” he said, “And, 2.5-D, is just a shade less than 3-D when seen on a computer screen.”

 Also attending the Paris conference from SRU will be Deborah Whitfield, professor of computer science, and George Shirk, a computer science major from Zelienople.

 “We signed on as a sponsor last year for the first conference at Google’s California headquarters. This year, we are being joined by the Institut Paris Telecom as the only academic sponsors,” Dailey said.

 Microsoft and Google are the event’s primary sponsors for the event hosted by Telecom Paris Tech.

 “Microsoft has recently announced it will be supporting SVG as part of its next release of Internet Explorer software. This means all five of the major Web browser manufacturers will now provide native support for this emerging technology, signaling that this international standard, maintained and recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium, has reached widespread acceptance in both the Web and the wireless worlds,” Dailey said.

 Dailey, who joined the SRU faculty in 1999, wrote the book “An SVG Primer for Today’s Browsers,” the first book published by the World Wide Web Consortium. The book provides the basic standards for the World Wide Web’s next generation of operations known as “scalable vector images” or “SVG.”

SVG is used to transform how spatial data is developed, analyzed and disseminated through the World Wide Web and through a range of hand-held devices. This open standard allows for creation of effective and compelling Web content. The system makes use of high-quality, interactive, animated and stylable graphics on the Web by using human-readable XML coding. The use of SVG allows graphics to be enlarged to any size without distortion as is common in today’s graphics which tend to break into small, visible boxes when enlarged dramatically, such as from postage stamp to billboard size.

Dailey’s book earned him SRU’s President’s Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement.

 His conference workshop will specifically address the use of filters in SVG. “The filters introduce a way of bringing dynamic and complex graphical effects into the world of the makers of Web applications,” Dailey said.

 Dailey has worked with faculty at Rice University and an INRIA-funded project in development of SVG. Dailey has said SVG has applications in a host of computer areas, including aiding in modeling phenomena in medicine, traffic flow and structural engineering. While on an SVG-related trip to Tokyo, he said scalable vectors were used in an interactive map of the city that allowed users to quickly find street locations, services, businesses, tourist sites - “and even restrooms.”

 Whitfield and Shirk will also attend the conference. Joined by Dailey, they will present a paper titled "Generating Random SVG Elements in Polynomial Time" that outlines the implementation of a faster algorithm developed by Whitfield and Dailey in SVG and JavaScript.

 “It appears that this development is the first computationally effective way of doing this rather natural thing of drawing random polygons,” Dailey said.

  Dailey said Elder’s proposal “is being made to the World Wide Web Consortium, and, if accepted and made a part of the world-wide graphics standard, it will mean that a part of the way graphics are done throughout the Web in the future would have been influenced by faculty and students here at SRU.”

 Dailey teaches Web programming and interface design at SRU. He is a doctoral graduate of the University of Colorado and earned his undergraduate degree at the University of New Mexico.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.


 

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