W3C publishes standard for technical drawings on web sites

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (Oasis) have published WebCGM 2.0, a new standard for technical illustrations in electronic documents.

Computer Graphics Metafile, or CGM, is an ISO standard for a tree-structured, binary graphics format that is widely deployed in the defence, aviation, architecture and transport industries for displaying 2D technical illustrations in electronic documents.

The new standard is designed to clarify how the format can best be used on the web, with particular regard for interactive features such as hyperlinks and hotspots.

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 externalisation of non-graphical metadata. A set of standardised metadata elements supports hyperlinking and document navigation, picture structuring and layering and the search and query of WebCGM picture content.

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

W3C published the WebCGM Recommendation 1.0, in 1999. CGM Open, an independent group created to advance adoption of WebCGM, was incorporated into Oasis, an international consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of e-business standards, not long afterward.

For details of the new standard go to w3.org.