Java News from Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Apache XML project has released XMLGraphics Commons 1.1, "a library that consists of several reusable components used by Apache Batik and Apache FOP. Many of these components can easily be used separately outside the domains of SVG and XSL-FO. You will find components such as a PDF library, an RTF library, Graphics2D implementations that let you generate PDF and PostScript files, and much more."

This library looks reasonable, but it commits one major sin. Like a lot of open source projects, it considers the problems from the perspective of the implementers rather than the users. In particular consider the functionality: PDF, RDF, Graphics2D, PNG, TIFF, and so on. All good stuff to be sure, but all stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with XML. Why then is it called "XMLGraphics"? The reason is that the specific projects that spawned this library use it to do XMLish things like SVG and XSL-FO, which is also fine; but this library itself is not about XML and shouldn't be called XML graphics.