|I'm on holidays for more than a week now, so things start to get clear in my
mind. Here is the result: my plans for Pliant development for the next
two years. Please notice that these plans also cover the needs and wishes
from Heliogroup formulated by Mr Dumas, and our wishes to collaborate more
tightly with Gimp-print team through providing them a high end color
1) Start the Pliant graphical engine through grabing various unpublished
Pliant programs and porting some C++ code I wrote several years ago.
The graphical engine will define a generic image data type with deaply
throught API (generic methods), provide some implementations of it,
and a generic IO filter notion, with some implementations (native PNG
writting, ligjpeg interface, Gimp-print interface)
The primitives for drawing bezier curves, will be added for enabling
The code for loading and rendering type 1 fonts will also be ported.
2) A Pliant HTML rendering engine will be designed so that Pliant can make
the HTML -> bitmap conversion without the help of any external tool
(it should support HTML 3.2 with some maybe non standard extensions)
and it will become a web browser that can be used to browse any entry
level static web site (also it's probably not a very usefull function).
3) Then, and only then, it will be possible to start designing some advanced
nice looking styles for the Pliant HTTP server following the extra rules:
. rendering is perfect when done by Pliant HTML web browser
. rendering is correct (one can read the content without any problem)
when done by Mozilla, or IE 6)
4) For the Pliant desktop applications (speadsheet, word processor, vector
drawings and bitmap editing tools), the rules will be:
. viewing or editing a document using Mozilla is possible, also maybe
not optimal (redrawing as a result of a click can be long and make
the screen flicker)
. viewing or editing a document using Pliant web browser is optimal
(possibly through doing extensions to the HTTP protocol for better
handling partial redrawing as a result of click)
. The Pliant speadsheet should be faily straightforward: use Pliant syntax
for formulas, and HTML tables for the graphical layout.
. The Pliant word processor will not be a general one, but rather an
interactive tool on top of various Pliant HTTP server styles enabling
to wysiwyg edit some .page equivalent documents.
The general idea is that the Pliant web browser will be used as an experimental
tool in order to decide how we can provide high interraction (word processor
or vector drawing tool) with a protocol as close as possible from HTTP/HTML
probably through adding extensions much closer to VNC than the crazily
The mixed documents (a speadsheet section or graph inside a word processor
document) will be handled straight forward using Pliant all in one process
capability and using HTML rendering capabilities (no heavy COM or Bonobo
Please also notice that having a Pliant web browser (so an HTML rendering
engine) can also be used to feed a standard web browser with a PNG image
instead of the HTML content when we want to be sure that the end result is
perfect and know that the page design is too complex for the target web
browser rendering capabilities.
Last but not least, for the documentation, the plan is to follow Marcus ideas
for improving the content, but keep the web site design fairly trivial until
we have Pliant HTML rendering engine.