Cabot to speak at Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) conference

Jun 25, 2008

Cabot will be speaking at the upcoming SVG conference taking place from the 26-28th August in Nuremberg.  Cabot Software Engineer Joe Prosser will be speaking on the topic "SVG: A Key Element in Achieving Product Differentiation and Competitive Advantage in the DVB Market."

The presentation abstract can be found below.  For more information regarding the conference, please visit:


SVG: a key element in achieving product differentiation & competitive advantage in the DVB market

In the increasingly crowded and competitive digital receiver marketplace, the ability to create branded, differentiated products is critical for manufacturers to attain market advantage. One of the most effective ways to achieve this level of differentiation is through the development of User Interfaces (UIs) which can differ throughout the product line and across multiple regions. However, the UI development process is often fraught with difficulty. Traditional development techniques often make it extremely difficult to develop, simulate and test new interfaces to the levels of robustness required at the speed the digital receiver market requires. Implementing a new graphical design for a new or legacy application demands a critical amount of precious engineering resource both for development and testing.

In order to support manufacturers who need to create differentiated UIs within short product development timescales, Cabot Communications have developed a SVG processing module that interacts with Cabot’s more traditional C++ based UI Framework. The features of the SVG processing module enable visual UI changes to be made by graphical designers instead of software engineers, effectively freeing up precious engineering resources. SVG provides a mechanism that is reusable and requires less engineering resource for any future UI iterations, negating the need for reprogramming for differentiated UIs, and allowing mission critical robust functionality to be maintained in C++.

The development of a SVG support module enables the implementation of skinnable applications, where the definition of the look and feel of the UI has been separated from the application code. This provides a mechanism which allows the UI to be designed independently and for production engineers to use and deploy the new design very quickly; as it enables only the completeness and usability of the new look and feel to be tested, independently of existing underlying product functionality.

The SVG processing module liberates design creativity by enabling esthetic graphical drawings defined by SVG instead of the traditional method which could only accept small images suitable for embedded systems. With SVG, manufacturers are able to provide new UI designs and their SVG definitions so that they can be easily integrated to applications with minimal time and effort. In addition, SVG enables graphical designers to easily see how their design looks on the resultant application through Cabot’s dynamic PC based SVG simulator which provides an instant UI visualization, allowing greater experimentation.

Cabot has developed a SVG engine that processes a subset of SVG Profile Basic 1.1. The SVG elements that are supported by our SVG engine are line, rectangle, circle, ellipse, polygon, polyline, path and linked images. In DVB UIs, we commonly need widgets, such as buttons, text boxes, selection boxes, list boxes, scrollbars, etc. We have also developed C++ widget classes that can process and use the graphical designs defined by SVG.

Each skinnable UI dialog and widget type has corresponding SVG files that describe their graphical, scallable, and positional aspects for each state that they may be in. Hence a SVG file describing a dialog is a template, containing the background visual appearance and the size and position of any widgets or optional elements. Simple id fields are used to identify SVG elements to the C++ implementation, where the application functionality resides.

To summarise, we feel that SVG provides our customers with a number of competitive advantages:

• Flexibility: Commercial graphical tools support SVG for complete flexibility in creating customised UIs

• Efficiency: SVG enables UIs to be easily created and modified without the constraints of traditional UI development tools which require engineering time and effort. In addition, greater re-use is encouraged.

• Quality: The perceived quality of the UI is greatly enhanced when graphical design experts are used

• Liberates existing applications: Tested legacy applications can be deployed to different customers with ease.

• Hardware independence: The entire application can be developed within a PC environment before being moved to the receiver hardware

• Complete UI reassurance: Enhanced SVG features dramatically reduce the possibility of UI problems once the product has been deployed, resulting in optimal consumer satisfaction and reduced support calls and product returns

• Cost effective: The benefits delivered by SVG enable manufacturers to reduce the development costs and engineering effort required to make differentiated UIs

• Increased speed to market: The features provided by SVG enable customised UIs to be built, simulated and tested in previously unachievable time scales

For more information regarding SVG, click here