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Data-Driven SVG Graphics

Data-driven graphics are Illustrator 10's way of decreasing drudgery for sites that have their foundation in a database. You can find examples of such a site in anything from an e-commerce shopping site to a site that documents the statistics for your fantasy baseball league. Before Illustrator 10, Illustrator really had no part in this process. Sure, you could have used Illustrator 9 to create Web graphics for a database-driven site, but your graphics would have to be perfectly and manually aligned to the Web pages someone else was coding up. In addition, the feedback loop—the time between designing a site and actually testing it with the live database—was so long that design problems might not be discovered until late in the process. Or if the site wasn't automated, you might have had to spend long hours generating endless variations on a page, so that a site could show products with different colors and options.

Illustrator 10 makes this whole thing much easier by letting you use Illustrator to design a page around the variables in the Web site's database. These variables can display different photos, text, or graphics that are stored in a database, as you can see in Figure 22.6. They can even (like a certain British tyke with a special cape) disappear entirely if need be. What will ultimately appear in the Web browser depends on the choices that a user makes when viewing that page on the Web.


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