Atlantik will adopt KSVG to render game boards. KSVG, KDE's implementation of the Scalable Vector Graphics specification, will be included in KDE 3.2, adding support for a growing technology. KSVG has been maturing in the kdenonbeta development module for a long while and the enthusiasm of the developers is spreading to other parts of KDE. Atlantik, the leading open-source game client for Monopoly-like board games, is one of the first KDE applications slated to adopt KSVG for more than fancy icons.
For a long while, the Atlantik development charter has included the wish to support various board games and not just the Monopoly-like board games currently supported. Defining game boards as a vector graphic will bring that goal a lot closer. The application will no longer make assumptions on the board layout based on the original design to support just one game type, instead shapes on the board are limited only to the imagination and skills of SVG artists. It is the goal for KDE 3.3 to convert the existing games to an SVG board while keeping all current behavior intact, yet allowing for far more complex boards in the future.
One of the possible games that could be supported in the future is battleship. A KBattleship application is already available for KDE and in fact included in the kdegames module (or package), but the intent to extend Atlantik and support more game types has already been received positively. On the bus back to Frankfurt from the KDE Contributor Conference in Nové Hrady, KBattleship maintainer Niko Zimmerman responded with joy to the proposal that in the future Atlantik might replace the application, because it would relieve him from maintainership. Ironically Niko is also one of the main contributors to KSVG and thus responsible for creating this opportunity in the first place. Obviously replacement of KBattleship remains a long-term goal for Atlantik and replacing existing applications should only happen in KDE when all existing features are supported, but the future of KDE Games promises to be exciting.
The KSVG website states "the real use of KSVG is to provide something similar to the Adobe SVG Viewer on KDE: A plugin for the web browser". But in the great tradition of general purpose computing, other uses for the technology are already being developed. KDE 3.2 has not even been released yet, but KDE users already have something ready to look forward to in 2004.