When setting up an image as a variable using the data-driven graphics feature, it seems Illustrator only accepts binding variables to linked images using a path reference like: file:////Users/MyHome/etc/etc/image.jpg
I have tried unsucessfully replacing the path reference with <img src="http://someimagesourceURL.jpg" /> in hopes that when updating the XML data set inside Illustrator, I could update image variables with images posted to a url.
Is this possible? Does the xml need a different type of declarations section to allow url image paths to be recognized?
How should that work? AI has no HTTP engine or any other networking features. So no, it can't be done. Any paths have to appear as local paths. If they are on remote servers, use WebDAV and similar to include them in your normal folder hierarchy.
That's a perfectly sensible explanation.
Too bad though, that could make the data-driven feature more compelling.