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Mozilla The Internet Graphics Software

Firefox 1.1 Plans Native SVG Support 415

Posted by timothy
from the finally-and-excellent dept.
Spy Hunter writes "The Scalable Vector Graphics format has yet to take off on the web, perhaps due to a small installed base of SVG-enabled browsers. That could soon change as the latest Firefox 1.1 nightly builds have started coming with native SVG support compiled in and enabled by default. If this feature makes into the Firefox 1.1 release (which is not certain, but likely, as the developers want it to happen) it will increase the number of web users who have an SVG renderer installed. But perhaps more interesting than that is the possibility of mixing SVG graphic elements directly into the markup of regular XHTML pages, freeing vector graphics from the small rectangle of a browser plugin and opening up a host of exciting new possibilities for web developers. This is enabled by the integration of SVG directly into the Gecko rendering engine, instead of as a browser plugin. With such a useful web developer feature available only in Firefox, could we soon start seeing websites asking their users to download Firefox to get the best browsing experience?"
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Firefox 1.1 Plans Native SVG Support

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:39PM (#12399132)
    It contains the fix for the rendering of Slashdot's invalid HTML!
  • Its failure to take off prolly has nothing to do with the ubiquitious support for Flash...
    • by ergo98 (9391) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:44PM (#12399171) Homepage Journal
      Its failure to take off prolly has nothing to do with the ubiquitious support for Flash..

      Fair point, however I'd say that no, Flash hasn't supplanted the role that SVG could perform, and there still is a huge void waiting to be filled.

      The reality is that the web is largely full of static, raster graphics (most graphs, as a simple example, exist as tiny craptacularly printing, non-interactive GIFs) - most of which would be better served by interactive, "infinite resolution" vector graphics.

      http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/03/07/Sca lableVectorGraphics/default.aspx [microsoft.com]
      • I remember when I was at Intel in the late ninties in there DRG group doing the game testing on latest Intel processors, we used to see a lot of web stuff come in for demo that never made it out in the open.

        One in particular that i never forgot was a vector based web something (plugin, app browser cant remember) that was a NURBS based graphic manipulator. It had an infinite (almost) resolution dolphin model that was used for the demo...

      • by telbij (465356) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @02:01PM (#12399296)
        Fair point, however I'd say that no, Flash hasn't supplanted the role that SVG could perform, and there still is a huge void waiting to be filled.

        I think his point was more along the lines that Flash lowered the incentive for anyone to rush to market with a really good SVG implementation.

        Of course you are correct that full SVG support would be a really good thing for the web. I would go so far as to say it's the most significant advancement of design possibilities since the introduction of the TABLE element.
        • Really I was just a bit rushed in an effort to get a first post.
    • by Naikrovek (667) <jjohnson.psg@com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:47PM (#12399201)
      I don't think Flash's existence has anything to do with the non-existance of SVG content. I think the lack of content comes from the lack of viewing methods.

      SVG is not just another vector-based image format, it is scriptable, patent-free, open source, and now built into Firefox. Yes, I know Flash is scriptable too...

      with XMLHttp, SVG, and the latest nightlies of Firefox, I've been able to create dashboard programs very easily, with "guages", "warning lights", and all the stuff that my management wants to see in a simple easy to understand manner, all with open source software, and a little effort on my part.

      It won't be that easy to get it implemented at my employer, but I was able to do it all in a couple hours without Flash.

      I'm happy for Flash and SVG to coexist. I'm sure that they can live happily together.
    • by willfe (6537) <willfe@gmail.com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:52PM (#12399240) Homepage

      I dunno; if this thing works without crashing my browser, hogging 100% of the system's CPU, or blasting irritating sounds (and if it's used for useful content and presentation instead of lame menus or "flash-only" styled pages), it might just take off.

      Flash is disabled on this machine because it does exactly one of two things in a web page: 1) show an ad, or 2) replaces perfectly servicable text (or even image-based) links in menus and navigation widgets that just ends up slowing everything down. I've already loaded the page. I shouldn't have to wait for the menus to load, too, just so your cute logo can flicker or rotate or so your menus can do impressive, flashy transitions that slow things down even more.

      • by globalar (669767)
        What's ironic is that I rarely seen Flash sites which do functional things like preload in the background or *simplify* the content. The loading animation, for example, is usually a show-off piece that the user is supposed to gawk at.

        Graphic artists != UI designers

    • by telbij (465356) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:53PM (#12399243)
      Its failure to take off prolly has nothing to do with the ubiquitious support for Flash...

      Considering it was only made a standard in 2001, things are only going slightly slower than CSS and HTML. The real problem is that SVG is hard to implement. I don't disagree that the availability of Flash has lowered the priority, but as far as open-source implementations are concerned, I thnk it was destined to take a while.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:40PM (#12399145)
    could we soon start seeing websites asking their users to download Firefox to get the best browsing experience?"

    No, because IE will adopt a slightly different version of SVG and by virtue of it already containing 80% of the market, will force firefox to display the IE-compatible SVG, and things will be the same as ever before.

    Monopolies, y'know?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:42PM (#12399155)
      Had you written this post a year ago, you would've said "90%" of the market. How much you wanna bet it'll be down to 70% or lower in another year?
    • by eggz128 (447435) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @02:25PM (#12399450)

      No, because IE will adopt a slightly different version of SVG


      You mean VML [w3.org]? New to Internet Explorer 5! [microsoft.com]
    • There already is one. XAML iirc. XAML is expected to be an important part of Avalon. I haven't read that much on it, but with buzz around Avalon lately, maybe XAML gets split out and promoted separately as well. That would lead to more fragmentation in what appears to be a market being choked by alternatives.
  • Opera (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:41PM (#12399149)
    Opera 8.0 has support for SVG-tiny. The question is - what does SVG full have which SVG tiny does not?
    • Re:Opera (Score:5, Informative)

      by interiot (50685) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @03:05PM (#12399759) Homepage
      The SVG Tiny spec [w3.org] is pretty short and concise, especially the sections about scripting and animation [mandragor.org]:
      • 16. Scripting

        SVGT [SVG-Tiny] does not support scripting. SVGB [SVG-Basic] allows optional support of scripting, and includes all of the language features from SVG 1.1 to support scripting.

      • 17. Animation

        Both SVGB and SVGT support the full set of SVG 1.1's declarative animation features:

        The language features to support animation through scripting and DOM are available in SVGB. SVGT only supports declarative animation.

        SVGB and SVGT allow implicit targeting of parent elements, and targeting elements using the 'xlink:href' attribute.

        SVGB and SVGT support linear, spline, paced and discrete animations.

    • by Animaether (411575) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @03:06PM (#12399762) Journal
      SVG tiny = mobile phones
      SVG basic = PDAs
      SVG = personal computers

      And if you'd checked this page :
      http://www.w3.org/TR/SVGMobile/#sec-eleind [w3.org], which is Google hit #1 for 'svg tiny', you would see the differences between SVG tiny and SVG basic in terms of supported elements, styles (further down), etc.
      In addition, anywhere where SVG basic at least reads "n/a", that's a feature that should be in SVG full.
  • by ikewillis (586793) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:41PM (#12399150) Homepage
    Opera 8.0 supports SVG, and so will IE7. Looks like all the top browsers will soon support SVG...
  • Typical (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:41PM (#12399151)
    Now I'm gonna have to go out and buy an SVG Monitor.
  • SVG Support... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekboy642 (799087) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:42PM (#12399157) Journal
    ...will eventually be widely adopted, but it will be only hours before a spammer uses it to block spam filters--random graphical elements, scattered in the middle of words?

    And you thought cyrillic characters were bad.
    • Re:SVG Support... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @02:01PM (#12399299)
      I think you need to read Paul Graham's articles about spam filtering. It doesn't matter what they do, spam still looks like spam. Unless you get a lot of legit mail with "random graphical elements scattered in the middle of words", that will probably be more likely to help your filters than hurt them.

      Esentially, everything they do to make their spam less filterable makes it look less and less like legit mail. The result tends to be that it's either easier to filter or there's no difference at all (e.g., the use of a string of random dictionary words tends to have no effect, since the words are weighted neither 'spammy' nor 'not spammy').
      • The response of spammers to better filters has been to send more spam. Spam is a DoS attack on network resources, CPU cycles, disk space, administrator time and user time.
  • What is SVG? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by catisonh (805870) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:43PM (#12399163) Homepage
    Can someone explain to me why its better than a jpg?
    • Re:What is SVG? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. JPEG is a bitmap based format, storing the position and colour of pixels, a vector format on the other hand stores information in terms of lines, curves, surfaces, etc. so is scalable whilst retaining quality.
    • Re:What is SVG? (Score:5, Informative)

      by MP3Chuck (652277) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:52PM (#12399232) Homepage Journal
      They're not really in a position to be better than a JPG, in the cases where a JPG would be used to display an images with thousdands or millions of colours.

      On the other hand, SVG offers an easier (or what seems should be easier) method of dynamically-generating images like charts and graphs. Combined with some javascript (think XMLHttpRequest), you can change and interact with these graphs in realtime. Along with vector graphic's "infinite" resolution you've got a lot of powerful options for graphing alone.
    • Re:What is SVG? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:52PM (#12399233)
      ---Why its better than JPEG?

      Well, they're both good for different things.

      JPEGS are simple raster images. A jpeg and a bitmap are one in the same (with jpeg having good compression). Simply, it comes down to this bit is this color, this bit is this color, and this bit is this color. If you magnify raster images, you end up with blurred and horribly pixellated images that have almost no resemblance of the original.

      A SVG (and similar technologies) uses vector graphics. The best way to explain this is thus: Graph a line Y=X on a xy coordinate plane. You end up with a 45 degreee angle. Now, if you were to view a portion between 0 and 10^-100(X) and 0 to 10^-100(y) it's still going to be a line. It's not going to be a stairstep pixelated crap.

      Probably the best usage of SVG's would be simple images made for dramatically inbcreasing size (like icons in KDE) or other size-variation.

      The only way to do pretty increasing size icons now are to shim a javascript to display 6 or so jpegs that were manually sized. These do not account for resolution on your screen.

      Hopefully, Ive made clear what these things are.
      • Re:What is SVG? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @02:02PM (#12399309)
        ANd as an aside, please un-troll who I responded to. Someone who doesnt understand what SVG is would naturally ask this question.

        Or should we all assume that we all are super-smart and questions are stupid? If you think so, no wonder people hate lots of techies.
  • Addds (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:44PM (#12399168)
    Wow! Imagine how much more exciting it will be to punch the monkey!!
  • Cool... (Score:2, Funny)

    by TeleoMan (529859)
    ...but I have only a VGA monitor you insenstive clown!
    • I HAD a nice monitor until Friday, when a brand new install of Red Hat 9 chose the wrong frequency settings for XFree86.

      Guess I'll have to wait for SVG support in Lynx.
  • "only in Firefox" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MP3Chuck (652277) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:44PM (#12399172) Homepage Journal
    "With such a useful web developer feature available only in Firefox, could we soon start seeing websites asking their users to download Firefox to get the best browsing experience?"

    No.

    First of all, it's also available in Opera 8.

    Second of all, at the risk of sounding like a troll, people will simply find ways around using SVG until IE supports it ... just like they have for PNG and (proper) CSS2.
    • Re:"only in Firefox" (Score:3, Informative)

      by Xugumad (39311)
      Usefully, with the <object> [w3.org] tag, you can specify alternative objects to render. So you can provide a SVG, and a PNG to render instead, then a GIF to render instead, then a plaintext alternative.
  • by Tokerat (150341) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:44PM (#12399173) Journal

    [...] could we soon start seeing websites asking their users to download Firefox to get the best browsing experience?
    I'd prefer it if websites didn't have to recommend a browser at all, which is the whole reason we have web standards like HTML in the first place.
    • What if a browser (in wide circulation) has poor/broken adherence to "web standards", security issues up the wazoo and generally sucks Possum pooh?
    • Perhaps, but this is going to happen regardless.

      With Firefox gaining popularity, we--the community--are in a unique position to guide the standards that may one day become commonplace. .. Or we can not do anything and sit back as Microsoft/Adobe/Macromedia shove their proprietary solutions down our throats.

      If enough sites recommend Firefox/SVG, it would go a long way toward encouraging other browsers to support SVG--an *open* standard, putting us in a position again of not needing to recommend a browser a
      • by westlake (615356) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:12PM (#12400334)
        If enough sites recommend Firefox/SVG, it would go a long way toward encouraging other browsers to support SVG--an *open* standard, putting us in a position again of not needing to recommend a browser and possibly knocking out a proprietary format or two in the process.

        It isn't the number of sites that matter, it is their success in reaching beyond the Slashdot demographic. Preaching to the choir gains you nothing.

        SVG could become the Ogg Vorblis of graphic formats. It's out there, but arrived too late and no one much cares.

        • SVG could become the Ogg Vorblis of graphic formats. It's out there, but arrived too late and no one much cares.

          It took MP3 a decade to catch on, with no competition; Ogg Vorbis has pretty good commercial support already after much less time. I wouldn't view it as a failure.

          SVG actually has a better chance: it fulfills a real need that none of the existing alternatives (including Flash) address.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is really cool, since it will allow the Javascript SVG library I wrote to work without the adobe plugin!

    Javascript SVG Sparklines [overstimulate.com]
  • by Zugot (17501) * <.moc.mseso. .ta. .nayrb.> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:44PM (#12399175)
    from http://svg.kde.org/ [kde.org]


    STABLE VECTORS
    2004-02-18 18:38:29 by Andreas Streichardt KDE 3.2 has been released and thus KSVG is stable now. If you want to have KSVG installed on your system please install the kdegraphics package. The KSVG team wishes happy vectoring. Please report any bugs via http://bugs.kde.org./ [bugs.kde.org]

  • More info... (Score:4, Informative)

    by bridgey655 (800826) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:45PM (#12399177)
    Take a look at http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/About.html [w3.org] for more information on SVG.
  • Adblock *.svg (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bender647 (705126) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:45PM (#12399180)
    freeing vector graphics from the small rectangle of a browser plugin and opening up a host of exciting new possibilities for web developers
    Sounds like a whole new annoying type of advertising coming our way.
  • by hrieke (126185) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:45PM (#12399181) Homepage
    I work a lot with Databases, and their schema.
    I'm also sick and tired of wallpapering my cubial with schema print out from the plotter. SVG DB schema would be an excellent tool to have- go from a 30,000 ft view to a grass blade view with out having to load up different pages, or deal with a wall paper print out.

    Someone wanna make the tool?
  • by dananderson (1880) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:47PM (#12399194) Homepage
    What graphic editors support SVG? I use mostly PaintShop on Windoz and Gimp on Linux and Solaris. Both are raster-oriented.

    I used to use Corel and WordPerfect Presentations, which has a propriety vector graphics format, WPG.

  • by RHIC (640535) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:48PM (#12399205)
    "With such a useful web developer feature available only in Firefox, could we soon start seeing websites asking their users to download Firefox to get the best browsing experience?"

    With the continual complaints I see about people irritated by sites that use features only supported by IE, and that cause the page to render incorrectly in other browsers, why would developers using Firefox-only features be any different or better?
  • by idiotfromia (657688) <chad@ch a d b r a ndos.com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:49PM (#12399210) Homepage
    With such a useful web developer feature available only in Firefox, could we soon start seeing websites asking their users to download Firefox to get the best browsing experience?"

    The keyword is best. Lets just hope some webmasters don't start doing what some IE designers have done, blocked out an entire website because of not using the correct browser. Most of the sites that say my Firefox is "not up-to-date as the latest Interenet Explorer" will render just fine, if they hadn't put up blockades to their content.

    It's their loss.

  • Won't it be regarded as an embrace-or-extend move by Mozilla? Is there some relevant standard (except for SVG itself) for this? Is there some graceful degradation mechanism built-in for browsers that don't support this feature?
    That said, sounds like a cool feature with lots of potential uses.
    • since SVG is XML-based and XHTML provides a way to include any other XML-conformant language in a special element, yes, this is standard and any XHTML compliant browser that doesn't do SVG will simply ignore it...
    • by MilenCent (219397) * <johnwh@gm a i l . com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @03:51PM (#12400165) Homepage
      Won't it be regarded as an embrace-or-extend move by Mozilla?

      Maybe. If the Mozilla foundation were a gigantic monopoly which seeked to break standards specifically for the purpose of creating compatibility problems with competing browsers in favor of their own proprietary alternative.

      Wait. They're not a monopoly. They're implementing a standard and not breaking one. They're doing nothing proprietary.

      Remember, it was Microsoft that coined the term "embrace and extend." Changes are not bad in and of themselves, but web browsers need to be interoperable and standards-compliant, so different browsers will render the same thing the same way. Copying IE's rendering to display those pages that are designed around IE is compatible with IE, but IE alone, and ultimately just gives Microsoft carte blanche to dictate the development of HTML. The Mozilla guys are doing it the right way here.
  • by NuclearDog (775495) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:54PM (#12399253) Homepage
    (From TFA) "With such a useful web developer feature available only in Firefox, could we soon start seeing websites asking their users to download Firefox to get the best browsing experience?""

    Sure, if the webmasters are fucking retards.

    Think about it, if you use SVG all over your site and say "Download Firefox or you wont be able to view this site." the 9X% (I use 9X since no one agrees on numbers.) Internet Explorer users would simply hit the back button and go find somewhere else to get whatever they were wanting from your site.

    The only case where that might be acceptable is maybe in a situation where there is only a few users or where you are the exclusive provider of information on a topic.

    So yes, webmasters will start telling users that they have to use FF to view their website... if they're fucking retards.

    ND
    • They'll only hit the back button if they can tell the page is obviously borked. If the webmister has done his/her/its work properly, the page will degrade to a level that IE can handle, without becoming craptastic.
      Ex: Implement SVG as a bandwidth savings measure, then keep static PNG/GIF images around for when IE shows up. That's why the webserver is told which browser is visiting, IIRC.
    • I use 9X since no one agrees on numbers.


      While we all appreciate the reference to the infamous windows series, 9x percent is not correct.

      Firefox is used among all serious internet users (half of them call it foxfire, but who cares... and yes some of the firefox users use Opera too, but what are you going to use at your friends house?). Given that 25% of users are serious firefox is already a browser that is recognized by sites as the optimal.
  • Please: SVG Maps (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jfengel (409917) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:56PM (#12399274) Homepage Journal
    I'd love to see Mapquest/GoogleMaps/etc start sending maps in SVG. They currently use low-resolution formats for the screen, and they look terrible when printed, especially street names. They're also hard to zoom in on. And I'd like to think that it might be smaller to send the map vectorized than sending every pixel. (The blank spaces compress nicely, but text-as-graphic doesn't.)

    Google Maps is a significant advance over what I've seen at Mapquest/Yahoo Maps, but they can do a lot better.

    They could have used PDF, but that requires a separate and not-very-interactive application, or Flash, but that's plain evil. SVG really is the way to go for this.
    • by AndyCap (97274) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @02:17PM (#12399400)
      I fear that the map data copyright holders would object to this, since the data would now be far easier to take, and reprocess into large maps for your own use.
      • Re:Please: SVG Maps (Score:4, Informative)

        by Jeffrey Baker (6191) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @02:59PM (#12399702)
        You can already get very complete US map data for free from the government. The map data providers' grip on the market is fairly tenuous, and rests on the perception that, like Edgar Online, they provide added value beyond what the government gives you. But, like Edgar Online, the government's data offering will eventually be so complete as to render the "value added" services moot.

        The only thing left to wonder is will it take 2 or 20 years?

    • Re:Please: SVG Maps (Score:3, Informative)

      by jp10558 (748604)
      Have you ever looked at maps24.com? I find that to be the most technically impressive (and supports the most countries) map service that I've seen so far, but also, less reliable.
  • > could we soon start seeing websites asking their users to download Firefox to get the best browsing experience?

    Please noooooo! I use Konqueror for all my web browsing. It works for about 95% of the sites I want to visit - I don't want that number to go down :-(

    I think Konqueror supports SVG but I don't suppose it supports embedding it directly in XHTML.

    OTOH, when the KDE port of Firefox is done (yes, there is one!) then I won't mind so much :-)
  • Opera (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Opera 8 already supports native SVG. Firefox is lagging behind yet again.
  • Nice, then I won't have to compile mozilla to run the Visualhistory plugin: WebMap [sakura.ne.jp] It's a wonderfull way to get a grip of your surfinghistory, which IMHO isn't that good by default. Sadly the guy who made it is form Japan, do most of the doc is quiete unreadable for most people.

    I believe that browser history has been neglected for a long time.

  • by JohnQPublic (158027) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @02:11PM (#12399369)

    This integrated-SVG is planned for FireFox 1.1 and already available in Opera 8.

    Closed-source software rules, at least sometimes :-)

  • by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @02:13PM (#12399382)
    I was excited when I first heard of SVG because bandwidth was much more limited back in those days. What did I have, a 56k modem that took forever to load up all but the simplest web pages? The idea that a simple text file could generate beautiful vector graphics was an indication that the web as a whole was about to change into a much richer environment.

    Sadly, SVG really wasn't adopted. I hope that its inclusion in Opera and Firefox will change all of that, because many websites that currently use images for a lot of their content could make things look better and take up less space with things like CSS2 and SVG.

    Saving bandwidth is still important in these days of broadband and whatnot, because the more you cut down the amount of unnecessary stuff zapping across the 'net, the more cool stuff that really requires the bandwidth (like movies, music, and all that stuff "they've" been promising us since the 80's with "convergence") will be able to get through.

    Combine the powerful client-stuff you can do with all these standards with server-side dynamic generation and you end up with a system that should be able to display any type of content with no problem.

  • Can't we already mix SVG (when otherwise supported) by including it in a DIV layer?
  • I can't imagine giving people more open standard options is a bad thing. If SVG in a regular page starts to take off Microsoft will have no choice but to offer SVG as well. Granted they'll try to pollute the standard and add Microsoft only extensions, but most major sites have learned their lesson and will code to the original common denominator of SVG.

    Microsoft may alternately try to come up with their on completely proprietary version of SVG supported only in IE, but I think they would have a hard tim

  • by LionKimbro (200000) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @02:26PM (#12399456) Homepage

    When you open up the SVG door, you don't just make space for "pretty pictures." You ALSO get,...

    • Visual Programming Languages - because they're so easy to make, once it's easy to move shapes around on the screen and aggregate diagrams.
    • non-boxy user-interface - look at the UI all around you- it's characterized almost exclusively by boxes. Many problems are best described by hooking pieces together, spatially. But our UI is all set up for entering or selecting text into boxes.
    • Graphs, graphs, graphs - as in circles connected by lines. Collaborative organization of ideas on a spatial surface.

    As SVG comes on line, at both the web-browser level and the desktop-programming level, and as people become proficient in these things, we'll make a major step forward in user interface.

    Working with graphs will change the way we think. Our tools have, so far, afforded [emacswiki.org] creating hierarchical structures. That is, it's far easier to express hierarchy with text editors, than it is to express network. Hierarchy is fine, but it's only part of the picture. The other part is more-biological looking network organizations. As the tools come online to create biological organizations (as we see appearing in message-oriented programming models, component based developments,) we'll think about programming (and perhaps our world) in very different ways.

    To make this a little clearer: If you look in magazine articles where they're discussing programming architecture and software layout, you're going to see lots of 2D diagrams with lots of pieces plugging into other pieces in a graphical layout- sort of like a circuit board. This is different than the way we have traditionally programmed, which is more like a tree shape. Even within object oriented programming, because our interface still affords tree layouts. Where we have explored beyond tree layouts, (complex networks of design patterns,) we have struggled with the user interface, and people have stretched out to make better representations that capture graph-like programs: Think of your clumbsy UML editors, and things like that- really trying to hack a solution between more-or-less linear code expressions, and the 2D graphs that we're thinking in.

    When SVG is well understood, documented, with tools at desktop and web levels, we should start to see native 2D programming languages, that don't feel like either toy languages, or cheap hacks riding on top of other programming languages.

    I've written more about this at Futures:SvgRevolution. [taoriver.net]

  • by TractorBarry (788340) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @02:30PM (#12399491) Homepage
    could we soon start seeing websites asking their users to download Firefox to get the best browsing experience?

    I bloody well hope not. If I do I'll know that the website(s) in question have been designed by idiots. As Tim Berners-Lee states in Technology Review, July 1996:

    "Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network."

    So any sites saying "best viewed with..." are run by idiots - whether that "browser X" be Firefox, IE, Safari, Konqueror or even Lynx etc. etc.

    Websites should be written to standards so they can be viewed by users in the browser of their choice. This is especially true to allow access for disabled users. That's the whole fucking point of the web.

    And it's another reason that having Flash only websites is the WORST thing you can do. A colleague of mine at work is visually impaired and has to use a 21" monitor at 640 by 480 with a high contrast scheme. He still has to read the text by putting his face about 10" from the screen and scanning across the monitor. Flash websites are totally inaccessible to him.

    And every day the internet fills up with crappy flash covered apologies for web pages built by idiots, for idiots, Ho hum...
    • So any sites saying "best viewed with..." are run by idiots

      Some of the web work I've done looks better in Moz or Safari because they have better support of CSS. I spent quite a bit of time making my main template appear nearly identical in IE 5, IE 6, IE for MacOS, Safari, Moz/FF, Opera, and recent versions of Konq. But it looks a little better on browsers that fully support CSS. The content's no different and it's all easily accessable, but it's a little better organized. It also works equally we
    • So any sites saying "best viewed with..." are run by idiots - whether that "browser X" be Firefox, IE, Safari, Konqueror or even Lynx etc. etc.

      Websites should be written to standards so they can be viewed by users in the browser of their choice.

      OK.. writing websites to standards won't get you very far with IE (unless you're talking nested tables design. I'm not). Or more like, it often takes a lot of work to find a "standards" way of doing something that DOES work without IE completely F$#@ing it up

  • Opera has it already (Score:3, Informative)

    by perler (80090) * <pat@pat s p l a n e t.com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @03:15PM (#12399846) Homepage
    as almost always, opera had it before [opera.com] ;P
  • Accept Header (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fulldecent (598482) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @03:29PM (#12399962) Homepage
    When I loaded this page, Firefox uses the request header:

    Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,tex t/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5

    Will the new version prefer SVG in that accept header, or will SVG fall after png, in the q=0.5 category?

    I'm askng because in certain software projects I work with, I use content negotiation to deliver the image format the user wants [PLUG: http://fdcl.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]] and that lets them decide if they can handle PNG or they must use the crummy gif equivalent. Firefox specifically prefers png, so that wins. I'm sure this would be the only method that SVG's are delivered to Firefox, since nobody wants to put a file onto a website that will never be seen.
  • by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Monday May 02, 2005 @11:29AM (#12407801) Homepage Journal
    Well,

    no offense surely there are a lot of people who like SVG. If you are one of the ppl who say: XML (and thus SVG also) is ment only to be generated and processed by a programs, then fine.

    However I think XML is usefull to be able as a human to read/debug documents, and for easy exploration you should also be able to write simple stuff. XHTML proves that people want to do the later, while XMI shows that you probably need to stick to the former.

    The point of critics about SVG is: how braindead can a XML dialect designer (or in this a graphics description language designer) be to distinguish absolute and relative coordinates by upper or lower case capitalization of single letters, namely x and y?

    This is a prime example where an attribute would be more usefull.

    angel'o'sphere

(1) Never draw what you can copy. (2) Never copy what you can trace. (3) Never trace what you can cut out and paste down.

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