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Google Brings SVG Support To IE 233

Posted by Soulskill
from the quickest-way-to-get-something-done dept.
stelt writes "Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is in most graphical tools. It is used heavily in many big projects, such as KDE and Wikipedia. But Internet Explorer's lack of built-in support for SVG was keeping it away from mainstream use on the web. Google is fixing that now with a JavaScript drop-in named SVGWeb. They've posted a quick, one-minute overview, a longer and more detailed presentation, and you can read about it on the project page."
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Google Brings SVG Support To IE

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    How long before a new version of IE develops incompatibility problems with this extension?
    • by rvw (755107) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @10:23AM (#29155249)

      How long before a new version of IE develops incompatibility problems with this extension?

      How long until Google or someone else hacks around this?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jurily (900488)

      It would be easier for them to just add SVG support.

      Can we get rid of IE already, please? Just stop caring about it, and use open standards. If they won't adapt, tough luck.

      • by webheaded (997188) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @11:12AM (#29155473) Homepage
        I'm sorry, but I see this response a lot and I honestly have to say...have you ever actually run a website before? Alienating your potential audience over something like this is not really the best way to go about things. Yeah, maybe put up a notice somewhere about it, but really, telling them to just screw off is not actually a solution. It just makes your site look like crap to all the people using IE. The people that still use IE6 and such aren't the type of people to know or care why your site is broken...they just think you have a broken site.

        I completely understand your hate of IE...I can't tell you how many times I've had to go "fix" my website designs because of IE6...it drives me completely insane. On the other hand, you simply cannot ignore these things. Being a good web designer means you unfortunately need to compensate.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by V!NCENT (1105021)
          Yeah, and if everybody keep thinking that then IE will never go away. Just display the message "Your are trying to view this webpage with a non-standard browser. Please use Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Opera." Seriously, is that so hard? Even Google did this trick with YouTube for IE6. Well... if Google can do that then why can't you?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Ythan (525808)
            Youtube doesn't support dial-up either, that doesn't mean you shouldn't.

            There are plenty of free libraries you can use to retain IE6 compatibility with your website. Yes it's quirky and a pain in the ass but if you can't offer at least basic functionality for IE6 users then you're doing something wrong. The anti-IE6 movement just means that there are a lot of developers out there who are too lazy or inexperienced to deal with an older browser. They should take more pride in their work IMHO.
            • by Creepy (93888)

              speaking of IE6, one of the best SVG viewers available was Adobe's, but support for that died with IE6. Well, I shouldn't say died - I know of several enterprise level products that depend on it, and that is why many corporations are stuck using IE6. Unfortunately, a lot of implementations of SVG are incomplete - in fact, I don't think any are fully compliant

            • by Rix (54095) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @11:34PM (#29160473)

              Even supporting IE at all means withholding features. That can make sense for supporting IE 7/8, which hold about 40% of the browser market.

              IE6 only holds about 15% of the browser market, and requires extreme measures to support. If Google, a 150 billion dollar corporation, can't be bothered to support it in something as simple as a webmail client or video portal, why should the little guy struggle to support it in a complex web app?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Its amazing to see someone refering to IE6 and suggesting that someone other than microsoft did something wrong. Wake up, face reality, and realize where the "too lazy" to do it right tag really belongs. "Take more pride in their work." In context, thats rich!
          • by shentino (1139071)

            It's just a game of hardball.

            Youtube is a mega-popular site, so it has enough might to make right that way. Other sites may not have that kind of clout.

            And of course, MS's insanely huge market share, especially in the corporate sector, for IE will mean sites have to kowtow to it, which creates a positive feedback loop.

            This is a war, and I've got the sinking feeling that there will need to be a few casualties (in the form of sites being snubbed by fussy users sticking with IE, and/or users getting fed up wi

        • by Lord Bitman (95493) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @11:27AM (#29155595) Homepage

          I'll agree you don't want to alienate your audience just because they're using a broken browser, but that is not what being a "good" web designer is about.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by derGoldstein (1494129)

          On the other hand, you simply cannot ignore these things. Being a good web designer means you unfortunately need to compensate.

          That depends on what audience you're targeting. If you're building a website for a government institution, then yes, you need to support IE, including IE6. If, on the other hand, you have commercial considerations, and can deliver a real *web app* by dropping IE, then you have some thinking to do. Maybe you could just drop IE6 -- if youtube can do it then it's probably a safe move. But if you know that you can provide a really significant improvement in usability by supporting only modern/compliant browsers

        • by Hurricane78 (562437) <(deleted) (at) (slashdot.org)> on Saturday August 22, 2009 @12:45PM (#29156059)

          Sorry, I once worked on a site, where we got 16 million visits *a day*! And that's only for the top country.

          And your attitude is the very reason we are in this situation.
          You always cave in, when you fear you could lose some users. It's so pathetic.

          No, don't make links non-underlined! We will lose users!
          No, don't stop supporting that browser! We will lose users!
          No, don't change the design! We will lose users!
          etc, etc, etc.

          It's the knock-out argument for all change.

          And while others innovate, you keep running behind them, always trying to catch up.
          While your user base turns into the most stubborn, spoiled and dumb that is possible.
          They will totally dominate you instead of you dominating them.

          If you ever read something about leadership, you will understand, that you can only lead, if you do what *you* want, and stand behind that, not caring what the mob/crowd thinks.
          Because they will *want* to follow you, if you are a role model, *knowing* what is right.
          Of course this won't give you *all* users. Because when you're greedy and want them all, it's pretty much guaranteed that you will be left with even less than if you would have just let those follow you, that want you for what you are.

          Yes, it's the same thing as in love and friendship relationships.

          And as always, this time it's the leaders again, who will drop support for the IE first. Those sites, where people don't go because the sites are trying to do it right for everybody, but because they're so cool and worth so much to them, that people will do anything to still be able to use their site.
          And soon you will follow them. When you notice that half your user base is already lost to them.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by joaommp (685612)

            So true.

            I'm currently in the process of developing a few websites. IE is a pain in the nikta because of the way it renders the stuff. However, it has been quite more pleasing in some javascript details (doing client based XSLT transformations, for example, is working better in IE than in Firefox, which fscks up everything and adds elements not in the XML or the XSL).

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by westlake (615356)

            I once worked on a site, where we got 16 million visits *a day*!

            Which is what your employer is paying you to deliver.

            If those numbers go down because you are too "principled" to support IE - he will find someone a tad more flexible.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Hurricane78 (562437)

              Ha. You have NO idea!

              First of all, that company is dead and gone, because they did what they did. So yeah, very wise of them... ^^

              Second, it's not the page views. It's the clicks on ads that are worth money. Page views *cost* money!
              My former employer wanted money. Not page views per se.

              Third, making stuff run in IE took so much time, that by stopping to do it, we would actually have made money!

              Fourth, I left the company to found my own, because I found them to be literally to fuckin' stupid to understand th

          • Give me a break (Score:3, Insightful)

            by snowwrestler (896305)

            Sorry, I once worked on a site, where we got 16 million visits *a day*! And that's only for the top country.

            Yeah, we've all "worked on" big sites. It's quite another thing to be financially accountable for a big site. You'll find it's a little less easy to cast away 10% of your users overnight when your profit margin is only 1% to 3%.

            The proper way to build a big site is to build to standards and then add exception handling for any significant user bases. Over time some of these will shrink below the "who cares" limit and you can get rid of that exception. Obviously those limits will vary per site and audience.

            Yo

        • The problem is that some website developers don't understand what they were hired to do. Their job isn't to pick the winners and losers in the browser market, but to maximize the number of visitors to their employer's site.

          Only in the wacky world of web culture would providing content for the most common tool be considered an annoying afterthought in favor of also-ran tools. It's not about which browser is best, it's about which browser makes your company more competitive.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nametaken (610866)

        I'm totally down with that... but my boss wouldn't be. I still have to make sure our sites work in IE and FF. :(

        • by binkzz (779594)
          I dare say current interoperability management is nothing compared to how it was in the days of NN3, IE3, NN4 and IE4 with their respective Mac and PC versions, and their own, almost completely separate JavaScript engines.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        Not until Firefox makes significant impact on large corporate installations. I work with quite a few large companies as a consultant and it's IE, IE and then some more IE. A few have Firefox optionally installed but always the blue E. The only good news I do have is that when they do have Firefox installed, it's normally a fairly recent version since they have IE as fallback and don't have to worry about backwards compatibility for Firefox.

    • A more accurate question would be, "How long until Microsoft enforces incompatibility with the web again?"

  • by Errtu76 (776778)

    Now Microsoft doesn't need to do it anymore. Is this a good thing then? Nice move on Google's part though.

    • Re:good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rvw (755107) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @10:26AM (#29155263)

      Now Microsoft doesn't need to do it anymore. Is this a good thing then? Nice move on Google's part though.

      It's a bad thing that Google needs to fix basic functionality in a competitor's product. But it shows one more time why Google is good and why Microsoft is mediocre.

      • You can say what you want about the Google Library project, but the important thing to note is that it's finally gotten people in the mainstream industry to begin talking about the merits/drawbacks of extended copyright terms, and more importantly, compelled a number of very high-profile players to join [slashdot.org] the Internet Archive's "open" effort to digitize out-of-print books.

        It might be convoluted, but the Google Library effort will be a very good thing if it fails, thanks to the dialogue that it's spurred.

      • by nametaken (610866)

        Is SVG support really considered basic functionality in a web browser? Gif and Jpeg, I'd call those basic functionality for sure.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          As a website builder, svg is more then just pictures, if i had it available to me i would create entire websites using it. ( xhtml+svg )

          why?

          because then i can finally present people with websites that look exactly the same everywhere and fill your entire browser screen.
          dynamic design, dynamic fonts, dynamic everything. no more fixed layout design.

          While i don't thing this new plugin is going to be the holy grail, it love to see them push in the right direction :)

        • by jopsen (885607)

          Is SVG support really considered basic functionality in a web browser? Gif and Jpeg, I'd call those basic functionality for sure.

          Okay... But in a modern webbrowser, yes!
          Especially, when you advertise for your browser by saying that it is more compatible than it's competitors...

          I know MS is pure evil, and doesn't care... But isn't just a little embarrassing when your competitors patches your browser using Javascript and Flash...

        • Is SVG support really considered basic functionality in a web browser? Gif and Jpeg, I'd call those basic functionality for sure.

          Is CSS2 support basic functionality?

          SVG is older than CSS2.

    • If having a plugin means Microsoft doesn't need to implement it, then the existence of the several-year-old plugin from Adobe [adobe.com] has been doing that already. Looking at the project page, it seems like using this in IE means that the entire SVG part of the site ends up being rendered in an SVG-supporting browser implemented in Flash. Umm, yay?
  • Lame. (Score:5, Informative)

    by iYk6 (1425255) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @10:16AM (#29155215)

    From the project page: "No downloads or plugins are necessary other than Flash ..."

    • Re:Lame. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Björn (4836) * on Saturday August 22, 2009 @10:26AM (#29155259)
      Yes rendering is done by Flash. But since Flash is installed in about 95% of computers that is not much of a problem. Not that I'm a big fan of Flash though.
      • Re:Lame. (Score:5, Funny)

        by derGoldstein (1494129) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @11:34AM (#29155639) Homepage
        Oh cool, so I can install Flash, explorercanvas [google.com], and now SVG Web, and I'll finally have a browser that is half-way up to date.

        Google: Please release V8 as a plugin for IE, along with CSS compatibility. Actually, scratch that -- please release Chrome as a plugin for IE.
        • by jopsen (885607)

          Google: Please release V8 as a plugin for IE, along with CSS compatibility. Actually, scratch that -- please release Chrome as a plugin for IE.

          Yes... let's make a javascript accelerator for IE using Flash :)

          • You already can, to some degree. Write the functions within Flash (in actionscript, which is also ECMAScript), and send the arguments to the functions that are within the .swf file. It's been done to hide/obfuscate/compact code (though it's not compiled, it's byte code, so it's not really hidden). This way the Flash VM does the processing, not the browser. You'd really need significant separation in functionality in order to improve performance (something that could be done entirely within javascript, and n
      • Yes rendering is done by Flash. But since Flash is installed in about 95% of computers that is not much of a problem. Not that I'm a big fan of Flash though.

        Flash is not a campaign donor-independent file format.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by iYk6 (1425255)

        I am part of the 95% of users with Flash, but I don't like it. I use Firefox, so I shouldn't have to enable Flash to view SVG documents, but the same could be said for watching videos and navigating a website.

        My concern is that many websites that use SVG will require Flash on all browsers, not just the ones using IE.

        • Re:Lame. (Score:4, Informative)

          by jopsen (885607) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Saturday August 22, 2009 @12:30PM (#29155959) Homepage

          My concern is that many websites that use SVG will require Flash on all browsers, not just the ones using IE.

          Quote from the quick start:

          By default we use the Flash based renderer on Internet Explorer while using the native SVG support on other browsers like Firefox and Safari.

          You can override this manually, but why would anyone do that for other purposes than debugging...?

          • by Björn (4836) *

            You can override this manually, but why would anyone do that for other purposes than debugging...?

            For at least two reasons, incompatibility between various browsers, or missing functionality in some browser. Firefox doesn't support SVG defined fonts yet, for example. Hopefully this is just a passing phase.

          • You can override this manually, but why would anyone do that for other purposes than debugging...?

            Because their user-agent sniffing doesn't work well for more obscure browsers. I'm using Camino, a lightweight gecko-based browser for OS X, and the demo page defaults to Flash, when it actually runs better with the native SVG option.

      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        To be more precise : the people worried about flash installed on their computers usually don't use IE. So this is a non issue.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well according to Adobe (Yes, Adobe) Flash Content works on 99% of the browsers. I imagine Slashdotters to be the 1 remaining percent though =D

    • by westlake (615356)

      From the project page: "No downloads or plugins are necessary other than Flash ..."

      Which means that the SVG support could just as well be integrated into Flash itself - the one plug-in every browser must support.

      No matter how loudly the geek in the back row moans and groans in complaint.

    • Try to make a user to install any plugin in age of 2009 or better, an OS vendor to include it on their default OS install. Please try and see what happens.

      One of the coolest things Google did is Google Earth plugin, perfect for directions and I tested it on one of the sites I manage for 2-3 days. Do you know what I had in return? Mails accusing me of installing spyware/virus to their systems ironically from @gmail.com! I ended up waiting for some kind of flash implementation and rm -rf 'ed all.

      BTW, you are

    • by doti (966971)

      Lame? Not for *this* reason.

      Remember we are talking about people that still use IE.
      What's reliance on Flash compared to that?
      Besides, every user running IE has flash enabled already anyway.

      (I didn't RTFA, but I suppose it uses this Flash-based SVG renderer only if the browser doesn't support SVG natively.)

    • From the project page: "No downloads or plugins are necessary other than Flash ..."

      And how do you propose you get the rendering done in IE6? If you have an SVG compatible browser, you don't need this... which means not lame.

  • Funny thing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    IE used to have SVG support via an Adobe plugin. Then they bought the Flash crap and suddenly the SVG plugin went away. Can't have competition I guess.

    • Re:Funny thing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by foniksonik (573572) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @10:35AM (#29155317) Homepage Journal

      That plugin was always slow and only supported a very limited subset of svg.

    • by British (51765)

      The Adobe Flash plug-in was terrible. I had to use it when I was testing a SVG drawing ap. One problem noted was that nothing showed up until it was entirely loaded. For larger images, this was frustrating, as it made it slower than Flash.

      I wish SVG would have taken off, but sadly, it didn't.

    • I beg to differ on you view of events: The incremental improvements to Flash were going fine when Macromedia was not owned by Adobe. AS3, JIT compiling, and the more advanced "displaylist" rendering were all well on their way to delivery w/ Macromedia. This continuous improvement has ceased -- and now, Flash 10 is a far more buggy, memory-leaking POS than anything that preceded it.

      And I think it's Adobe's mis-management that's responsible.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 22, 2009 @10:22AM (#29155241)

    But Internet Explorer's lack of built-in support for SVG was keeping it away from mainstream use on the web.

    Yes! Internet Explorer may finally be ready for mainstream use.

  • Flash-based... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by argent (18001) <peter@slashdot.2 ... m ['nga' in gap]> on Saturday August 22, 2009 @10:22AM (#29155247) Homepage Journal

    It's not bad performance, and useful for applets, but you don't want to use it for layout unless having dozens of little flash applets all over the page turns you on.

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      If I told you Flash is actually a vector graphics plugin originally?

      This is what Flash is, originally
      http://www.4dm.com/files/tech/blue.htm [4dm.com] (Flash plugin needed), it is "future splash".

      Look to CPU usage having just that original flash open in browser, ou will be surprised. Flash is doing its own job, what it was originally designed for.

      • by argent (18001)

        If I told you Flash is actually a vector graphics plugin originally?

        It wouldn't make a difference. There's also been Postscript and Tcl plugins. I've been watching people try to use plugins to fix the lack of structured graphics in HTML for years, and except for the case where you have one or two graphical areas in the page it doesn't help. You have to drop back to putting rounded curve bitmaps on the corner of boxes (tables or frames or divs, same thing) and more complex graphical constructions are just no

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      But from Google's point of view it is a perfect move : now people will see SVG enabled sites as rendering correctly, while blaming the slowness of IE
      • by argent (18001)

        I think you're missing the point: what this will do will be to allow people who want to use SVG for a single applet (or maybe a few applets) in their web page to use SVG where they previously couldn't... but people using image files for framing and other details of layout (like, say, slashdot) will still have to keep on using them, because it's not practical to have dozens of flash applets on the page.... and most of their viewers will still be using IE.

  • ... the long-awaited dawn of SVG animation challenging Flash, (and Silverlight)?
    • Just in case Flash wasn't slow enough for you, now you can use an SVG viewer written in Flash! Maybe this is Google's way of making Chrome seem much faster than IE; make IE run a plugin inside another plugin for stuff Chrome does natively...
  • by Seth Kriticos (1227934) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @10:54AM (#29155399)

    Despite the video being very very dry, there was an interesting link in the middle of the presentation: http://downloadstats.mozilla.com/ [mozilla.com]

    That site features real time download statistics for FF3.5. The interesting part is, that the map at the top is rendered in real SVG combined with canvas (for the dots).

    About this flash based library: it's strange. At the demo page the native rendering of SVG failed and only the flash version worked on my FF 3.0.x.. Not a problem with my browser though, as the site I mentioned at the top as well as Wikipedia SVG's work fine. Something is not right with this library, but interesting non the less.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by D Ninja (825055)

      Interestingly enough, the "use your mouse to zoom" on that map does not zoom within Google Chrome.

  • Becoming AOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geophile (16995) <jao.geophile@com> on Saturday August 22, 2009 @11:08AM (#29155459) Homepage

    Microsoft is becoming AOL. A crappy, proprietary, expensive, unreliable impediment to getting onto the internet. Their applications have plateaued, and open-source desktop and web-based competitors are improving rapidly. They'll hang on longer, but they've begun their long decline.

    • Get a clue (Score:3, Interesting)

      by westlake (615356)

      Microsoft is becoming AOL. A crappy, proprietary, expensive, unreliable impediment to getting onto the internet. Their applications have plateaued, and open-source desktop and web-based competitors are improving rapidly. They'll hang on longer, but they've begun their long decline.

      The true Slashdot geek can't post about Microsoft without his brain dissolving into mush. Fantasy rules and reality is an intrusion.

      Listen to one of your own:

      And then there's Microsoft. The company prints billions of dollars wort

    • by binkzz (779594)
      Actually, because of Open Source, Internet Explorer has improved dramatically. With Google implementing this and canvas, Microsoft will have a much harder time to control web standards. They don't want SVG support, or canvas support, they want people to use SilverLight. But thanks to having a choice of browser, they can't force their changes on everyone anymore, like they did with IE4 to IE6.

      This is why monopoly stifles innovation.
  • Know your user base (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Temujin_12 (832986) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @11:55AM (#29155765)

    When discussions of supporting various versions of browsers come up, it is important to know what browsers are actually visiting your site. Earlier this year IE6 users to one of my sites dipped below 10%. Since then, it has now been ~3% for the past month.

    Now I no longer stress about IE6. I'll check it to make sure the site is at least functional and usable in IE6. But I no longer strive for pixel-perfect compatibility. It's simply not worth it.

    You can spend the extra hours getting it to work for all browsers and end up using hacks and mangling your HTML/CSS to do so, but if all of that work is only for a small percentage of your user base, it is not worth it.

  • Now, I'm among the first to go "meh" about their use of Flash. But.

    This SVG kludge certainly improves the chances of web sites deploying, where applicable, SVG solutions instead of going directly for Flash (which is SVG's main proprietary vector graphics competitor on the web). After all, if your SVG/SMIL etc will play in Flash, suddenly your installed base of capable viewers is at least that of Flash.

    'course, more quality SVG tools are needed also but this is an important step towards more openness on the

  • As much as I like the *idea* of SVG, it doesn't seem to work particularly well, even in browsers where it is "officially" supported.

    Safari tends to choke on complicated images, and cannot zoom in on full-size SVG images, making it quite useless for reading maps and the like. Additionally, I've noticed that most current platforms do not include any sort of utility to view/edit/rasterize SVG images outside of the web browser. Firefox 3.5 seems to work fine, but I seem to recall older versions having issues.

    • by TeXMaster (593524)

      As much as I like the *idea* of SVG, it doesn't seem to work particularly well, even in browsers where it is "officially" supported.

      Indeed. Of all the browsers that support SVG, for example, Opera is the only one that accepts SVG images from background-image CSS attributes. See this [oblomov.eu] for example.

      Safari tends to choke on complicated images, and cannot zoom in on full-size SVG images, making it quite useless for reading maps and the like. Additionally, I've noticed that most current platforms do not include any sort of utility to view/edit/rasterize SVG images outside of the web browser. Firefox 3.5 seems to work fine, but I seem to recall older versions having issues. Here's a reasonably complex image to try for yourself [wikimedia.org].

      The image renders perfectly in Opera, and also in FF 3.0.12 (Iceweasel branding). The rendering is very slow, and faulty, on Konqueror.

      Should we just focus on the Canvas element instead? Many browsers already have partial support, with a better/standardized specification on the way in HTML5. Some Javascript trickery should be able to add full support to older browsers.

      There are many possible employments of SVG that have absolutely nothing to do with Canvas, so no. Fix SVG. (This is not to say that Canvas shouldn't be properly implemented too.)

      • Should we just focus on the Canvas element instead? Many browsers already have partial support, with a better/standardized specification on the way in HTML5. Some Javascript trickery should be able to add full support to older browsers.

        There are many possible employments of SVG that have absolutely nothing to do with Canvas, so no. Fix SVG. (This is not to say that Canvas shouldn't be properly implemented too.)

        Let me revise my earlier statement: I feel that the Canvas element is potentially quite a bit more important, given the obvious advantages it has for navigation elements, UI controls, and dynamic content. HTML5 and CSS3 should eventually greatly reduce the number of images used in web layouts, especially if we finally get support for proper gradients in CSS.

        SVG is ideally suited for static vectorized images, and not much else. There is indeed a use for this, although this is not something that is encounte

        • by TeXMaster (593524)

          Should we just focus on the Canvas element instead? Many browsers already have partial support, with a better/standardized specification on the way in HTML5. Some Javascript trickery should be able to add full support to older browsers.

          There are many possible employments of SVG that have absolutely nothing to do with Canvas, so no. Fix SVG. (This is not to say that Canvas shouldn't be properly implemented too.)

          Let me revise my earlier statement: I feel that the Canvas element is potentially quite a bit more important, given the obvious advantages it has for navigation elements, UI controls, and dynamic content. HTML5 and CSS3 should eventually greatly reduce the number of images used in web layouts, especially if we finally get support for proper gradients in CSS.

          SVG is ideally suited for static vectorized images, and not much else. There is indeed a use for this, although this is not something that is encountered all that frequently, and can already be achieved by simply linking to a PDF.

          I'm afraid I still have to disagree. First of all, SVG is not only for static content, since you can do animations with it.

          Also, once you considering linking to a PDF as viable, you're thinking about situations where the content format has little if anything to do with the support capabilities _of the browsers themselves_, whereas I'm thinking about graphic that is an integral part of the webpage.

          Moreover, SVG+CSS is much more appropriate (not to mention backwards-compatible) than Canvas for most UI sty

    • by ledow (319597)

      You want to use a better browser.

      Opera 9.54 rendered it in no time at all (nowhere near the download time, for instance), allows you to zoom in /out, pan, etc. immediately once it's loaded. SVG is obviously dependent on the number of objects and size of the rendered image, whereas bitmaps are pretty much only reliant on the size of the rendered image, so complex scenes *will* take longer to draw. But with decent code, it shouldn't be a problem at all and vector-based-desktops are the up-and-coming thing.

  • Last I checked, IE had crappy JavaScript performance.
    • by jensend (71114)

      It's still crappy with IE 8, but considerably less so. IE 8 has about half the JS speed of FF 3.0, while IE 7 was more like 1/8 as fast. With modern CPUs you can do quite a good deal with JS on IE 8 before you run into major performance problems.

    • Last I checked, IE was crappy.

  • This would be a good fit with the Ubiquity XForms [google.com] implementation hosted on Google Code as well. It's aimed adding in-browser MVC (model-view-controller) support to IE, Firefox, Opera, and Safari, based on another W3C recommendation, XForms 1.1. [w3.org]

    For example, see this tutorial [googlecode.com] on how to style hints on triggers (multi-modal word for "buttons") declaratively. (This is from the SVN trunk so it will load all the JavaScript implementation files individually rather than as a single library.)

  • by FirstTimeCaller (521493) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @03:25PM (#29157039)
    If you look at Silverlight (or XAML or XPS) you'll see a lot of things that resemble SVG. It would be trivial for MS to support SVG, but they choose not too. The probably don't want anything to compete with Silverlight adoption.
  • If every website in the world would check the browser being used and if they were using a feature that IEx didn't support inserted a message: YOUR BROWSER DOESN'T SUPPORT SOME OF THE FEATURES OF THIS WEBSITE - SOME ITEMS MAY NOT DISPLAY CORRECTLY then Microsoft would get the word. Until then, MS has successfully made this issue Everybody Else's Problem.
  • by Kaenneth (82978) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @10:12PM (#29160075) Homepage Journal

    I liked SVG, back in 2004/05 I wrote an interactive map application using SVG and what's now known as AJAX in IE5.

    I read that Adobe was on the standards commitee for SVG, and piled tons of unneeded crap into the spec to try and make it a 'Flash Killer', but once they aquired Macromedia they stopped caring... and they were the only one that did.

    There may never be a full implementation of the SVG spec, it's just too cumbersome, and outdated at this point.

What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying. -- Nikita Khruschev

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