Monday, October 22, 2007

SVG in browsers

A call to arms today from Mark Pilgrim - improving the level of SVG support in Firefox 3, the forthcoming browser. The features in focus include the use of SVG in img elements.

If taken up, this would be excellent news. SVG still has a chance of becoming the most popular vector graphics language, which would be remarkable given the level of investment in Flash, Silverlight and JavaFX.

It would be truly wonderful if SVG became a first class web citizen. There are some important, but technical debates about exactly how it could fit in, especially in the non-XML HTML 5 world. I feel that, much as CSS can be placed inline with HTML but is best positioned in a separate document, the same applies to SVG. That's because of the principle of separation of content from presentation - SVG is fundamentally about presentation (in fact much of SVG, for example rotation, gradients and filters, should be incorporated into CSS so it can be applied to any element).

Regardless of the technical details, it is great to see the defenders of open standards rise to the challenge of proprietary competition, and enable the next cycle of web innovation.

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