SVG Web: Google Brings SVG Support to Internet Explorer

Aug 25, 2009

Microsoft is a true master when it comes to ignoring Web standards. Thanks to Google, that could now change in terms of the SVG vector graphics format.

While Microsoft is busily tinkering with its Flash replacement Silverlight, the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format has long been a free alternative whose Web distribution has so far lacked Microsoft's support. Whereas Firefox, Safari and Opera have long supported SVG graphics, there's been only one attempt by W3C to provide an SVG plugin for Internet Explorer.

Google has since gone a step ahead of the W3 Consortium with its own JavaScript library: SVG Web supports SVG 1.1 inclusive of animation. On the client side it uses only JavaScript support and a Flash Player plugin that provides the animated graphics. Browsers that natively support SVG graphics can use the native support, whereas Internet Explorer uses Flash Player to represent the SVG animation.

The SVG Web code is still in an early development stage, but a download is available.

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  • Microsoft's Attention

    This should get Microsoft's attention. As they try to dominate the web with their proprietary Silverlight, a competing open standard requires Flash (a technology installed on most machines today) and has multiple compatible implementations (making it much more appealing and avoiding vendor lock-in). Additionally, the video tag will make these technologies more obsolete (assuming most web devs are wise enough to use a Free format).

    Note: I am aware of Moonlight but I'm also aware that they just released 2.0 (implementing _some_ of 3.0) whereas Silverlight has already released 3.0. It's embrace, extend and extinguish on a product that's barely off the ground.
  • SVGWeb presentation at SVG Open, Oct.2, Google campus

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