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back to article Microsoft joins IE SVG standards party

The prospect of standards-based vector graphics support being added to Internet Explorer is in the air. Microsoft has applied to join a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Scalable Vector Graphics working group, IE senior program manager Patrick Dengler has blogged. Dengler wrote in a brief statement Microsoft recognizes vector …

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Don't trust Microsoft until you see it

We've seen Microsoft claim to support formats in the past, while working to break compatibility and fracture those formats.

Look at Java, and MPEG 4. Microsoft supported them, but then came out with its own versions that weren't 100% compatible with everyone else's.

So now Microsoft may support SVG. See it first before you believe it.

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Give a...

I really couldn't care less about the advanced tech they want to add into IE - let me know when IE has any support for box-shadow & border-radius then we can celebrate...

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Had Adobe...

...not offered an SVG plugin for MSIE, Opera and the Mozillas some years ago? *scratching head* Wonder why MS is making this effort, anyway; the standards for SVG are open; they can just implement without having to join anything.

Then again, by joining the standards body, they can of course influence it to allow non-standard SVG that then is supported _only_ by MS Internet Exploder...

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EEE

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish -- that's been a Microsoft standard for almost all its history. If people in the right places don't see this and fail to apply applicable restrictions to MS's participation, this could be the beginning of the end for the adoption of SVG as a viable standard.

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Is that MS SVG or standard SVG?

when ms joins a standard party you just know its going time to leave...

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Gates Horns

Run away

Microshaft only ever have one reason for joining a standards push - to fuck it up. Tell them to stick it up their corporate clacker; develop the standard and let them implement it if they feel inclined.

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@ random whiners

"this could be the beginning of the end for the adoption of SVG".

Wow, we must live on a different planet, where the lack of support for SVG in IE somehow.... boosts SVG's profile.

True, we'll see when IE actually supports SVG. In the meantime, it can't hurt if they think about implementing it. Even a partially flawed implementation would give SVG a huge boost because people would start caring about SVG.

I say give them the benefit of the doubt. Or are you too set in your thought patterns to manage that? Not good for IT folks, being too set in one's ways. Not that I am particularly fond of M$, but that's a step in the right direction.

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You missed the point ...

MS is welcome to adopt SVG standards in IE. I wish they would, really. But they don't have to join the W3C working group to do so - the standards are open.

The concern is not about MS using the standards, but about them being a member of the standards working group. If MS becomes a member they may (or probably will) try to break the standard, because they do not want standards - other than their own internal ones that others are prevented from using. That, patently, is (as far as possible) part of their business model and always has been.

Given their track record regarding standards, at its very worse recently over the ISO document standards affair where they and their partners blatently corrupted the workings of the standards committees, they should not be allowed on any standards committee for a long time yet.

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The concern might be better justified IF...

...there was any level of SVG adoption on the web already. But there is not much of that at all. M$ effing standardization up is a concern, true. But a bigger concern is that SVG will end up just being one of those technologies that never really took off. And that would be too bad.

So I'd say the risk is worth it and the rest of the committee members should duly publicize any attempts by M$ to torpedo the standard.

Just to be clear - I think a healthy bit of skepticism to M$ is a _good_ thing. For example, have a _big_ database app to look after => think Oracle/DB2, not SQL Server. And yes, SSIS sucks. So does IE and so does Office 2007. Happy? But SQL Server is OK on smaller sites. Point? too much M$ hating, all the time, becomes irrational.

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SVG is horrible

Silverlight and .Net are the future of the web. Craps like SVG and HTML5 should be done away with.

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@pezzonovante

there are many cases where Silverlight and Flash are overkill and HTML(5) and SVG provide a lightweight, elegant choice that will be supported without plug-in across all platforms ... Windows, mac, Linux and the various breeds of smartphone and probably devices like TVs as well

HTML can be developed / edited in notepad... no complex tools required

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get a clue

Let's say you want to display graphics on the fly. Say something about stock valuations, with the exact question being specified by the user at run time. I am not talking about the simple stuff you see everyday, more the result of mathematical equations on stock ratios. You can easily generate an SVG snippet with the correct data to provide fairly complex information. You are in charge, along with what SVG supports.

Now, if you are using Flex (or Silverlight which I have not used), you will have to code to their graphing APIs. You are now dependent on exactly what capabilities Flex bakes into their graph rendering engine. Additionally, I know the Flex Eclipse plugin is fairly cheap, when you buy it _without_ graphing. Not so with graphing.

Flex and Silverlight may be the answer to coding rich internet applications - I found Flex very nice. They are not to generating free-form information on the fly. And, if there were identical capabilities, in terms of result and, relatively, ease of programming, in HTML5, supported by most browsers (ha ha) then I would still prefer to code in HTML5 over more "proprietary" solutions.

But software is rarely an all or nothing world except for fanbois.

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don't forget style

Totally agree. Another thing you may want to point out is that SVG can be styled the same way as HTML using CSS. You want some bar graphs that are red with black outlines in El Reg and black with red outlines in El Reg Hardware? Easy: include the right bits in the respective CSS style sheets, like svg:path.bargraph { fill:red;stroke:black;stroke-width:2; }

Basically, SVG provides declarative graphics: you generate some data on the server that will define what shapes the browser needs to display: excellent for mostly static data that is generated by number crunching on the server like graphs. Flex and Silverlight are procedural graphics technologies: you write some graphics code that will be executed in the browser: excellent for animation and graphics that need to change dynamically based on user interactions (e.g. games).

As for doing procedural driven graphics in HTML5, you can, it's called canvas. You basically call the graphic primitives on the canvas element, using Javascript. Mozilla have a nice tutorial here: https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Canvas_tutorial . Obviously, the nice thing about canvas compared to Flex or Silverlight is that the technology is based on open standards and on a language that is already widely used on the web (too widely some would argue) and for which most browsers have been very keen to improve the performance recently.

As usual all those technologies are tools and it's our job to know which one to use depending on requirements.

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@pezzonovante

"Silverlight and .Net are the future of the web. Craps like SVG and HTML5 should be done away with."

So difficult to decide if this is a troll or a shill. How is Silverlight progressing *outside* of Windows?

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Open your eyes

Microsoft is doing its best to make Silverlight and .Net interportable. They are constantly improving these products on all platforms. Yes, Windows is their top priority: but why wouldn't that be? Windows has over 90 per cent market share.

So-called standards like HTML5 and SVG discourages competition and severely hampers innovation.

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@pezzonovante

wrong on so many levels....

Standards are *required* for competition.

Without standards, the lightbulb you buy from Tesco doesn't fit the socket you bought in B&Q.

Thus without standards, there is no competition, there is a monopoly.

It is well known that monopolies are very bad for the consumer, as the monopoly can charge whatever they want and provide whatever quality of product they like. Even if it makes your computer explode, you're stuck with it.

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Are you drunk?

Exactly how do HTML5 and SVG discourage competition and severely hamper innovation or did you just make this up because you are a MS shill? As for 90% market share - which market are you referring to? Desktops? Web servers? Be specific or STFU.

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Anonymous Coward

It's a Trolling Shill...

LOL.

IMHO, if it isn't doing well outside of Windows then there is something in-place to prevent it from doing well. That something could be a stupidly high monetary cost or something more insidious like embedded proprietary BLOBS with no effective way available for anyone else to parse, or convoluted legalese which effectively prevents FOSS from implementing it while making it appear to be available to all.

Rule #1. Don't do business with Microsoft.

It would be nice to someday eliminate that rule, but they show no signs of changing their spots.

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on the Mac and Linux...

I used Silverlight every week on my Mac to watch a couple of sports events without a hitch. better quality than a lot of other things I've seen. I've not tried on Linux but Moonlight v2 supports a lot of the current Silverlight functionality already

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@pezzonovante

Obvious troll is obvious.

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That could not work this way ?

Let says that the browsers have no rendering engine, they are just a box-sand and they get your own engine from the server like a cookie. Hence, you have a better control than the actual client/server model. That could not work ?

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Jobs Horns

Be careful when cavorting with dragons...

For thou art crunchy...

"Microsoft has certainly been making the right noises in terms of support for SVG, as part of a broader commitment embrace standards in its browser."

The keyword in the above sentence is 'embrace'. And what comes after 'Embrace'?

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E.E.E.

My guess? They're joining in order to slow down or even kill off the work being done so that their product will get pushed instead. By joining they get access to all the work being done, as well as multiple opportunies to sow discord and discontent, which is all they're good at.

As Bungay says, Microsoft has to "embrace" standards in its browser. We all know that what follows "embrace" in the Microsoft lexicon is "extend", followed by "extinguish".

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