back to article Google to slip SVG into Internet Explorer

Microsoft might be hesitating on Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) in Internet Explorer 8, but Google's pressing on. The search giant's engineers are building a JavaScript library to render static and dynamic SVG in Microsoft's browser. Google promised that the library, a Javascript shim, will simply drop into IE. API evangelist …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Anything that has the possibility to damage Adobe is good in my book.

  2. James
    Thumb Up

    Good news

    Anything which is going to increase standardisation of web is a good thing. And one less reason to have potentially bug-laden proprietary add-ons .

    It's about time Microsoft started using everyone else's standards in this area rather than trying to get everyone to use theirs. At least in Adobe's defence, there wasn't a standard alternative when they introduced flash.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Re: good

    Like global thermonuclear meltdown?

  4. Vision Aforethought
    Paris Hilton

    I wrote to Adobe many years ago... protest at their decision to stop supporting SVG. (I knew deep down that Adobe were protecting Flash.) Google have it right on, SVG/HTML 5 'are' the web, while Flash and Silverlight are superficial commercial ventures designed to garden wall developers into a license based technology. Adobe should focus on building great content creation and publishing tools, and let Google and the W3C do the infrastructure.

    Paris, because she's a Super Voluptuous Girl.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Maybe SVG will work out then...

    After all these years perhaps SVG will work out. Adobe were never going to update their plug-in, and it seemed highly unlikely that MS would ever support SVG now that it is in the same boat as Adobe with Silverlight.

  6. Greg

    Hang on

    Hasn't there been an Adobe IE plugin for aaages? I remember using it when I learnt SVG back at Uni.

  7. Sergey Ilinsky

    SVG in IE is possible

    Microsoft has pioneered back in 1999 many of the technologies nowadays considered as cutting-edge, much of what is also going to be in HTML5. Indeed they did and do much politics, doesn't Google do today?

    As for the SVG, IE has support for VML, another standard that never became a standard, because at the time there were not enough demand on vector graphics. With this technology it is possible to emulate much of the SVG functionality, for example to draw interactive graphics or maps.

    Ample SDK, a GUI library has support for several modules of SVG that work in Internet Explorer too, check an example here:

  8. Geoff Mackenzie

    SVG in JavaScript for IE?

    Feel the s-l-o-w-n-e-s-s ...

  9. breakfast
    Thumb Up


    Having a regular vector graphics format that just works will transform web design as much as the changeover from table-oriented to CSS-oriented design has. Suddenly no more need for images to do your gradient fills, background designs and so on.

    This has been clearly necessary for a long time, here's hoping something comes of it.

  10. Edward Apostol

    SVG, IE and Adobe

    First off - Adobe is / was a supporter of SVG.

    They acquired Flash, and now they primarily support Flash.

    If you have not used Flash before, you may not be aware that Adobe is pushing Flash as an open standard - its SWF format is open, its language is ECMAScript compliant (in fact, its based on the same JS engine, it has contributed to the JS development scheme, and if you are planning to use HTML 5 a lot of its code is found in the current version of Flash / Flex programming model anyway).

    I see a lot of Flash haters out there, but these same Flash haters seem to be Flash " denyers " and have yet to explore the technology themselves, or only explored it on a superficial level. (like through small banner ads or games)..or they only know it through the experience of poorly designed Flash applications, and not for the richness that it does offer when used effectively.

    I do Flash / Flex development, Silverlight development, and I also teach those technologies. I am also knowledgeable/program/consult in HTML 5 and similar so called "open" tech. The problems with these technologies is that they have been sloooooooooow to develop and become adopted. And now that Google has taken up the banner is that any different than when Adobe took Flash? Not really. Its now Google that is pushing its dominance, and it is hiding behind open source tech to increase its dominance. As they always say, beware a wolf in sheep's clothing.

    At the end of the day, just pick and choose the tech that is best suited for your clients, not what you wish to advocate. If you were smart enough, you would be knowledgeable and adept in all forms of tech, and not just stick to a single one. In the end, if you understand that the language/programming environments are fundamentally the same, it should not matter whether you use Flash, Silverlight, HTML5 or other "RIA" related environs. So for those people who commented above on saying "anything but Adobe" (which a few years ago would have been "anything but Microsoft" or "anything but Java" or "anything but insert tech here")...prove yourself.

    My two cents.

  11. Richard Thomas

    Re: Re: good

    "Like global thermonuclear meltdown?"

    If that's what it takes...

  12. Anonymous Coward

    SVG has a great future. SVG for drawn graphics, JPEG etc for photographs

    Glad to see the positive views on SVG.

    Ideally, any graphic that is drawn, e.g. diagrams, screen "furniture" like buttons, symbols, edges etc. ought to be in SVG. Instead of PNG or GIF. This gives total control and resolution independent pages and user interfaces, improving accessibility and obviating the need to create small, medium and large versions of graphics. Being XML based, more things are searchable, for example, text within the SVG as well as the CSS graphics attributes themselves.

    To date, the (significant but not huge) extra processing power (particularly for mobile devices and consumer electronics) required to render SVG compared with bitmaps, and the lack of support/partial support in web browsers has hampered this ideal and allowed the pragmatic choice of using bitmaps, e.g. PNG etc for such things to prevail. PNG is a great open standard but if the original image was created using a vectored drawing package like Illustrator, Corel or the wonderful and free Inkscape, then why not use this original format?

    Any other image source, like a photograph, should be represented using JPEG, TIF, etc. These can be embedded within SVG.

    SVG can be animated and made interactive using Javascript.

    SVG+AJAX = Open standard rival to Flash

    Also, look at the great free comprehensive Java code libraries for working with SVG:

    Bitmap to SVG converter:

  13. hammarbtyp Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    We need an embedded standard.

    There have been a number of occasions when the ability to draw complex graphics in web page would be useful, but I am always put the need to install extra applications such as flash, silverlight and java. The computers the pages that are to be displayed on are locked down so its not really a option .

    SVG was always the great hope, especially after firefox announced native support. If google can add such support to explorer this would be great as long as performance is not to bad.

  14. Dave Silver badge

    @Edward Apostol

    Nice name for an Adobe Fanboy - would you be the fourteenth apostle?

    Adobe are pushing Flash as an open standard in much the same way (and for much the same reasons) as Microsoft pushed OOOXML as a standard, and are currently pushing Silverlight.

    Believe me, non of this is for the greater good of mankind.

    To be fair, I am reasonably certain that Google are doing this out of a 50/50 mixture of spite and self interest (note the comment that they make use of SVG in their own products.)

  15. Michel Carroll

    Microsoft and SVG - this isn't happening

    I was involved in architecting a web platform which inclded dynamic graphing back in 2000. I chose SVG as the obvious solution. Obvious because no proprietary buy-in, complete browser integration, very healthy developer community. For the entire length of the project (2000 - 2002) I was amazed that a search for "SVG" on the Microsoft site returned only 2 or 3 results - always in an indirect context.

    It was clear to me that a door had been shut at a very high level back then, I'm not surprised to hear that their current policy still leans the same way.

  16. Lennart Sorensen

    @SVG, IE and Adobe

    I think flash is neat. Now if only someone would go implement flash in a way that worked. Adobe has clearly shown by now that they are totally incapable of writing reliable and/or efficient code.

    I haven't checked how open the spec for flash is, but I do now there aren't any complete and working implementations of the spec anywhere (given Adobe's implementation doesn't work and is a piece of crap).

    I have much more hope in google implementing code that works and is efficient. They seem to actually have programmers with basic programming skills.

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