Google to slip SVG into Internet Explorer
Forced standards love
JavaOne Microsoft might be hesitating on Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) in Internet Explorer 8, but Google's pressing on.
API evangelist Patrick Chanezon told The Reg that although the project, called SVG Web, is not yet ready for prime time, Google hopes to have code ready in time for its SVG Open conference at the company's Mountain View, California, campus in October.
Engineers have already devised ExplorerCanvas to put the ability to draw 2D graphics using Canvas into IE.
SVG has a huge presence on the web. This facet of the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML 5 spec is supported in Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, and Apple's iPhone, and is used in Google Maps and Google Docs. It also topped a list of features wanted by developers in a OpenAJAX browser wish list last year.
Microsoft, though, has resisted implementing SVG in IE - despite committing to support for web standards with IE 8, and despite the fact IE that remains the world's most widely use browser.
IE chief Dean Hachamovitch told The Reg at the time of IE8's launch that SVG didn't make the cut because Microsoft wanted to do a "good job" of the implementation and test suite.
There's suspicion, though, that the reason has more to do with Microsoft's internal politics, with the company wanting graphics and drawing in IE done using Silverlight instead.
SVG Web is more than an answer to Microsoft's foot-dragging, however. Google has declared for HTML 5 on the web, proclaiming last week that the web programming model has "won".
Support for graphics capabilities in HTML 5 should also be seen as Google's partial answer to Adobe Systems' Flash. Google has complained that Flash is not open source and its development is not driven by the community. Google said the benefit of SVG Web is that it would sit inside the DOM whereas Flash "sits on top of the web, it's not part of the web". ®
@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.
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.
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.)