Microsoft Joins W3C SVG Working Group

Microsoft is joining the W3C SVG Working Group. Presumably that means there’s some interest in SVG for IE or Silverlight or both. I wonder what led to the change of heart.

I pretty much wrote off any chance of SVG being mainstream in 2005 when Adobe bought Macromedia. Adobe was previously somewhat of a SVG pusher, but Macromedia obviously is the home of Flash. As expected the SVG love dried up. The gap that Adobe filled was adding support for SVG to IE. If IE supports it natively that’s a game changer.

Gecko already has decent support for SVG. WebKit has support for a while. Opera has support as well. Without analyzing in too much detail there should be a subset that’s usable across current browsers and hopefully IE by the time IE 9.0 ships.

I must admit given the choice I’m still more interested in Microsoft supporting <canvas/>, but no word on that as of yet. I’m still hopeful.

Hooray for web standards!

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6 Responses to “Microsoft Joins W3C SVG Working Group”

  1. marek says:

    great news! I cannot wait the day when IE will support SVG, not only their prehistoric VML…

  2. MarkC says:

    SVG support in IE would be great, and I hope that this is a prelude to that. But the cynic in me can’t help fearing that they’ve joined the working group in order to derail it or slow it down.

  3. Oh come on MarkC. Didn’t you get the notice? Google is the new Microsoft. They are the enemy now :).

  4. Robert says:

    @MarkC: I remain a bit more optimistic. In all honesty if Microsoft is just going to derail or slow things down then the process will likely fork off into a WHATWG style group complete it’s work and get the W3C to adopt it’s work. I don’t think the patience to sit for a decade exists anymore.

  5. John Dowdell says:

    Hi, for what it’s worth, Adobe SVG Viewer had major releases in 2000, 2001, and then a final version in 2003. The Macromedia acquisition occurred at the end of 2005.

    No big thing, it’s just that the experience was accreted before Flash entered the picture.


  6. Robert says:

    @John Dowdell: Fair point though I think most rendering engines stalled SVG development around that time, so I’m not sure I’d accredit it to Adobe loosing interest, though I don’t have information either way.

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