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Svg as foreboding

Generally speaking, the hype around Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) began almost immediately after the W3C assembled the SVG Working Group, led by Chris Lilley, and announced the standard. This happened back in 1998. By the way, this event did not happen spontaneously: it was preceded by two more announcements.

The first is the Vector Markup Language (VML) format, which was introduced in the same 1998 to the W3C by a number of companies, among which Microsoft was listed along with Macromedia. However, it was rejected because PGML appeared almost simultaneously with it – another XML-based format for describing vector graphics; Adobe and Sun stood behind him.

Bottom line: both projects did not become generally accepted standards, and a little later all efforts focused on the development of SVG. True, VML was not forgotten: it is supported by Internet Explorer 5.5+ web browsers, in connection with which Google Maps uses it as a vector rendering technology for users with this web browser.
But the topic of today’s article is SVG, so we return to it. So, what is SVG, in short? Quote from Wikipedia: “Scalable Vector Graphics is an open markup language based on the XML standard, which is designed to describe 2D vector graphics: static or animated, declarative or scripted.” Exhaustive, I think. Finishing the introduction, I will say that at the moment this technology takes more and more strong positions than before, and this is largely due to all sorts of mobile devices, where the SVG clearly fell to the court.

general information

I think that the main question for those readers who have never heard of SVG before is now this: “Why did the author in the introduction say that SVG can kill Flash?” In fact, I said a little differently, but that’s not the point. Of course, SVG is unlikely to ever be able to replace Flash or any other of the already well-developed and quite successful technologies. And the majority of experts and analysts have linked and are pinning hopes of a completely different sense on SVG.

SVG – format for describing and rendering vector graphics

First of all, we are talking about some kind of unified vector graphics format, with the help of which you can theoretically connect all the others, and I’m not talking only about the exchange of data between Flash and, for example, Corel Draw. In fact, a lot of modern applications and technologies are built just on vector images. The first thing that comes to mind is various graphs and diagrams, but this is not the only example. It is clear that exporting and importing materials between more or less serious graphics packages is easy enough, but what to do when you need to paste an image from some specialized package into Microsoft Word? Yes, this is where the difficulties begin. In theory, SVG can come in handy if each program will be able to save and load this standard. I note that this option looks quite realistic due to, at a minimum, the openness of the SVG.

A curious historical analogy immediately comes to mind – the Internet Protocol (IP). It did not appear immediately, and it was preceded by many of its own developments from companies such as Novell, Banyan, Apple, Microsoft and IBM. They all had their pros and cons, and today, by the way, some of them are still used for some narrow needs. Then IP appeared, and one of its main advantages was considered by many to be neutral to other technologies. In addition, he did not belong to any of the companies.

Scalable Vector Graphics
SVG images can be easily scaled in real time.
The situation with SVG, of course, is different, but you can notice common features. As for the relationship of the described standard and the Web, they were difficult to form from the very beginning. However, the theory has always looked more than attractive. A simple example: we have a small website with text and a couple of pictures that decorate the interface. Many images of today’s Internet are either vector ones initially (at the creation stage, then everything, of course, is saved in raster form), or they can be converted into a vector format if desired.

So, loading our site, the browser downloads HTML-code, CSS and, perhaps, external JavaScript files, if required, and plus to everything – these pictures from the interface. Now imagine that they would be described, as they say, inline, in other words – a single XHTML / SVG array. At the same time, using scripts, we could manipulate images and text on the client side simultaneously and in a single key, without additional access to the server, and so on. In terms of fashion for AJAX applications, this approach seems to be justified.

The case is complicated primarily by the standard support from browser developers. Today, its built-in support is far from being available for all products, and where it is still present, its implementation leaves much to be desired.

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