Archive for the 'SVG' Category

Opera 8 and the future of SVG

Monday, April 18th, 2005

The final version of Opera 8 is available at their FTP site and the official release is expected tomorrow. Details including ftp mirrors at Opera Watch

The perhaps most interesting new feature in Opera 8 is native SVG (Tiny) support. It came out of nowhere in 8.0 beta 3 and is improved for the final release. A quick check at the W3C SVG test suite reveals that it works really well. As Opera is the fiirst browser to implement native SVG support it’s no surprise that very few web sites uses SVG at the moment.

But that will change. It has been revealed that Opera’s open source competitor, Mozilla Firefox, will include native SVG support in the upcoming 1.1 release, scheduled for June this year. With two major browser makers supporting SVG, web developers can finally start using it and expect that some of their visitors will enjoy it.

But dark clouds are also appearing in SVG heaven today. In a very surprising move, Adobe has merged with Macromedia (press release). Adobe is very important for the future of SVG since they control the best known SVG plugin for Internet Explorer. And sadly, most people still use that browser. SVG is a competitor to Macromedia’s Flash so what will Adobe/Macromedia do? Ditch SVG? No one knows but if they go for Flash only, it is a major step backwards for the adoption of SVG.

Native SVG support in Opera!

Wednesday, March 16th, 2005

From Opera Watch 8.0 beta3 coverage

In this version Opera has also added native support for SVG 1.1 Tiny (Scalable Vector Graphics). SVG is an XML-based language for Web graphics developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It enables Web developers to create the next generation of interactive and personalized Web applications in high-quality vector graphics instead of bitmaps, which are most often used on Web sites today.

Opera 8.0 beta 3 changelog

Browser support for SVG. It’s not bad.

Sunday, February 6th, 2005

The common perception is that browser support for is still not sufficient to make SVG a viable alternative for general use. But it’s not that far away. Plugins are available for most browsers and native SVG support for Mozilla is coming.

Within the last few months I have migrated to Ubuntu Linux from Windows ME and wasn’t aware of the SVG options for Linux until today. First I discovered that there is an SVG plugin for Konqueror. I got this working by installing Konqueror and KSVG from within Synaptic (GUI front end for apt-get included with Ubuntu), start Konqueror and then go to Settings -> Configure Konqueror -> File associations. Selected image-> svg+xml, clicked the Embed tab and moved KSVG to the top of the list. I tested successfully with some of the examples at W3C Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 Test Suite but Konqueror crashed on the SVG images I tried at Pinkjuice.

By doing a search for SVG in Synaptic I found librsvg2-bin, command-line, graphical and mozilla viewers for SVG files. Select and install, restart Firefox and it didn’t work. The Mozilla plugin was installed in /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/ but my Firefox installation looks for plugins in $HOME/.mozilla/plugins/ Just copied the plugin to the correct location and voila! No problems with the parts of the W3C test suite I tried and it also worked when I tested some of the SVG at Pinkjuice.

How about Opera on Linux? The librsvg2 Mozilla plugin works just fine. My Opera (version 8.01b) was automatically configured to check the Mozilla plugin folder for plugins so a restart of Opera was all that was needed. Quick testing revealed no problems.

On Windows, the Adobe SVG viewer is available as a plugin for Internet Explorer and Netscape4. Nobody uses Netscape4 anymore but Opera supports the same plugin architecture so you can use the Netscape4 version with Opera. See Installing the Adobe SVG Viewer plugin in the Opera knowledge base for instructions.

The current production version of Adobe SVG viewer is 3.0 but a 6.0 beta version with support for fresh Mozilla versions is available. How to get this working is documented at Mozilla PluginDoc.

Update : After more testing I see that the librsvg2 plugin apparently doesn’t support animation so to say it doesn’t have any problems with the W3C test suite is a little misleading.