SVG and Firefox 1.5: a sample

3
December
2005

SVG ExperimentChange the CS logo colors” is a sample Scalable Vector Graphics (do you remember this ALA article of four years ago?) file where are tested some of the elements supported by the native plugin inserted in Firefox and Opera browsers, like shapes (rect,circle), text, groups, animate, linearGradient and others.
The first script linked, based on an experiment extracted from a J. David Eisenberg book, allows to change the colors of the logo using three drag ‘n’ drop levers, related to Red, Blue and Green colors, which change the text on the center of the page.
In fact, this is not a real text that change, but a background behind a transparent image of a static text. Waiting for the font module (that allows to display every font vectorize in glyphs, that could be created by the Apache Batik software) support in Firefox, I tried to use an “Image Replacement” in a HTML style: I vectorized a text with Illustrator, extracted from the exported transparent file the image node, and inserted inside this semantic informations with title and desc elements.


<image width="447" height="59" id="XMLID_1_"
xlink:href="data:;base64,iVBORwaksjfasfhaiuw
awoIWJ35OEijzOIjoiL8k0IFJasfoiasjfoQIJ909uQOI
etc. etc.....
[...]
qwiursafQWinOQQQij">
<title>Central Scrutinizer</title>
<desc>the logo of my page</desc>
</image>

I placed the “transparent” image over a rectangle, which colors are changed by the script. (note April 2007:A similar technique has been used a month later in Design Melt Down’s Logo Color Variations)
The other script linked is Vectoreal’s Smilscript, that allows to substitute the Smil animation elements (used in the file for the descending rectangle at the onload, a fade effect and the rotation of the circle on the top-left) not yet supported in Firefox.

(added April, 7 2007) What about the future of SVG? Uhm. In really poor thoughts (1.2 cents):
– the W3C activity starts in the 1998;
– the main plugin that support the 1.1 specifications (here the draft of the 1.2), SVG Viewer was produced by Adobe. SVG files can be viewed well in the main browsers like Internet Explorer, Opera and Mozilla Firefox;
– in the 2004 Mozilla and Opera (and in 2005 Safari’s Web Kit) starts to produce a native plugin for their browsers, but the rendering quality is far from the SVG Viewer’s one;
– in april 2005 Adobe aquire Macromedia, the software house that produce Flash, the proprietary software for vector graphics against who SVG born as potential (because, among the other weakness, it must use other standards for the multimedia aspects) web standard-based competitor;
– in november 2006 Adobe decide to discontinue the support for the SVG viewer. From the Adobe SVG pages:

Adobe has decided to discontinue support for Adobe SVG Viewer. There are a number of other third-party SVG viewer implementations in the marketplace, including native support for SVG in many Web browsers.

“Many” excludes the most used, Microsof Internet Explorer.
– in may 2007 Microsoft introduces Silverlight (knows in the previous year with the codename WPF/E), “a cross-browser” (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari…) “cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET-based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web”, in other words a proprietary competitor to Macromedia/Adobe Flash.

Mozilla and (primarily) Opera made a really good work with their plugin, but is impossible to start to create (after nine years!) a developer community of SVG developers without the Internet Explorer support. And without a solid developer community is impossible to catch up Flash and Silverlight, far light years mainly in the multimedia integration.
In web design context, SVG is really sick.

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