There was a time, especially around the introduction of Silverlight, when critics pointed an accusatory finger at Microsoft, and accused the company that is was laboring to kill the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) specification from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It took the software giant a couple of years, but Microsoft managed to prove false all accusations that it planned to bury SVG, by joining the SVG Working Group of the W3C
at the start of January 2010.
At that time, Patrick Dengler
, senior program manager, Internet Explorer Team, made it clear that jumping on the W3C SVG bandwagon is a pledge of support from the company for the evolution of XML graphics for the web. SVG covers both vector graphics and animations in XML, and Microsoft joining the SVG Working Group was interpreted as an indirect promise that forthcoming versions of Internet Explorer would also embrace the specification.
“I want to share some examples of the progress going on in the SVG Working Group. Microsoft recently joined the SVG Working Group, and other members (Mozilla, Apple and Opera among others) welcomed us warmly. I'm hopeful about the ways that SVG (both its current direction and future potential) could make the web better,” Dengler said.
So far, Internet Explorer has ignored SVG, while rival browsers delivered support. Developers are now expecting Microsoft to announce that Internet Explorer 9
, the next iteration of IE, will bring to the table SVG support. However, the software giant announced nothing in this regard, so far. Still, Dengler did hint that Microsoft’s involvement aims to make sure that SVG content written for one browser, will also work with additional browsers without any extra effort from developers.
“We’re working out ambiguities such as “Pointer events and clip-paths”, “CSS Selectors <use> and as well as inconsistencies with stroked-dasharray” and “<use> and its interaction with the DOM and rendering” so that web developers can write SVG once and know that it will be interoperable across browsers,” Dengler added.
Microsoft will be the host of the next SVG Working Group face-to-face meeting in Brussels in May 2010, and Dengler could not conceal his enthusiasm related to SVG: “I have to admit I was a little hesitant at first to get guidance and clarity on a dozen or so items we found to be ambiguous (see public SVG WG discussion threads), however the positive response has been overwhelming. Of course we are not the only members raising these issues, but we are happy to be a part of the process. The future of SVG is bright.” (emphasis added) Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) RTW is available for download here (for 32-bit and 64-bit flavors of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008).