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The death of SVG

This is not news; but I’ve just come across Adobe’s end of life notice for its SVG viewer. Adobe was a key supporter of SVG, which is the W3C standard for vector graphics and animation embedded in web pages, until it acquired Macromedia and with it the rival but proprietary Flash technology. The demise of the Adobe viewer is a shame for SVG supporters since it was the best available. All very predictable, though I’m not impressed by the reason given in Adobe’s FAQ on the subject [pdf]:

There are a number of other third-party SVG viewer implementations in the marketplace, including native support for SVG in many Web browsers. The SVG language and its adoption in the marketplace have both matured to the point where it is no longer necessary for Adobe to provide an SVG viewer.

In this context “matured” must mean “critically ill”, with Adobe’s announcement the killer blow (though let’s acknowledge that SVG was making limited headway even before the merger). The real reason comes a little further down:

You may also want to consider converting your SVG application to an Adobe Flex® application.

It’s easy to understand Adobe’s decision, though let me close with a question. How much harder would it be for Microsoft to establish WPF/E, if the industry had settled on a W3C standard rather than the proprietary Flash?

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2 thoughts on “The death of SVG”

  1. dead, critically ill?

    Google Maps uses it, so does Microsoft’s competitor, most mobiles do it out-of-the-box or otherwise can have it installed, as soon as Safari does a new release every browser except the shrinking marketshare IE does it out of the box (SVG support might just be the nr1 thing to stop the shrinking of IE marketshare), most drawing programs do it, Oracle uses it, Sun, IBM, OpenOffice has some support already, plans for more, PlayStation games using it. Well, maybe you should take a look around http://svg.startpagina.nl

    SVG against WPF/E?

    The world over there’s a clear shift towards open standards. Anybody (including Adobe) not going with that in their long term strategy are making a mistake. Adobe products still have SVG support, and i suspect Adobe will hold on to its SVG knowledge (probably staying or otherwise coming back in their products)

    Yes there are some problems with SVG, partly because for too long the (great when it was introduced) Adobe SVG Viewer was sort of the only viewer in use. As it doesn’t complain about certain errors, it doesn’t help in making content cross-viewer. The newer content is quickly outgrowing that. These are interesting times and it’s just starting.

  2. I hope you are right, but I see vastly more Flash out there than SVG; and Microsoft will bring great tool support to WPF/E; I think it will be hard for SVG truly to hit the mainstream.

    Thanks for the link too.

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