As expected, it was announced today that IE9 will support SVG, DOM Events, XHTML, CSS3 Selectors and more. There were even a couple surprises in there (HTML5 Video!). This finally puts IE9 in the realm of a “modern browser”! Hey! Someone on the IE team needs to send me a SVG image of the IE logo. The one I have is pretty sucky (no offense, Sam). Hopefully that image has an, ahem, gradient in it…
Now read on for more details on their SVG implementation (hey, I know why you’re here).
SVG Support Details
I updated the score on my SVG support chart for IE9 Preview 1: 28.36%. While it felt really good to have anything other than a solid red bar (0%) there, the IE team surely knows that there is a long ways to go before the IE9 final release. In fact, I know they pay attention to test suites because they just submitted 31 tests to the SVG WG Test Suite (2nd edition).
Here’s a short list of things I think need to happen:
- Gradients! While the graphics performance story in IE9 looks great at the moment, it’s not a fair comparison without turning on the code for linear/radial gradients
- Clipping/Masking – another essential for properly benchmarking IE9’s graphical performance against other browsers
- Linking! I couldn’t get any of the link test cases to work properly. Also, support for the ‘target’ attribute on link elements.
- DOM – I won’t have time to go through what support is there for SVG DOM interfaces. The IE9 page mentions ‘Not all elements of the SVGDOM are available’ and none of the tests in the suite ran for me.
- Switch and Feature String Detection: This file should show a few lines green as far as I can tell (among them probably Shape, BasicText, Image, Structure, Style). This is going to be critical since IE9’s level of support will be significantly different than the state-of-the-art supported by other modern browsers.
- Selection of SVG text
Am I being too hard on the IE team? Heck no! I did the same thing for Mozilla and Opera when they first released their support of a working SVG subset (I somehow missed my chance to do this with WebKit when Safari 3 first came out but my memory is that it exceeded my expectations).
The idea here is to give my two (or ten) cents on what the team needs to work on to get a usable subset, given years of experience coding SVG. I hope other web developers will do the same.
First off, a heartfelt congratulations and thanks go to the IE Team. They are continuing to show dedication to Open Web standards begun with IE8. While their SVG implementation is less functional than any other browser was upon first venture into SVG territory, the IE team has had a lot more to do to catch up to the state-of-the-art (CSS3, HTML5, DOM). My personal expectation is that they will achieve at least basic parity with Firefox 1.5 by the time IE9 is ready. It means that things like SVG-edit could work in IE9. That would leave things open for SVG Filters, SMIL and a hearty dose of innovation (through the SVG WG) in IE10. [Update: I missed this table, but apparently Microsoft is committing to at least Firefox 1.5 levels of SVG and that’s great news]
The IE Team plans to make developer preview releases available more often (every two months). While I personally wish this was more frequent (once a month), I’ll take what I can get. I’ll be reporting on Developer Preview 2, 3, etc.