From a discussion that started with bitterness and vitriol and half-flames came forth a semi-useful discussion in which I was a mere observer. To me, the pinnacle of usefulness came with Henri Sivonen's post which contained a list of use cases. Here was an important one

Making Flash-like visually “high-impact” (sorry about the marketing BS term) sites using the openly specified Web platform but without the Draconianness of XML in such a way that the whole thing uses retained-mode graphics and lives in one DOM for easy scripting (i.e. no need for scripts to deal with object or iframe sub-DOMs).


I guess that's what I want... but more important to me than removing the "Draconianness of XML" is that I want this stuff to work in every major browser on every major platform. And no amount of specifying can guarantee that. It takes willingness of all participants. I use the term "participants" here in a broad sense, because based on the first IE8 Beta, it seems that Microsoft is not really working in close communication with the HTML Working and Web Application Formats Working Groups. The WG seems to be trapped in a constant state of reverse-engineering the things that Microsoft has done and sadly I don't see this changing in the future.

Can an open specification really compete with a company that can throw gobs of money at developing a glitzy-but-proprietary standard, who then proceed to throw gobs and gobs of money at organizations to use that new standard? Further reading: Sam Ruby's SVG Shiv.

Sorry, I guess that was my cheery thought for the day.

§439 · March 9, 2008 · Microsoft, Software, SVG, Technology, Web · Tags: , , , · [Print]

3 Comments to “More Importantly…”

  1. Ian Hickson says:

    I encourage you to send your feedback to one of the mailing lists or to me directly ( so that I make sure to take your use cases into account. Thanks! (I’ve made a note of this blog post too, but e-mail is a more reliable way of ensuring that I take the feedback into account.)

  2. Ian Hickson says:

    The spec now supports SVG in text/html. As you say, it’s a long way from the spec to the implementations.

  3. Thanks Ian, for your work on this. I have yet to read through the details of the parsing algorithm to see what the ramifications are when exchanging SVG bits between tools and documents, but I will try to get around to this eventually.