Shelley has a good long read about web standards, Silverlight, etc. I haven't yet installed Silverlight (I'm on Linux most of the time) so I can't even look at the effect everyone's getting all gooey about over at the Hard Rock Cafe site. Maybe one day I'll get around to it. Unless it's truly 3D effect, I have a hard time believing that the effect can't be done using SVG and SMIL and made to work in 3 of the 4 major browsers today. And this with standards that have been around for more than half a decade. So there. Nyah.

Speaking of plugins, I've been watching this guy continue to improve his SVG viewer (a SWF file that runs in Adobe's Flash player) with about an update per week. Interesting idea (which has been pursued before incidentally). I'll be really impressed if he can get the thing to a point where SMIL and scripting can be implemented.

Still, nothing beats some type of native support. In the meantime, I'd even accept 'native' plugin support from the big stick-in-the-muds. I still haven't ruled out the idea that one day in the future, the Silverlight or Flash plugins might suddenly be able to render SVG directly, with no translation step in between. Here's hoping for Flash 11 and Silverlight 3... Why not? They both already support a scripting engine, interactivity, XML parsing, animation, vector graphics, gradients, etc. Hm, why not, indeed.

§475 · July 10, 2008 · Adobe, Microsoft, Software, SVG, Technology, Web · Tags: , , · [Print]

Leave a Comment to “SVG in Flash”

  1. Here’s a couple other other SVG renderers done in Flash:

    Any other takers?

  2. Shelley says:

    The Hard Rock is nice, but it caused my Windows machine to spike, and broke in Opera. The motion is smooth, but really is nothing more than a scale and translate effect in SMIL. There is a little “bounce” at the end, like some Ajax menus do, but I’m not sure that’s essential. The effect also seems to bring in different resolutions of photos at different zoom levels, but that’s all doable.

    As for “smoothness”, which seemed to be the criteria, on the same machine I used to look at the Cafe, I found my JS effort (which isn’t even tweaked for performance) and the SVG/SMIL effects to be as smooth. They don’t have the little “bounce” but that could be added, and even packaged in defs and made reusable.

    You know, it’s funny, but I was expecting 3D, too, from the guy’s excitement. It’s just plan zoom and pan. What’s frustrating is there’s no reason MS couldn’t have used SVG with its own extensions. As for people talking about “WaSP mafia”, I bet folks like you and I would have been happy just to see SVG support, any SVG support.

    Thanks for the pointers on SVG rendered in Flash.

  3. Shelley says:

    The big thing on the Cafe site wasn’t the smoothness so much as it was the use of Silverlight’s “Deep Zoom” capability, which seems to be some kind of image streaming/compression capability that allows you to pull in higher resolution images on demand. Now, that’s not necessarily a graphics thing, but it would really interesting to implement something like this as a backend to an SVG front end.

    Here’s a writeup.

    As someone who loves web graphics, I would normally be interested in this capability, but I’m stopped by the fact that there was absolutely no reason MS could not have used SVG as the basis for it’s effort. Maybe I’m dense, and the reason is obvious. We already know I’m obsessed 😉

  4. Shelley says:

    Sorry, last comment.

    It’s all based on technology MS bought when it bought Seadragon and guess what it’s based on? JPEG2000 wavelets.

    It’s a JPEG2000 client.

  5. Bruce says:

    There is an interesting article today on MSN (yes – that MSN). It is a compelling article on the future of mobile computing and the three big players.

    The nice thing about it? All three systems use WebKit as the native browser. Thus all three have SVG native. Silverlight is only available for a Nokia but how many will add a plugin to a memory limited phone? They will want more songs instead. This is a huge market for SVG content.

  6. Shelley says:

    Bruce has a good point, and this makes a compelling marketing twist for “selling” SVG.

  7. Bruce says:

    The other strange thing is all the excitement about the HardRock site and Silverlight. Right now go to and zoom into a particular item. The IDENTICAL functionality is done in Flash. This is Microsoft’s Flash killer????