What is the world coming to? Never thought I’d see IE supporting SVG. We lobbied so hard 9 years ago, 8 years ago, and 7 years ago, until it felt like we were getting nowhere.
I remember Microsoft tried to hire me in 2002, having found me on the… SVG developers list. Now that was strange, what on earth were they doing stalking us XML geeks?
In a year or so, it became clear; XAML was highly derived from SVG, and would form the basis of WPF and Silverlight later. Unable to embrace a standard, MS had decided to copy standards activity into their own proprietary technology.
The poor SVG black sheep was even abandoned by Adobe itself when they eyed Macromedia/Flash, and enjoyed almost ZERO serious support over a few years, unless you count intensive emulation with XAML and later FXG, or the tireless efforts of a few diehards in places like the Mozilla project and Opera that kept SVG alive.
Fast forward 7 years, and we find Microsoft in the same boat with Apple, falling further behind Adobe’s Flash on the RIA front, with Silverlight piling up on the junkheap of obscurity along with Quicktime. With both proprietary efforts dead in the water, SVG is suddenly appealing to these would-be monopolies, and we find a bizarre rally behind a 10-year-old standard.
Why did they even bother to throw SVG into the mix with HTML5? Certainly the Canvas functionality can accomplish most or all of the core Flash capability that everyone (other than Adobe) wants. SVG and Canvas seem to have complimentary performance depending on what you’re doing. Still, who wants to learn how to do everything two different ways? Perhaps those railroading HTML5 through “spec” processes realize they won’t catch everything with the canvas approach, but more likely, they realize that this 2010 form of “standard” with Apple/Google pushing their rush “standard” out as Microsoft tails along, can have a better chance of flying with some stapled-on integrity from a bygone era.
It is still great to see, there is something really nice about the simplicity of core SVG, and it is fully ironic that its enemies have ended up having to support it despite their traditional opposition to standards. Apple, Google, Adobe, Microsoft have the same monopolistic agendas, yet are forced to co-exist, and let flowers like SVG grow through the cracks.