Microsoft Joins W3C SVG Working Group


As a part of Microsoft’s continued commitment to interoperability and standards support, yesterday we submitted our request to join the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). We’re excited to take part in ensuring future versions of the SVG spec will meet the needs of developers and end users.

As stated on its Web site, “the mission of the SVG Working Group is to continue the evolution of Scalable Vector Graphics as a format and a platform, and enhance the adoption and usability of SVG in combination with other technologies.” We recognize that vector graphics are an important component of the next generation Web platform. As evidenced by our ongoing involvement in W3C working groups, we are committed to participating in the standards process to help ensure a healthy future for the Web. Our involvement with the SVG working group builds on that commitment.

To date, I have had several interactions with the SVG working group, and their clear dedication to creating a great technology for end users and developers alike stands out.  I personally look forward to future and more direct involvement with this great set of folks.

Patrick Dengler
Senior Program Manager
Internet Explorer Team

Comments (124)

  1. Anonymous says:

    This has to be the most laughable thing I’ve heard in a while.

  2. Anonymous says:

    @John A. Bilicki III: except the 3 weeks thing was a lie.

  3. Anonymous says:

    These comments are jokes, right? "Good for IE". Why? Is IE9 going to implement SVG in the first release? If not, why do we even want Microsoft messing with a format they’re not even going to implement anyway?? If that’s the case, please unjoin the group and stop wasting everyone’s time.

    Why don’t you fix the piece of crap product you put out every year instead of joining Working Groups whose technology you don’t utilize in a browser natively.

    This doesn’t change anything. We’ll all have to work extra hours as we usually do to dumb down our products to make sure they are IE compliant.

    I’m running canvas in production and using exCanvas to dynamically translate those commands into MS’s last failure vector graphics, VML. The only thing I see changing is when I have to upgrade my applications to run exXaml, whenever that comes out.

  4. Anonymous says:

    SVG has been a standard for YEARS. Microsoft has continually just ignored the standard (as with so many other standards like CSS) since it’s inception in 1999 (yes over TEN years ago). SVG has been widely supported by every major browser not produced by Microsoft for years and years (read: Mozilla-based [Firefox, Galeon, etc], Opera, Safari, even the "newcomer" Chromium [or, as you might know it, Google Chrome]). Read this if you don’t believe me (especially funny is the opening sentence "All major modern web browsers except Microsoft Internet Explorer support and render SVG markup directly"): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalable_Vector_Graphics

    Personally, I’ve been bitten by the fact that IE doesn’t natively support SVG (and the third-party plugins available for SVG rendering are terrible and unsupported): SVG is much more convenient to produce from, say, a C++ program, because you don’t need to rely on external image libraries: it’s just plain old XML (eg: check out http://dug.sourceforge.net). Microsoft doesn’t deserve pats on the back for finally deciding to be standards-compliant. This should have been a given, not a bonus.

    I’ll also reserve any positive emotions until such time as SVG is actually supported on the little retard browser that couldn’t (IE). This looks to me like someone is trying to save face. And what happened to the standpoint that SVG wasn’t going to be supported because Microsoft wanted to push Silverlight instead? (A similar argument as to why Adobe dropped support for their SVG plugin: it "competes" with flash).

    Best of all, Microsoft is now going to "help" the W3C? They didn’t need help coming up with the SVG standard. You need help implementing it. And the biggest losers in the whole equation are users who have either had no choice or didn’t know any better and have been stuck with an inferior browser for years.

    Microsoft loves to say that they innovate — really, they’re just trying to catch up to the technology of the last millennium.

  5. Anonymous says:

    »I’m sure demand for MathML is low compared to SVG, but there are people who use math beyond basic arithmetic, do you know?«

    There are already too many geeks and eggheads running around, no need to support them any more. Microsoft would do better by improving the multimedia and DRM functions of IE and Silverlight so that the user can enjoy more content while being in a securing bubble.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well, they are st**id capitalists, they wonna give up. The only thing they want is to try to earn money.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I wonder just how many comments Microsoft has deleted by now.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I see my post was deleted….

    I am most definitely not a troll and most definitely not a kid. Been developing web apps since php/fi (back then it was still an CGI script). I got to this blog because someone posted it on Hacker News (Y Combinator)

    My points regarding webkit is valid because

    1. IE is (was?) a great plan that went astray:

    The plan basically goes like this:

    1.1 Bundle a browser with the operating system that dominates the world

    1.2 The OS dominates – so the browser by extention will dominate

    1.3 Once domination has been achieved, screw WC3 – we add whatever we want (or… we need that feature for MS Money to work – lets build that in)

    Now if this plan worked I would not be trowing my toys out the cot. I would have happily coded my pages according to the way IE dictates – just like I did in the days of IE 4 and 5.5. Nobody bothered with how the site looks in Netscape, because you only had about 0.5 hits from other browsers.

    BUT… the plan clearly didn’t work.

    2. IE is not a "sold-for-profit" product. I would never suggest (much less contemplate) that MS release the code for Office or "run silverlight on the flash engine". All those products generate money.

    With IE however it is different. You don’t go to the store and say "I want IE, lets get Windows" – you buy windows because you want to run Office or the latest DirectX 10 game.

    So, based on these 2 points, which, in summery is, 1) Domination wasn’t and never will be achieved and 2) IE’s going to make absolutely no difference in sales and profits, my question is… WHY bother?

    I’m not trying to "troll" this blog – it’s a simple question. WHY create more hassle for webdevelopers?? WHY not just go with webkit as a token of appreciation for all the CRAP you put every single webdeveloper on this planet?

    So – to shut me up, either

    1. Regain domination or

    2. Get with the program

    Either one will make me happy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Germany and France for switching to alternate browsers.

    I think they forget to tell that in order to have SVG you’ll have to install Silverlight

    Good luck with Direct2D and DirectWrite. To bad is Windows only crap =)

  10. Anonymous says:

    woah does this mean the IE team is planning to include SVG in a future version of IE? very interesting indeed

  11. Anonymous says:

    woah does this mean the IE team is planning to include SVG in a future version of IE? very interesting indeed

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well done to Microsoft. SVG support is brilliant and something to be proud of.

  13. Anonymous says:

    OK – that’s really cool. Let’s hope IE support is to follow.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thats nice!!…hope IE9 will surpass other browsers in market (loading pages with speed)..hope directx support for writing text etc will give IE9 a real boost!

    nice to hear these before Mix conference (show us some technical preview!!)

  15. Anonymous says:

    Nice to see that Microsoft wants to be a team player instead of doing it everything "my way or the highway".

  16. Anonymous says:

    It’s about time. Hopefully we’ll see some SVG in IE9 then, since, you got to admit it yourself, you’ve been behind in overall web standards support since IE6. The same with speed and customizability.

    Your browser is still far away from your competitors, but at least you are putting in some serious effort here for IE9.

    Unfortunately, when IE9 is finally released, the other browsers will probably be far from you again.

    Well, I will personally never use IE again, for two reasons.

    1. I don’t like it. To me, it appears to be the worst in most categories.

    2. I use Mac OS X, you don’t even support that OS any more.

    Still, good luck with IE9. Hopefully you’ll get far enough to put some pressure on other browser makers.

  17. Anonymous says:

    So have you dropped Trident yet?

    Webkit is waiting …

    Come on! Just adopt Webkit and make our lives easier. πŸ™

  18. Anonymous says:

    Great news if this leads to SVG support in IE sometime in the not too distant future.  Long overdue, in my opinion.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Ok, my previous post made me feel a bit mean. It’s (probably) not your fault that the old IE-team was cancelled, which, after six years made your browser "old" in several aspects. You are doing a good work in catching up, and as I said before, I wish you good luck and I hope that you put some pressure on the other browser makers (but considering your current Acid3 score and SVG support (which is absolutely nothing), I have my doubts).

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’ve long had a love/hate relationship with SVG, but frankly more interoperability is -never- a bad thing.  If Microsoft and particularly the IE team is interesting in developing an SVG implementation, I am happy, because vector graphics on the Web are awesome, even if SVG is a less-than-ideal solution.

    Of course joining the working group doesn’t mean an implementation will in fact happen, but I imagine it’s a safe assumption that the -intention- is there.  So, good luck, guys!  You’ve been doing great work so far, and I expect more or the same—or else! πŸ˜‰  

  21. Anonymous says:

    I have a customer who uses Internet Explorer 8. Every time they shutdown their computer IE loses their login information. The only way they can keep from losing that information is by putting the computer in standby. Any suggestions?

    I have tried removing any and all toolbars, running IE without plug-ins enabled, and I have checked the AutoComplete settings. IE was restored to default settings as well.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Follow updates about the ‘Semantic Web’ and ‘Internet of Things’

    http://bit.ly/6ojpng

    The world government global database

    http://bit.ly/4JUj3y

  23. Anonymous says:

    About bloody time.

    So how long till SVG shows up in IE? And when are you going to support the new html5 elements?

    Seriously – you guys are holding back the web. Do us web devs a favour, and catch up or quit the race.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Forget about joining groups

    Just implement the standard in your browser ( IE )!

    Please, would you do it?

  25. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen an IEBlog comment thread go this long without someone whining about rounded corners.

    You must be on to something!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Let’s see how long it takes Microsoft to gum up that working group and bring it to a screeching halt. Plan on showing up for any meetings? Or are you only planning on fighting all the work that went on before you like you did on Javascript and HTML5?

  27. Anonymous says:

    This hints at IE9 SVG support… if not… a major PR blunder by not clarifying it won’t make it in.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I would really like to see SVG in IE9, and I would really like to see it working via CSS (ie, for use as background images, etc).  That would put you in league with WebKit and Presto, and could even beat Gecko to the punch.

  29. Anonymous says:

    While late to the party I’m happy to see this happen. I doubt this would be announced unless at least a decent amount of SVG support is planned to make it in to IE9.

    It was mentioned that with the initial preview of IE9 that the progress made had been achieved in three weeks worth of work…so I think most level-headed people would agree if we were to have gotten CSS3 selectors in IE8 had the release date been pushed by a few weeks that it would have been worth it in the long term. I would recommemnd taking that in to consideration when talking about the final goals for IE9. It’s going to be an exciting release…I just hope you folks will cover all the bases within reason.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Huzzah! I can only assume this bodes well for SVG support in upcoming IE browsers.. if this is indeed the case, then thank you for helping keep the web moving forward

  31. Anonymous says:

    Well done! Now for the next step…. SVG support for IE!

  32. Anonymous says:

    This is good news! Please support it in IE9!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Now that’s what I’m talking about. Great news.

  34. John-Wayne says:

    It seems to me that someone here in the thread forget that MS is the originator from the SVG predecessor VML. It’s not really true that MS is "behind" other browser, in opposite. (Btw, AJAX come firstly from MS too). The only bad luck for MS is that all this developments was canceled from W3C.

    I welcome that MS will follow "standards" in the future, but please don’t wait for W3C only, bring in your own ideas too.

  35. Anonymous says:

    EMF and VML ought to be enough for anybody.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Hi, Patrick-

    On behalf of the SVG WG, let me welcome you to the group.  We’re excited by your joining, and look forward to your participation… and hopefully SVG support in IE9!

    There is definitely room for improvement in the SVG specs, and some new features to make it even easier to author… your help there will be really valuable.

    -Doug (W3C Team Contact for the SVG WG)

  37. Anonymous says:

    Direct2D accelerated SVG? Yes please!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Nah, just joking, I am really happy to be able to use SVG to be able to use SVG on my websites in approximately 20 years time (mind the time until the release of IE 10 [IE-X] and the time it takes for abandoning previous IE versions [think of IE 6])

  39. Anonymous says:

    Using the Adobe plug-in is a pain, but it gets the basics right. Here’s hoping that IE won’t do another CSS quality implementation.

  40. Anonymous says:

    A question for Patrick Dengler:  Patrick, are you allowed to implement SVG in IE9 if you want to, or would that require permission from a manager above your group?  If the decision is yours to make, have you already made it?  If not, what considerations do you have for this decision?

  41. Anonymous says:

    This is GREAT news and I’m excited to find out how MS is going to implement SVG in upcoming releases of IE!!

    Fantastic!!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Yes we really need embedded SVG image support for accessibility work that use symbols (e.g for communications or reading support). Bring it on!

    I want to see this page work on IE and we can drop sad old wmf support –

    http://straight-street.com/apitest.html

  43. Anonymous says:

    If they did this sooner they wouldn’t be so far behind in standards.. unfortunately its to late for IE8, if they’d at least have an auto update feature for their browser the web wouldn’t been so bad right now.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Wow.  How cutting edge! How avant-garde!

    Oh wait. The SVG working group has been around for more than 7 years. (I couldn’t find the SVG 1.0 spec on a cursory search. Initial SVG 1.1 draft was in 2003) But this seems to be Microsoft’s pattern. It took them similar amounts of time to support HTML 4.01 and CSS 2.1, even after they were on the related working groups.

    So don’t expect SVG support from IE and Microsoft any time in the next decade.

  45. Anonymous says:

    How will work on SilverLight (a competing, closed Vector technology) align with work on SVG?

  46. Anonymous says:

    I recommend that you do not speak in "manager style" as this blog is meant to appeal to developers. Do not say empty phrases like "As a part of Microsoft’s continued commitment to interoperability and standards support".

  47. Anonymous says:

    It doesn’t matter. By the time IE implements this no one will be using IE.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Any chance to SVG graphics rendered in future Outlook versions?

  49. Anonymous says:

    @Gabirel Nagmay exactly, get it working in IE soonest

  50. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft has already implemented SVG, they call it XAML, it’s part of SilVerliGht.  The rules are the same, but the names of the elements and the attributes are changed to make it proprietary.

    So, to implement SVG, all they probably have to do is change the names of the elements and attrs in XAML to those in the spec, and ***voila!***

  51. Anonymous says:

    Wow, this is good news! No matter what comes of this (hopefully SVG support in IE), it is good news that MS at least recognizes SVG.

  52. Anonymous says:

    "Top 8 Browser Versions from 30 Dec 09 to 5 Jan 10 | StatCounter Global Stats" — http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version-ww-daily-20091230-20100105-bar

  53. Anonymous says:

    Have I died and gone to SVG heaven?

  54. Anonymous says:

    Just slightly confused… the original vector graphics WG at W3C was started by Microsoft (I did so personally).  VML was our initial proposal for that work.  You might better characterize this as rejoining an effort that Microsoft actually helped launch.

  55. Anonymous says:

    @TR Reardon…

    Yes, we all realize that Microsoft then road off upon XAML the camel toward SilverLight.

    I’m hopeful the excursion has provided Microsoft with some good experience and great talent that will take SVG to a grand next version.

  56. Anonymous says:

    @Rick Graham: XAML is not a display technology. It’s a technology for instantiating objects from an XML representation.

    Might be more appropriate to talk about WPF, Silverlight, and SVG. Those are all display technologies, although Silverlight also is a framework and an execution platform…

  57. gatapia says:

    I guess being humiliated by google (svgweb, excanvas, chrome frame and gears) is finally kicking MS into action.  Hopefully the other great standards ignored by IE will get implemented in IE 9 also, namely CANVAS.

    Guido

  58. Anonymous says:

    Why? So you can include your patents in it?

    I think we all remember OOXML.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Plan A: Try to kill Adobe Flash with your own product "Silverlight"

    Plan B: Support anything that could decrease the use of flash, HTML5, SVG, etc.

  60. Anonymous says:

    It is too bad that companies like Mozilla, Google and Apple have decided to ignore the benefits of VML and standardize on an inferior technology.  Thankfully it is clear now that Microsoft is committed to delivering the best end user experience no matter what.  Thank you once again Microsoft!

  61. Anonymous says:

    Embrace, extend and extinguish.

    It’s the same story again and again, do you remember browser incompatibilities with activeX, breaking Java’s portability, the "help" they give to develop OpenGL, the ODF support in MS Office, etc.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Just focus on support for HTML 5 Canvas, please?

  63. Anonymous says:

    Bla bla bla – call me when there is not-MS-extended native SVG support in IE… in other words never πŸ™‚

  64. Anonymous says:

    Please.

    just.

    stop.

    Seriously.  Please don’t make IE 9, SVG, or any of this.  I already have to support 3 of your browsers (yes, some people still use IE 6), I *really* don’t want to add #4.  The worst part is that writing standard xhtml means my code already works in *every* other browser with few or no changes (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera), and then there’s IE.  You have cost my customers many thousands of dollars.  I’m at the point where I no longer go back and make things work in IE6, it’s just not worth it.

    You will never catch up to any of the other four browsers listed above.  Never.  If it were possible, you would have done it by now.  While you’re working on improving yours to be as good as those, they’re all working to make theirs better.  Most of them have a 5+ year lead on you.  It’s like showing up at 3PM and trying to win the Indy 500.  Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

    Firefox is open source – why not swallow your pride and start working on it instead?

  65. Anonymous says:

    So now the race is on, will IE support SVG before FF supports CSS2.1 properly?

    I do get the impression M$ is takings leaps and bounds forward, and since ‘8 I no longer feel profesionally inclined to discourage its use (of course, variety is the spice of live), but its really hillarious how FF fanboi’s still critisize every move IE takes – presumably they just feel insecure as they know deep down they backed the wrong horse.

    If IE9 can support SVG to say Opera’s level, the pressure should really be on FF to get its act together.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Like other posters, I am worried that the IE group will be forced to implement proprietary, patent-protected MS extensions in their version of SVG, thus preventing interoperability.

    I am persuaded that the MS IE developers are well meaning, but unfortunately, they don’t call the shots.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Patrick said:

    "[..]we submitted our request to join the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Working Group[…]"

    This sounds like Obama getting the Peace Nobel prize. πŸ™‚

    Please support seriously SVG in IE, and then talk about "continued commitment to interoperability and standards support…".

    Am i asking too much?

  68. Anonymous says:

    Good news. just as i see ie develop tool bar.

    Svg is very friendly for end users,i also want ie’s acid3 test score will exceed 90,and high speed for executing js  

  69. Anonymous says:

    This is great news. Like others, if this leads to Canvas support in IE, that would be wonderful and make IE easier to recommend.

  70. Anonymous says:

    We need it urgently in IE 8, and I need to contact the team who will work in that project to test and feed them back with the results.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Great news.

    But please Microsoft people, make it smart by thinking about backwards compatibility with (IE6,) IE7 and IE8. As an add-on or a patch?

    @Michael Chaney: I fully agree with your post.

  72. Anonymous says:

    @Jeeves: I wonder, what part of CSS 2.1 isn’t Firefox supporting correctly? I agree with you that there were still holdouts from CSS 2.0 that hadn’t been fixed in 3.0, but 3.5 seems rather complete to me (:before and :after CSS positioning, Acid3 rendering apart from animated SVG is better than Webkit: it’s not all in the scoring, you know), at the very least in ‘full’ xhtml mode.

    Now, one thing I hope will happen, is that MS finally supporting SVG will be done in the form of a system library, so that IE 6+ (I don’t think for a second that this library will be backported to Win2000) will get it.

    Otherwise it’ll be IE9+ only, and from what we could see IE9 won’t be ported to Windows XP/2003.

    @developers: suck it up guys, we’ll probably have to cater to IE8- and VML until 2014 (EoL for WinXP).

  73. Anonymous says:

    you have to add the update svg in IE 6, 7 , and 8. cause a lot of users still working with IE 6 and 7.

    Thanks

  74. Anonymous says:

    You do not need to join any groups, because they worked fine without you for years. Just implement the specifications, that’s enough.

  75. Anonymous says:

    @Mitch: off the top of my head, display: run-in is still not supported in Firefox. Not that I’ve ever found myself thinking "boy, I sure wish I could use display: run-in here", but whatever.

    And even if SVG isn’t backported to IE6-8, the SVG Web library (http://code.google.com/p/svgweb/) can nicely close the gap until these browsers die. By the way, forget VML exists, it just doesn’t matter.

  76. Anonymous says:

    SVG is what, 10 years old…

    How about WebGL while you’re at it?

  77. Anonymous says:

    Hi everyone,

    I applaud this move and look forward to see more SVG-related Microsoft activity. I’m aware of the recent stuff (SVG Open 2009, www-svg mailing list, etc.) and hope that this can get materialized into an upcoming Internet Explorer release. πŸ˜‰

    I just don’t yet make a full thumbs up yet, given the attitude Microsoft has had (regarding SVG support) up until now. I guess this time you’ll are the ones "needing" (read: invited) to convince this fast growing community that you actually want to make part of the game. πŸ™‚

    Cheers,

    Helder

  78. Anonymous says:

    To those correctly pointing out that Microsoft has done great work bringing Vector graphics to the web:

    So what? Unless everybody can agree to support the technology cross-browser, who cares? I don’t think any web developers who have to use countless compatibility libraries and extra man hours to create IE-specific tweaks think to themselves, "well, even though I can’t use SVG in IE, at least they helped found the Working Group that started it! I feel so much better!!!". Uhh. No.

    Kudos for the innovation. But if I create a really awesome new train car that runs on tracks that are 4 ft wide, and everybody else is running 5 ft wide trains, does that really do anybody any good? No.

  79. Anonymous says:

    This announcement is hopeful news. In addition to support for CSS3 and SVG, I hope IE9 supports XSLT 1.0, HTML5 (including Canvas), Animated PNG format, and more.

  80. Anonymous says:

    @Stifu: aaah… right. I guess it’d allow for some list-like effects, or could be used as a ‘first-letter’ effect for non-text nodes, if you intend for example to remove a block’s first letter (:first-letter [display:none]) then add an image element in its stead (through a DOM manipulation) and not break your layout…

    It’s still pretty funky.

    About VML: yes. Although I discovered a small Javascript project that intends to implement SVG over Flash and although it’s alpha and passes only 50% of the full SVG1.1 test suite, it’s still enough to start to do nice things. It is named SVGweb.

  81. Anonymous says:

    This is great news. SVG is a wonderful format. How about adding out of the box MathML support as well. It is another W3C standard (http://www.w3.org/Math/) and is useful to nearly all students and most technical professionals.

    Disclaimer: Though I can count the number of Windows computers I have on zero hands (yeah Linux), I still have to communicate with many Windows users and this would simplify both their lives and mine.

  82. Anonymous says:

    woot! we might get it standardized like the "body" tag πŸ˜€

  83. Anonymous says:

    Lance, for a guy interested in MathML, you aren’t very good with numbers. There are ~1B users of Windows. Nearly 0% of all users have any need for MathML support.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Whaa.

    After 4 years, IE will finally include SVG… Well, just have also to include the W3C standards. FF and chrome do much better than IE. You have to get up !!

  85. Anonymous says:

    Good!  We are all looking forward to SVG support in IE (most important) and elsewhere in Windows (native support for vector images is currently poor).

    I note that you carefully did not comment on whether this is in the works for ie9.  So, no commitment for now.  There is a strong demand for it, though (see the comments).

    Time for some speculation:

    1) SVG is a huge, complex (set of) spec(s), that is not fully supported by browsers.  It looks unlikely that ie9 will support SVG Full.  Maybe we can hope for full support for one of the mobile profiles (SVG Basic and SVG Tiny) at first?

    2) There are two parts to SVG support: external SVG images and inline SVG.  Both can be useful.  Clean support for inline SVG is related to XHTML support.  Maybe it’s (at last!) time for XHTML?

    @Lance: I would really like to have MathML support in IE, too!

    @Math: I’m sure demand for MathML is low compared to SVG, but there are people who use math beyond basic arithmetic, do you know?  Some would even like to be able to talk about it in web pages, instead of relying on the current workarounds (downloadable pdf, images, js hacks…).  There is enough demand that some have developed horrible js libs to try to render math (while the browser slows down to a crawl): http://www.math.union.edu/~dpvc/jsMath/  MathML support would be a good thing (and don’t forget that MS already has math rendering implemented in IE’s text display engine, thanks to the Office team).

    @Matthew David: Silverlight is not a vector image format (although it includes one), it’s a rich client framework embedded in the browser.  While the capabilities of the web platform (html+js+ajax+svg+…) and rich clients are slowly converging, they are still two very different models, with different pro and cons.  My guess is that MS’ planners are quite happy to push work in both directions, just in case one ends up superseding the other.  (This is one area where MS’ resources are useful: they can have one team working full time on ie and the web platform, and another working on .Net and its derivatives including Silverlight).

  86. Anonymous says:

    Good news MS.  Thanks for forward effort in supporting web standards.

    I hope that IE8 will be optimized to run on low end XP netbooks.  IE8 would them be the final browser on our older legacy lower end XP computers until the last one is retired (maybe in late 2012).

  87. Anonymous says:

    @Mitch: seems like you skipped the second part of my message. :p

    As for your comment on display: run-in, I guess I’d rather just use the :before pseudo-class to achieve that.

  88. billdav says:

    I’m cautiously optimistic about this.  I hope this means that we will be seeing proper support for XHTML with XML name spaces.  I look forward to seeing SVG support in IE.  The lack of support from IE has been the main obstacle to the success of SVG.

    I do worry, as do many others, that Microsoft will introduce extensions, which other browsers won’t have, in order to make SVG pages developed for IE inoperable with other browsers.  It’s a tactic that Microsoft has used before and it could make SVG a bad thing.  I hope they don’t do this.

    If they want to mess with the other browsers SVG, I recommend that they do a complete and accurate standards compliant implementation, so that the only SVG that works with IE but breaks on other browsers are things that find those browsers failings in standards compliance.

    I also worry that merely being on the working group won’t translate to IE supporting SVG.  Microsoft was on some of the XHTML working groups (maybe all?  I can’t remember), for all that was worth.

    As for MathML, if SVG is implemented properly, then MathML should not be too difficult to add (relatively speaking).  It would certainly please a lot of math, physics and engineering instructors and benefit their students.  I realize that it’s a relatively small market but it would still be nice.

  89. Anonymous says:

    Kudos on joining the SVG Working Group.

    For IE9, I think the following would make a large number of people happy:

    * support for standalone SVG Full 1.1 (in order of preference):

       * all basic SVG shape types, text, fill/stroke properties, gradients, transforms, patterns, markers, clip paths)

       * DOM access (i.e. dynamic SVG)

       * CSS support within SVG

       * SMIL (declarative animation)

       * SVG Filters

       * SVG Fonts

    * support a true HTML5 parser that allows inline SVG (as per HTML5 spec)

    * support using SVG where images are allowed in HTML/CSS (background-image, etc)

    * support SVG effects in HTML (like Mozilla)

    Note that all nightly versions of browsers now have most of the advanced features of SVG 1.1 in various states of construction so modern browsers are really going to give you a run for your moeny πŸ™‚

  90. Anonymous says:

    Don’t you ever give up? According to StatCounter Global Stats, your browser (all versions combined) is already completely irrelevant in Germany and soon in all of Europe. Please take it off the market and make our lives easier! You helped standardize SVG and then stubbornly kept on implementing VML, even put it into Your failed Office format (6000 pages, and counting!). Your company has lost any credibility! Please leave SVG alone! Adobe, IBM, Opera, Mozilla, Apple and Google made it a success. What is Your contribution? Will there be any?

  91. Anonymous says:

    Worldwide, IE has ~65% marketshare, making it the most popular browser by a wide margin. So, you can stick your head in the (German) sand and pretend that IE doesn’t matter, or you could wake up to the real world like most of us.

    The whole "IE should use WebKit" thing totally cracks me up. Even if IE wasn’t using Trident, they’d probably move to Gecko, since it’s got ~3x as much use as all WebKit-based browsers put together.

    Trolling on the IEBlog went out of fashion about 5 years ago, but some kids still haven’t gotten the message.

  92. Anonymous says:

    Funny, all browsers are currently funded by stupid capitalists (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Opera)

    It turns out that communism doesn’t work. Maybe you fell asleep for the latter half of the 20th century?

  93. Anonymous says:

    "Even if IE wasn’t using Trident, they’d probably move to Gecko"

    I don’t think they will choose Gecko. Webkit is more advanced than Gecko , specially regarding Canvas and html5 new features.

  94. Anonymous says:

    @Stifu: argh! right! I skipped it! That’s what one gets from juggling between 2 screens and 4 workspaces – one only gets one half of what’s displayed.

    My bad.

  95. Anonymous says:

    @web developer

    [quote]Adobe, IBM, Opera, Mozilla, Apple and Google made it a success[/quote]

    That is a joke for sure.

    SVG is no a succes at all.

    SVG has been one of the giant failure of standardization. A standard that was less usefull than even VML and was hardly used even by Adobe who created it.

    Still in 2010 SVG development has been stagnant and the format still has no support for 3D graphics and the SVG format has markup that is not very in line with other W3C markup languages as it was esntially developed outside W3C initially.

    It is like the ugly child in w3c standard (except that w3c has several of such ugly markup children)

  96. Anonymous says:

    @hAL: Adobe created SVG? Wrong. Citing Wikipedia, SVG was created by a group of companies members of the W3C; this might have included Adobe, but they certainly are not the sole creators. It actually competes with Postscript (SVG can be animated) and Flash (SVG can be included and modified by a webpage’s script), thus why Apple isn’t too happy with it.

    SVG is used in Google Maps (except IE’s fallback to VML), Live Maps (ditto), Wikipedia (for vector graphics storage), ODF 1.2 (ditto), and is supported on most browsers (except IE) and several publishing (print) tools. It is also the default format used in the FOSS world to store whatever contains vectors: icons, wallpapers etc. and is, for example, the basic format used with Nokia’s Qt toolkit to make KDE 4.

    If you complain that it’s not successful, then read the 3GPP’s specification: SVGT1.1 is mandatory in ‘modern’ mobile phones ever since 2003. Thus, there are billions of devices in the world using SVG.

    SVG Full 1.1 was ratified in 2003 as a Recommendation. SVG Tiny 1.2 (which is an established, finished subset of SVG Full 1.2) was ratified in 2008 as a Recommendation.

    You really should get a clue about 3D: SVG is a language for 2D (flat) representation. This is what your screen displays, this is what appears on paper.

    If you want to represent 3D with SVG, you can – with a quite well known process called rasterisation. Please note that SVG supports ‘triangles’ (or figures with more sides, even spheres), ‘textures’, ‘antialiasing’, ‘shaders’ (effects whose visual representation depends on context and isn’t described as-is in the storage format)… Yup, like your 3D card. As a matter of fact, there are hardware-accelerated SVG renderers in development.

    As of right now, MS can choose to implement either SVG Full 1.1, SVG Tiny 1.2, or both; since SVG Full 1.2 will be a superset of SVG Tiny 1.2 and is intended to be backward compatible with 1.1, there is no code duplication taking place.

    My guess is, due to IE’s limited DOM implementation, SVG Tiny 1.2 alone would be the easiest goal to reach. It would also prevent SVG from competing with Silverlight. I would, of course, be very happy with a SVG Full 1.1 implementation – but IE couldn’t support it.

    Except if IE 9 finally adds DOM 2 and 3 support…

  97. Anonymous says:

    @nitro: enjoy your dying, poorly supported technology.

  98. Anonymous says:

    @stifu: "And even if SVG isn’t backported to IE6-8, the SVG Web library (http://code.google.com/p/svgweb/) can nicely close the gap until these browsers die. By the way, forget VML exists, it just doesn’t matter."

    Great – another 60K+ js library to pollute web pages with. Easy for developers, but dreadful for end user experience, particularly if they don’t have DSL or equivalent. And who is to guarantee that it will be supported properly in the long term?  As it is, svgweb claims to be an "alpha" release, so I really couldn’t recommend it to any of my customers anyway.

    What we really need is for IE9 to support SVG, xhtml, css 3 (or the parts of it which are already clearly defined), html5 (or, again the parts of it which are already clearly defined, e.g. canvas), hey and @font-face with woff, too (dream on…).

    And then we need IE versions 6 – 8 to die quickly. I think IE6 and IE7 will cease to be important for most of my clients by the end of 2010 (Q3 if we’re lucky), but IE8 will have 40% market share by then…

    I suppose that SVG will have to wait for 2012 or so, before it can really be used for mainstream websites and applications.

  99. Anonymous says:

    @Lionel – agree with everything you say.

    MS – please implement XHTML – it’s about bloody time, you know…

  100. Anonymous says:

    @Paul: it’s a given using a lib won’t be as good as a native implementation, and that IE users will likely have an inferior experience (they’re free to upgrade if they’re bothered), but it’s still better than nothing.

    Besides, Google is behind that lib, which guarantees it’ll get decent support.

    You don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.

  101. Anonymous says:

    I still don’t get why IE doesn’t just use Webkit, and its insulting to be called a "troll" by providing what is actually a really logical thing.

    Using Webkit:

    (1) Is really easy and cost effective. You don’t need to have a team of people costing millions of dollars per year updating Trident. What is the point, doesn’t Microsoft have better projects to work on that they can use these developers for?

    (2) Webkit will instantly improve web standards in IE (including SVG and Canvas).

    (3) Makes web developers lives easier.

    (4) Most of the web already works with Webkit.

    (5) Continue to support Trident as a backcompat option / plugin.

    You can add D2D support to Webkit and as a result all Webkit web browsers will run excellent on Windows.

  102. Anonymous says:

    After 40+ years in the industry, much of it working with and on standards committees, the old adage still rings true:

    "The best way to manipulate a standard for your own purposes is to join the standards committee – preferable volunteering for the position of secretary – no one likes that job, and whatever the minutes say becomes what ‘happened’ and can be used to justify whatever you want to have happened".

    I watched the likes of IBM, Sun, and others do exactly that time and time again…

  103. Anonymous says:

    Agree completely with Jack Armstrong.

    Why are so many people happy that MS has joined a working group? No reason whatsoever, they are also the first in line. Probably all MS-employees. MS has done nothing to implement SVG so stop cheering about it.

  104. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft continues its charade of caring about getting W3C specs right and deleting, er, I mean engaging with others. Did I mention how laughable this is?

  105. Joannes Vermorel says:

    I am really looking forward SVG support in IE9. We have been stuck for years with FF just because of that πŸ™‚

  106. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe nobody even mentioned Raphael yet!

    http://raphaeljs.com/

    It’s dynamic vector graphics only, but I find it more… stable temporary solution than svgweb, which has to use flash to get svg support in IE.  Yeah, it has a VML backend instead of flash, but I prefer it because I don’t like using proprietary code that I can only edit on a proprietary IDE on a proprietary Operating System.  I’ll take VML over Flash, but SVG support is king!

    Currently, I’m building a GWT wrapper for Raphael so I can compile VML / SVG support into split packages to reduce bandwidth…  And if I get really ambitious, I’d like to feed it fragments of SVG that I can AJAX in only when needed…

    But if there was even a hope of native svg support in the next two years for ie9, I could work on something less… temporary?  PLEASE MSFT!!  …Please?

  107. Anonymous says:

    NilX – you don’t have to write proprietary code with SVG Web, you just write plain SVG and it works.  That’s the point.  If IE9 comes out with SVG support your code will still work in that browser without SVGWeb and you have zero work to do.

  108. Anonymous says:

    Thats is great to hear microsoft has join svg workgroup, just keep going microsoft, thanks for letting us now, i hope you are going to do more in this year.

  109. Anonymous says:

    Wow, please make IE support this ASAP.

  110. Anonymous says:

    @nitro

    Look at this!!!

    http://www.chromeexperiments.com/

    Much better πŸ™‚

  111. Anonymous says:

    great news.

    I hope the MS contribution to SVG is positive, cooperative and  truly interoperable and implemented! and that  tactics like those used around OOXML are left in the past

  112. Anonymous says:

    @nitro: even MS declared VML as deprecated and kept for compatibility reasons only (citing MSO-OXML ISO-29500), meaning it has seen no improvement since 1999. SVG was built as a superset of VML’s functionalities with an XML compatible syntax.

    Which doesn’t make it unable to do nice stuff, the same way you can still make nice websites using tag soup in Netscape 4.

  113. Anonymous says:

    Until IE9/Next does support SVG and Canvas and all the nice HTML5 stuff – can the Google Frame addon provide access to all of the good stuff?  If so, please do not rush your implementation – make sure it is solid before releasing it.

    Jake

  114. Anonymous says:

    While SVG support in IE would, of course, be lovely (so late as to be almost pointless, but lovely nonetheless), I can’t help but wonder if anyone else here remembers what happened the last time the IE team tried to stick their fingers into web standardization–we got the execrable X-UA-Compatible proposal.

    I have very, very low expectations. After spending nearly a decade destroying hopes for an open and interoperable web and makign the lives of designers absolutely miserable, wasting likely millions of man-hours of labor in interminable compatibility testing… we’re to believe that there’s been a change of heart.

    I am preparing for disappointment.

  115. Anonymous says:

    @grendelkhan: X-UA-Compatible isn’t execrable.

    That meta-tag has the merit:

    – of following standards for generic syntax

    – of following agreed-on practices for proprietary extensions

    – of not being actually needed as long as you program your website correctly: its use is limited to removing the compatibility button if your page uses valid code.

    Right now, it presents an advantage:

    – you can override site-wide server headers, zone policy and the MS-maintained compatibility list with it

    – as a meta tag, it is completely transparent to UAs that could care less about it.

    It was making it a required code snippet for IE’s better mode that stank. Fortunately that lousy idea was overturned.

    For me, it ranks up there with conditional comments: don’t use it if you don’t want it, but they make correcting IE’s failings much easier.

  116. @Mitch: Well explained, thank you.

  117. Anonymous says:

    WOW. You’re only over 9,000 years late Microsoft. Why do you guys even bother anymore?

    To keep anti-virus companies on the market?

  118. Anonymous says:

    @ Patrick Dengler [MSFT]

    Joining the SVG Working Group is one thing.

    Actually implementing correctly and completely SVG 1.1 into IE 9 is another which requires huge investment, dedicated efforts, maintained perseverance, budget, etc.

    Fixing known, reproducible, testcase-ed SVG support bugs and actually fixing/correcting SVG implementation bugs is another. This is exactly and precisely where Microsoft, in the previous decade, has proven to be weak, erratic, double-talking, inconsistent, "all-show-but-no-go", unreliable, inconsequent, incoherent and not trustworthy (eg security bugs, HTML 4, CSS 2.x, DHTML, DOM 2, UAAG, ECMAScript).

    Catching all other SVG-capable browsers out there

    http://www.codedread.com/svg-support.php

    is another. Like others have said, IE is probably 6 years behind every other browser out there.

    @ Mitch 74

    >  I wonder, what part of CSS 2.1 isn’t Firefox supporting correctly?

    developer.mozilla.org/en/Mozilla_CSS_support_chart

    says display: run-in, page-break-*, widows, orphans, @page and there are bugs too.

    > LONGDESC is not supported in IE at all.

    Well, there is support of it in IE8.

    "The target of the longDesc attribute is now displayed as the tooltip, if present; otherwise, the title is displayed."

    msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms534132(VS.85).aspx

    regards, Gérard Talbot

  119. Anonymous says:

    @ Mitch 74

    > That meta-tag has the merit:

    It has many drawbacks, consequences (short and long term), many issues and problems too.

    > That meta-tag has the merit: of following standards for generic syntax

    I’m not perfectly sure what you mean here… but I know that a web author should not need a meta-tag in order to trigger best web standards compliance. Otherwise, the W3C would have made that clear. No other browser vendors has followed Microsoft on the inclusion of such meta-tag. So the web is fragmented here, not united, not in perfect coding harmony/coherence.

    > That meta-tag has the merit: of following agreed-on practices for proprietary extensions

    Anything that contributes to fragment and divide how browsers operate eventually wrt W3C web standards are reasons why web authors are fed up with having to code for more browsers and browser versions. More time, more debugging, more testing because of browsers particularities adds up to make website dev. more expensive. In the long run, accessibility suffers as well.

    > That meta-tag has the merit: of not being actually needed as long as you program your website correctly (…)

    Well, then why not invest into creating assisting dev. software tools (and documentation and tutorials, etc) to help web authors to make/to upgrade a website to conform to web standards instead of implementing a complex meta-tag system (button, settings, documentation, headers, managed lists, etc) strictly and only for legacy browsers and broken+non-standards IE rendering engines? It would have been the correct choice for now and later, for IE8 or IE9 or IE 10, for IE and for any other web-standards-compliant browsers, therefore for any web author now and later.

    > it presents an advantage: you can override site-wide server headers, zone policy and the MS-maintained compatibility list with it

    This does not help in any way, shape or form to upgrade websites which may need to be upgraded or just maintained. You can sustain website mediocrity with it. It does not empower the web author into using and relying on W3C web standards in any way. It’s not a remedy to any non-web-standards-compliant website: it’s a sophisticated crutch that makes bad markup and CSS code work accordingly well with bad and broken IE rendering engines.

    The meta-tag has drawbacks.

    1- A doctypeless webpage can be made to render in web standards compliant rendering mode, therefore it can and does override doctype switching. So, it can and does create headaches and nightmares. Months before IE8 RTW, this was denounced – loud and clear – by other browser manufacturers.

    2- It’s a sophisticated crutch that does not contribute to a solution by itself or to any remedy to a poorly written webpage. It does not improve (now or later, directly or indirectly) the personal skills of any web author.

    3- It conforts users of older IE versions and contributes to cater for non-web-standards-compliant rendering engines like IE7.

    4- It’s not easy to understand. Try this:

    hsivonen.iki.fi/doctype/#ie8modes

    What’s the difference between

    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=7">

    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=IE7">

    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7">

    ?

    I wouldn’t be able to tell you without testing and searching. Most people wouldn’t either.

    Mitch, if your doctor tells you that you need a lifestyle change, to stop smoking, eat better (less sugar and fat), do physical exercises, etc, then taking some pills, liposuccion, heart surgery,.. still will not meet the fundamental issues at the source of your doctor’s diagnostic.

    regards, Gérard Talbot

  120. Anonymous says:

    Gérard, for a smart guy, you sure waste a lot of time typing up little rants in a web forum that almost no one will ever bother to read. Real web developers build sites for real use and can’t live in an ivory tower. Ivory tower web designers, on the other hand, aren’t hanging out on the IE blog.

    Do you really have nothing better to do with your time than stamp your feet here?

  121. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft has joined SVG Working Group? Cool! That means will have native SVG support in Internet Explorer 23 or 24. Yaaaaaaaaay!

  122. Anonymous says:

    "Microsoft’s continued commitment to interoperability and standards support" … is that a joke?