Anne van Kesteren


Now Opera 8 beta 3 has been released and the Mozilla SVG Project supports quite some of SVG I started to play with it again. I still don’t really like the language and where it is heading but that can change. I have always thought that SVG should have been some kind of layer for styling elements into vector images. Of course it is cool that you can mix XForms and SVG and create a really nice SVG based calculator, but when you look at the source you see that all semantics are lost. SVG doesn’t have any semantics and therefore it should have never been a language that you could mix with XHTML like you can mix XHTML with MathML or XForms. O well, too late to change that now I guess.

After making some testcases, reading the specification and taking a look at more testcases I found, together with other people some bug in Mozilla and filed it. I also found and filed some SVG and XLink bug, which is basically the same problem Mozilla has with XHTML and XLink; it doesn’t work. I recreated the Dutch flag in SVG. (Original post: Dutch flag in CSS.)

It is quite fun to play with new markup languages.


  1. Side-note: Only a quick look at your trivial SVG example reminded me of one of the problems of XML. Just the first line of your example shows some important structure of your document enclosed inside an attribute value. You will need an additional parser to parse this, an XML parser will not do.

    And this is only a very simple SVG document. Why did the SVG people choose to use XML anyway?

    Sigh, this is really a big flaw. (Yes, I said something about that before on your weblog.)

    Posted by Martijn Vermaat at

  2. If only proper SVG support for Firefox was finally there.

    Posted by Hayo at

  3. Hayo, it looks like Firefox 1.1 will have it, disabled by default though.

    Posted by Anne at

  4. That sounds like partial good news. Why disabled?

    Posted by Hayo at

  5. Adobe's plugin will only render your flag if you send it as image/svg+xml. Just letting you know, I guess it's just the way the plugin system works.

    Posted by Porges at

  6. Hayo, it looks like Firefox 1.1 will have it, disabled by default though.

    Where did you get that from? I haven’t heard anything along those lines, and the implementation of the disabling option alone, although hopeful, doesn’t really say anything...

    But, it would be great! No more having to make my own SVG builds ^_^.

    Btw, your SVG+XForms example crashed my Firefox. Gonna retry in a bit, when I read all my RSS feeds I’m gonna try again (thank god session saver er, saved me), but... Well, let’s hope it was just incidental.


    Posted by Laurens Holst at

  7. I’m following newsgroups. I have asked the developers and such. They hope it will be enabled by then, but for now it is not. I believe there is one bug that holds SVG off from being build along nightly builds. Oh, and Hayo, it is disabled because parts are unstable and not all is implemented.

    Porges, thanks. I might fix that one day. When I browse with something that supports that MIME type natively.

    Posted by Anne at

  8. Ah, Anne, the newsgroups... I just read the blogs, and last I heard about it was in Mitchell’s interview which said nothing about enabling on short term :).

    Hayo: flipping a pref is a helluvalot easier than having to download (or worse: build) a special nightly build though :).


    Posted by Laurens Holst at

  9. Anne: I'm glad you liked the idea behind my little svg+xforms calculator.. but I agree, it's a bit of a hack in it's current form. The plan now (especially assuming things pan out the way I think they will. See beaufour's blog about the new ui architecture.) is to do a bit of xbl binding magic so that you can simply do

    trigger appearance="svgbutton" ...

    It perfectly preserves the xforms and yet gives you the same result I had to hack all together into a mix of "presentation" and "logic".

    Keep hacking at svg.. it's quite addictive.


    Posted by woo at