Anne van Kesteren


Here’s the VML standard if folks are interested:

This is a very vague spec. It does, however, seem much better than SVG.

According to Google Trends people are more interested in SVG for what it’s worth, but as noted somewhere in the past on the WHATWG mailing list by Olav Junker Kjær VML does integrate with HTML et cetera, which is a good thing given that the whole web uses text/html. Looking at the VML W3C Member submission it seems like they had some pretty nice ideas. Not sure it’s ever going to work though given the amount of companies that have (heavily) invested in SVG.


  1. Less is more.

    Posted by Sjoerd Visscher at

  2. Don't several Microsoft products (such as the Live mapping services) use VML? And didn't Google Maps start using SVG for drawing its mapping as a response to that technology?

    Posted by Rahul at

  3. Google was using VML in Internet Explorer for their map software and recently stopped using transparent PNG files generated on the server for Firefox and Opera I believe, replacing that approach with something SVG based. I have not actually verified that though.

    Posted by Anne at

  4. Yes that thing called Microsoft FrontPage used VML as I've had the experience in the past of removing it from so web pages I'd been given to fix; where it had been used for some rather tacky things.

    Posted by Robert Wellock at

  5. Going by the same source, VRML is still rather more popular than VML, and Flash presents a big hurdle for SVG to clear.

    Posted by Leo Petr at

  6. I believe VML is also used internally by most Microsoft Office products. You can save documents with drawings in them as HTML.

    I like VML for its integration with HTML too, but no, I don't think VML is "going to work" because: a) no one else has implemented it, all browser vendors are currently working on SVG, b) Microsoft is no longer developing it, c) Microsoft is focusing their efforts on XAML.

    Posted by Jeff Schiller at

  7. You need something to make it with and everyone else needs something that can display it.

    VML doesn't have that. The text/html thing is indeed helpful, but a vague spec could really, really hurt it.

    Posted by James AkaXakA at

  8. Y'all keep using the present tense. This NOTE is nearly 6 years old. I wonder how many members of the listed working group are still employed at Microsoft. In any case, it doesn't sound like there was enough interest (either at Microsoft or elsewhere) to carry the work forward.

    Posted by Jacques Distler at

  9. Google has made freely available a script that converts canvas to vml; others are transcoding svg into vml.

    I recently made an interactive map that uses the coordinates stored in an old-style image-map to create svg graphics for Firefox, Opera and Safari (soon), and vml for Internet Explorer.

    A demo is currently available at: http://ø

    Has anyone else done this before? Do you know a better or more elegant method?

    Posted by & at