Wednesday, 9 February 2011

SVG for Web Development over Other Graphic Formats, is it the Future?

Did you know that SVG is a W3C Recommended graphic format? Most of us and even the web developers are not aware of the SVG existence.

W3C are the ones de that developed web standards that is now being complied with different browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Opera. This means that their recommendation is surely reliable and a lesser pain to several developers as it complies with what the browser standard wants.

SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. It is a graphic format defined purely by XML (Extensible Markup Language).

According to W3C:

SVG files can be read and modified by a large range of tools (e.g. notepad)
SVG files are smaller and more compressible than JPEG and GIF images
SVG images are scalable
SVG images can be printed with high quality at any resolution
SVG images are zoomable (and the image can be zoomed without degradation)
Text in SVG is selectable and searchable (excellent for making maps)
SVG works with Java technology
SVG is an open standard
SVG files are pure XML

Also, see graphic resolution difference below:
SVG for Web Development

If you see the image comparison above, you can obviously evaluate that SVG has better graphic resolution than jpeg, gif and png. Even down to smaller and compressible size. SVG can also be edited either via graphic tools or via text editors. This is a big convenience, as you do not need graphic tools to chop and sort parts of your graphic layout just to create an artistic page template. Since it is text readable, you can also easily put codes, links and animations on different parts directly from your SVG file.

The main competition of SVG is Flash and Silverlight. Never the less, many developers are already familiar with these applications, especially flash. However, the advantage of SVG over Flash and Silverlight is that because of its pure XML nature, your browser will not require plugins anymore. If you were a designer, a developer or even a website visitor, you would rather choose a media presentation that will not ask any plugin installations.

On the other hand, because Microsoft wants us to use Silverlight, they do not include the viewing compatibility of SVG to Internet Explorer. However, since IE9 recently topped the W3C Test Measures over Firefox and other browsers, they might give way to SVG as well.
 This is no longer an issue to some developers as libraries are available for SVG displays in IE. Just a few library usage efforts and you will have lesser IE headaches.

Those who are aware of  SVG and its usage advantages for the web development, predict that SVG is the future of Web Graphics Development. Users are getting more used to Flash and Silverlight, but if SVG awareness would increase and more beautiful animated sites would be created, then can this truly be the future of web graphic developments?

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