Technologies for the Near Future
Read all about SVG and the W3C's
SVG Activity at the W3C web site.
- What is it?
- Scalable Vector Graphics is a new format for images on the Web.
Traditional formats such as JPEG, PNG and GIF are raster-based, that is
they are encoded as a series of coloured dots. Vector graphics are
encoded as a description of lines and curves, which means they can be
enlarged and reduced to any size without loss of image quality (subject
to limitations of the screen or printer rendering them). The following
example shows a small SVG and a small PNG image, and the same images
|Small PNG image:
|Small SVG image:
|Enlarged PNG image:
|Enlarged SVG image:
- Who is using it?
- There are a number of authoring packages and SVG players available for
Windows, Linux, Java, and other systems. There are also plug-ins for
browsers which are expected to be available when SVG becomes a W3C
Recommendation (it is currently a Working Draft) sometime this
- Where is it going?
- Work is being done to include SVG support directly in Mozilla (the
next generation Netscape browser), Gnome (a GUI interface for Unix and
linux) and other software. Experimental work is also being done using
SVG to provide self-describing graphics for blind users, and very
preliminary work is looking at SVG as an image format well suited to
mobile devices such as web-enabled mobile phones.
This page was produced by Charles
McCathieNevile of W3C as part of a presentation for online@RMIT. All responsibility for
errors rests with the author.