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   Re: [xml-dev] Microsoft and vector graphics (Was:XDocs and XForms?)

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In a message dated 17/10/2002 10:01:57 GMT Daylight Time, joshuaa@microsoft.com writes:

Just my personal opinions, but here goes...


Thanks for the reply.

FWIW, remember that Microsoft happily supports JPG and GIF format graphics in many products, and did not even require "strong backing" within the company to do so.  Personally I do not see how suporting SVG could even remotely be considered a strategic threat or a significant expense.

I was referring to non-SVG-specific issues - the increase in adoption of non-MS technologies by certain governments etc. That would impact general revenues, and at in my guesstimate make the bean counters likely to look very critically at non revenue generating projects. ... Perhaps MS has different internal dynamics than other entities.

  I expect that decision process to support or ignore SVG in the breadth of products

will be based on the same sort of criteria as JPG support evolved in various products -- product decision-makers evaluating new feature capabilities based on what users wanted. (Boring I know -- no "SVG Tidal Wave" memo).

So ... practical question ... how do "users" ... of whom I am one ... make it known to the appropriate people in Microsoft that native SVG support in Internet Explorer is viewed as highly desirable?

I appreciate that the Adobe viewer goes most of the way to provide SVG support in IE but it, as I mentioned in another post, "just stopped". Native, standards-compliant, support of SVG 1.0 in IE would be very useful in my view.

Anyway, it's not as if MSFT makes a strategy of being gratuitously incompatible with de-facto standards.  In this case I doubt the fear of industry pushback would enter the picture nearly so much as simple pragmatic laziness.  Why re-invent the wheel and try to create a market from scratch, when an existing new format is getting critical mass and beginning to represent an attractive market?

Also in my view, SVG seems to be on a successful trajectory.

Glad you think so too. :)

  Many people I know use SVG; even with the crude state of tools, and for dynamic

stuff it sure beats the heck out of trying to generate GIF files on the fly.  The format is not so crippled as to necessitate competitor formats, not so complicated as to be vulnerable to surreptitious propritary lock-in (ala "browser wars", Flash extensions.), not so functional as to frighten any vendors into attempting to sneak in proprietary extensions, and not so difficult as to discourage independent implementors.  It is just a nice, solid, and useful format that people like.

So, not a barbed question, why isn't it in IE already? Lead times? The existence of the Adobe viewer? Something else?

(Now if only Adobe would fix their installer so that the user doesn't have to log into the account named "Administrator" to get the SVG plugin installed, maybe adoption would pick up :-))

Someone posted a solution to that problem on the SVG-Developers list (http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SVG-Developers) a few weeks back. Then the Adobe legal department apparently sent him a "request" to cease making a modified installer available. Sheesh!

I haven't tested this myself but I gather that the beta3 of the Adobe viewer can be installed without admin rights, at least on Win 2K. Then copying the dll for the final version of ASV3 works. As I say, I haven't tested this so test it at your own risk. :)

Why Adobe didn't allow the alternate installer I don't know. I say that realising that it is technically in breach of the EULA. Why not thank the guy for solving a problem? Sometimes I don't understand the mentality of parts of big corporations. <grin/>

Andrew Watt


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