SVG is dead. Long live SVG!

Well the recent announcement by Adobe to discontinue support  for the 
Adobe SVG Viewer (ASV) http://www.adobe.com/svg/eol.html ,
http://www.adobe.com/svg/pdfs/ASV_EOL_FAQ.pdf , definitely causes a
pause for people who want to use SVG in their applications.



I can see two reasons for them to do this,



One: HTML + SVG based applications , especially with the inclusion of
AJAX based scripting between the two directly compete against the the
Macromedia Flex/Flash product so it makes sense for Adobe to not
support a free SVG viewer, in fact at the end of pdf that is pretty much
specifically stated.



Two: Adobe was giving Microsoft a free ride, with most browsers supporting SVG directly as a W3C standard .



Firefox http://www.mozilla.org/projects/svg/

Safari http://webkit.org/projects/svg/index.html

Opera http://www.opera.com/products/desktop/svg/



the 800 pound gorilla missing from that list of course is Internet
Explorer (IE) with the only viable, at the moment, SVG plugin being
provided for IE being of course the ASV.





So whats a developer to do? First and foremost








Though support is being withdrawn on January 1, 2007 when was the last
time you called Adobe for support on the SVG Viewer? A slightly bigger
problem is that they will be removing the downloads on January 1, 2008
. Considering they have been pushing this technology for years it's
pretty rude to pull support and downloads so quickly and with so little
notice and timeframe but what do you do?





Well write an email or two.



One to Adobe explaining as a developer that depends on their provided
viewer which they themselves pushed fairly heavily removing supports
and more importantly downloads in such a short timeframe puts you in an
uncomfortable position. A bit more community support and time to allow
the community to find valid alternatives is just plain good business
and will allow you to continue to look at Adobe products in a positive
light. Sure they want to push people to FLEX but for many applications
and organizations  that is not a viable option.



Second one to the IE development team.  SVG is a W3C standard and with
other browsers are moving quickly to supporting the full SVG set. IE
doing the same and quickly is just plain good sense especially since it
will help cut the legs out of the Adobe FLEX competition to html based
web applications which IE has a huge share of the market.





I'm sure there will be some twists and turns to this issue over the
next couple months as people wrap their heads around what is happening
but most the big browsers will support SVG natively and as a W3C
standard it's not going away anytime soon.  And well you can finally
just use FF, Opera or Safari they are better browsers anyway.



The APEX team will be researching alternatives and planning for the future :)

Updates to follow I'm sure!

Carl

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