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Painting the Web by Shelley Powers

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Chapter 7. SVG Bootcamp

I have a special place in my heart for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). There’s something satisfying about being able to put together a little XML and get a pretty picture. Better still, you can easily generate that picture on the server or modify it in the client.

The one missing piece from the Web is the ability to embed graphics directly into a page rather than link to them in a separate file, or to embed a graphic and then be able to modify it after the page is loaded. Without this ability we’re dependent on third-party technology, such as Flash or Java applets.

SVG has been a long time coming, too. Work started on this in the last century, but it’s only been in the last few years that mainstream browsers have started implementing at least some parts of SVG. Before, we were dependent on plug-ins, and unfortunately we’re still dependent on a plug-in for Internet Explorer. We have made progress, though, because the other major players—Firefox, Opera, and Safari—have committed to SVG and made a decent start following through on that commitment.

I introduced you to SVG in the last chapter with a “Hello, World!” standalone SVG page. This chapter digs into the concepts introduced in the last chapter. Later in this book, we’ll explore dynamic applications based on SVG.

Tip

This chapter serves as a general introduction to the basic elements of SVG, including some SVG editors. Because of the breadth of topics covered in this book, I can’t go into SVG in the depth it ...

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