Web development

SVG-Edit 2.4 released

Apologies for the lack of blog updates, hopefully this big one will make up for the lack of news.

Today, SVG-Edit 2.4 was released. It’s a free web-based vector graphics editor that uses only open web technologies to operate, making it work on all modern web browsers. The 2.4 version (code named Arbelos) introduces powerful new tools including the ability to zoom, make curved paths, and organize shapes using groups and layers, as well as many other smaller features.

Since the editor runs directly from the browser, you can give it a whirl right now just by visiting the demo page. If you’d like to learn more about it first, feel free to watch Jeff Schiller‘s excellent intro video (v 2.2), as well as the first and second parts of the new features in 2.4.

As a project that uses HTML, CSS, SVG, JavaScript and the jQuery library, it’s been the perfect project for me to contribute to. I’ve learned a lot of new things about these technologies, and got my first experience in working with others on a true open source project. I’m very grateful to Jeff for inviting me to help out on the project, and for recently allowing me to be one of the project owners of SVG-Edit. I’d also like to thank our lead tester wormsxulla both for filing so many issues, as well as for attracting translators willing to help translate SVG-Edit into eight different languages.

I hope SVG-Edit provides people with a fast and easy to use tool to create their SVG images without requiring an installation process. Please let me or anyone else from the project know if you find any bugs, have any suggestions or would like to contribute. Thanks!

Web development

Why IE9 will support SVG

UPDATE: More reasons added thanks to promising news

After putting some thought it in, I believe there’s a very good chance that IE9 will include native SVG support. Here’s my reasoning:

  1. The EU’s pressure on MS to support more standards in IE.
  2. There’s few other really stable specifications left unsupported in IE8.
  3. SVG Web library should increase SVG usage on web, more usage means more reason for MS to support it.
  4. With SVG Web around, any potential competition with Silverlight should be a non-issue.
  5. [September 19] Microsoft becomes a sponsor of SVG Open 2009. Several IE members are seen attending panels.
  6. [November 12] Microsoft sends their first email to the public SVG working group mailing list

What do you think?

Web development

SVG Update

SVG logo
I’m a big fan of SVG, and have in the past worked on several projects involving the format. I haven’t really done anything with it recently though, but there’s been important developments recently that I feel really deserve mentioning.


SVG Web – Is a brand new work-in-progress but highly advanced JavaScript library that provides support for SVG in Internet Explorer (using Flash).

This is especially nice because getting SVG to show in IE before required users to either install the (no longer supported) Adobe plug-in, or to render it as another graphic file. No more! Since so many people already have Flash, it’s a great way to bring SVG to the masses.

The other advantage to this is that more SVG on the web will encourage Microsoft to support it natively in IE9, since one of their arguments for not supporting it has been that it’s not prevalent enough. Native support may also mean SVG-in-CSS support, which is something else I’m a big fan of and which can unfortunately not be emulated using the SVG Web library.


Anyone that has created an SVG file using GUI software and then opened the file in a text editor will have noticed large amounts of redundant data. The data makes sense for the editor, but is really wasteful when you want to use the file on the web.

Enter Jeff Schiller‘s Scour. This Python script parses SVG files, removes all unnecessary data, and leaves a nice, clean, minimal file that looks exactly the same as the original. If you’ve used “Save for web” in Photoshop before, you get the idea.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your Inkscape, design a masterpiece, Scour it, SVG-Web it, and share your vectory goodness with the world!

Web development

Fyrdility 2.0

Picture of new designFyrdility has a new design. Hope you like it!

I actually took some time with this one, rather than just incrementally making changes as I had before. I’m likely to still tweak it here and there, but I’m happy with the overall design as it is right now.

The design uses the same basic colors as the last one, while being (hopefully) more visually appealing. There’s also less experimentation (currently no border-radius or SVG background image), since I wanted to keep most features cross-browser compatible. However, IE6 support is gone, as you may have suspected from all the alpha-transparent PNGs. As my IE6 visitor usage is under 2%, it’s a privilege I am thankfully able to afford.

Note that future changes/additions will likely see more SVG/CSS3 features, since I am a big believer these technologies as well as the use of progressive enhancement. I just want to make sure I put them to proper use, and not just for sake of it (as I have been guilty of before).

I’d also like to add more interface improvements, as I love working with jQuery and improving the visitor experience. The biggest challenge I suspect is to find a way to improve things for visitors that are already used to standard blog/website conventions. I myself am not a fan of new features on sites that should make the experience better, but end up just confusing me or that give a sense of disorientation.

Your feedback is appreciated, especially let me know if you notice any accessibility issues or you feel your experience could be improved somehow.