Opera Adds SVGT Support on Desktop Too

by Antoine Quint

Related link: http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/en/2005/03/16/

Opera, the desktop and mobile browser maker, has just announced it is adding SVG Tiny support to their desktop browser. This is a very significant announcement as this makes Opera the first desktop browser to announce default support for a standard profile of SVG. This announcement also builds on last month's announcement that Opera was adding support for Ikivo's SVG Tiny viewer for their mobile browser.

Opera is actually not the first browser vendor to look at SVG. Mozilla have an SVG project that is well advanced already, providing SVG-enabled builds for both the Mozilla suite and Firefox. Also, the KSVG have been working hard on brining SVG support to Konqueror and the whole KDE 3.2 platform. But what makes the Opera announcement a breakthrough is that they're the first one to add SVG natively, default and with announced compliance to a W3C specification, in this case SVG Tiny. So far both the Mozilla and KSVG offerings are made available as optional packages or alternate builds as development continues.

However, I think it is important to note that this doesn't necessarily mean a lot of changes in the purely technical front. So far it doesn't look like Opera's SVG support is adding anything to what you could already have had running for years with most desktop browsers with the Adobe SVG Viewer. Indeed, Opera supports a (very popular) subset of SVG, SVG Tiny, and apparently only supports SVG as embedded within (X)HTML using the <object> or a similar mechanism. But I can only applaud Opera's decision and recognition of SVG as a strong standard for the Web.

But these technical considerations cannot cloud this amazing announcement. In my opinion it is still very significant as it ties in with a general renewal of innovation in the browser. 2004 was a big year with the release of Firefox, and recently Apple also brought us Safari and more exposure to KHTML's rendering engine. I'm waiting to see what impact Opera's decision to add SVG as a part of their Web rendering platform will have on other browsers out there (although I'm not holding my breath for SVG in IE7).

Well done Opera!


2005-03-17 09:10:29
XHTML with SVG embedded inline in the proper namespace seems to be also supported
At least the following simple test with a mixed namespace XHTML document with SVG elements renders fine in Opera 8.00 Beta 3 so it seems Opera does not only support HTML/XHTML with SVG linked in with an element but mixed namespace documents work as well.
2005-03-17 09:17:25
XHTML with SVG embedded inline in the proper namespace seems to be also supported
I forgot to mention that the example properly rendering the static SVG embedded inline in XHTML also contains script to try the change the fill color of the SVG circle from the XHTML document but that doesn't work with Opera (while it works in SVG enabled Mozilla builds).
2005-03-17 09:30:39
XHTML with SVG embedded inline in the proper namespace seems to be also supported
Thanks Martin for this useful feedback. I have corrected the article. I have not been able to try the beta build myself as it is available on Windows only for now. I'll try to do a more complete write-up when I get some time with it.
2005-03-17 13:12:49
XHTML with SVG embedded inline in the proper namespace seems to be also supported
That statement was soo yesterday. Today you can get beta 3 for Linux.
Christian Weilbach
2006-03-23 05:21:31
Sorry, but Konqueror ist the first browser to support SVG by default and there is no difference between using KSVG as a KPart or using it as an embedded Module in the Opera install base for viewing special XML parts. Every standard KDE installation since 3.2 has KSVG support included. I think it is much more an advantage to have an SVG viewer integrated in the desktop environment than just in a browser.
Opera SVG support is great since there is build for windows, too. Additionally alternatives are always great.