SVG in the market place

In this week's Web Design article, I introduced SVG or
"Scalable Vector Graphics" and how it is going significantly
change the way we design and view web pages. How is this
going to affect the business side of the Internet and what
will it mean to you?

One of the first things many of you will notice about SVG is
that many aspects of it sound very similar to Flash from

Macromedia. Flash is also a vector based graphic format that
has become popular with many Web Designers. Although SVG will
add many capabilities that are not directly available in
Flash, by far the biggest difference between Flash and SVG is
that the former is proprietary and the latter is public.

It is consequently no coincidence that companies like Adobe
are jumping on the SVG bandwagon. As I mentioned in the Web
Design article, vector based graphics are the most obvious
way to deal with the bandwidth restrictions of the Internet.
Regardless of the limitations in Flash, it has been enjoying
an increase in popularity simply due to the natural
advantages of vector-based technology in this medium. This
natural advantage means that any company that wishes to be a
major supplier to this industry is going to be under pressure
to provide vector-based capabilities.

In this instance, although
Macromedia owns Flash and can
restrict it use, it has no such claim to vector based
technology. Vector based graphics were around long before

Macromedia. Other companies and educational institutions have
already done the vast majority of the technical development
in this field. Flash's biggest advantage is that it is has
already been installed on a lot of computer systems. I cannot
see however, how this can save it as a proprietary standard.
Too many companies are already committed to providing vector
based graphics over the Internet and an open standard is by
far the best way to do that.

This kind of fundamental change in technology means that the
entire industry is going to be in a significant state of flux
for some time. As SVG is developed and gains popularity, the
Web Browsers, support companies, content providers and many
others in the business are going to jockey for position.
Already Adobe has sued
Macromedia for copyright infringement
on their user interface.

For the Internet entrepreneur, this may seem like an
interesting sideshow but why should it affect you? Technology
and the companies that provide it are constantly changing.

This kind of fundamental change in technology can have a
significant affect on how you do business as well as to
provide you with some possible business opportunities.

With limited resources (everyone's resources are limited even
Microsoft's) it can be expensive to make the wrong
commitment. I do not mean that you should be concerned about
using SVG or Flash. SVG is not yet available and anything you
produce with Flash is probably going to need changing long
before you need to worry about any changes to the technology.
The bigger risk comes from making a major commitment to a
business or market that is dependent on a specific

For most of us this risk is probably minor while the
opportunities can be major. SVG for example uses the same XML
technology that drives WML. As some of you may recall, WML is
the basis for designing graphics for Wireless devices.
Several past articles on WAP and WML are posted at:

If you are a web designer, being the first design house to
offer SVG designs that are compatible with both Wireless and
Web sites could be a significant advantage. Even if you are
not, SVG could be a significant factor in how you present your
products and services over the Internet and to Wireless

As an Internet Entrepreneur, it is to your advantage to be
aware of the technical changes that are taking place and how
they may affect you.

"IMS Web Tips" ISSN 1488-7088
© Copyright 2000 Virtual Mechanics

"IMS Web Tips" is a weekly news letter for all web site managers regardless of experience who are looking for detailed information on creating, maintaining and promoting their web sites.

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