SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an XML specification and file format for describing two-dimensional vector graphics, both static and animated. SVG can be purely declarative or may include scripting. Images can contain hyperlinks using outbound simple XLinks.[2] It is an open standard created by the World Wide Web Consortium's SVG Working Group.

SVG was developed during the period 19992000 by a group of companies within the W3C after the competing standards PGML (developed from Adobe's PostScript) and VML (developed from Microsoft's RTF), both submitted to W3C in 1998, could not gain enough support for ratification. SVG was initially based on both those formats.

SVG images, being XML, contain many repeated fragments of text and are thus particularly suited to compression by gzip, though other compression methods may be used effectively. Once an SVG image has been compressed by gzip it may be referred to as an "SVGZ" image; with the corresponding filename extension. The resulting file may be as small as 20%[7] of the original size.

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Because of industry demand, two mobile profiles were introduced with SVG 1.1: SVG Tiny (SVGT) and SVG Basic (SVGB). These are subsets of the full SVG standard, mainly intended for user agents with limited capabilities. In particular, SVG Tiny was defined for highly restricted mobile devices such as cellphones, and SVG Basic was defined for higher-level mobile devices, such as PDAs.

Filter effects are defined by filter elements. To apply a filter effect to a graphics element or a container element the 'filter' property is set on a given element. Each 'filter' element contains a set of filter primitives as its children. Each filter primitive performs a single fundamental graphical operation (e.g., a Gaussian blur or a lighting effect) on one or more inputs, producing a graphical result. Because most of the filter primitives represent some form of image processing, in most cases the output from a filter primitive is a single RGBA bitmap image (however, it will be regenerated if a higher resolution is called on).

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There are several advantages to native support, among which are no need for the installation of a plugin, the ability to freely mix SVG with other formats in a single document, and rendering scripting between different document formats considerably more reliable. At this time all major browsers have committed to some level of SVG support except for Internet Explorer, yet the implementations are lacking in consistency and completeness. See Comparison of layout engines for further details.

The most widely available SVG plugin on the desktop is from Adobe Systems and supports most of SVG 1.0/1.1. However, Adobe will discontinue support for Adobe SVG Viewer on January 1, 2009.[18][19] For Safari, the Adobe plugin supports only the PowerPC platform. For Safari on Intel machines, Safari must run under Rosetta for the Adobe plugin to work.