SVG in Internet Explorer 9
When Microsoft joined the SVG Working Group (w3c) in the beginning of 2010, John Gruber pointed out that Bill Clinton was president of the United States when SVG started. So a decade later Microsoft adds SVG support to its once dominant browser. Today’s announcement at Microsoft’s web developer conference MIX on the features of Internet Explorer 9 (ie9) was more of a relief than a surprise (read e.g. Zeldman's take).
This site has been involved a tiny bit as one of the election atlas maps has been made available in such a manner that it works with today’s release of the developer preview of ie9 (watch Microsoft Product Manager Patrick Dengler demo that atlas). It is telling how much of a chicken and egg problem people face when talking about SVG that Microsoft had to reach out to small countries and even smaller websites to get hold of some SVG examples to show off. And may I add that this map had already been working in 2004.
Now that they’re in the game it’ll be interesting to watch how the adoption of SVG develops. It is a first step but one has to watch carefully. The current implementation in ie9 lacks several aspects of SVG, e.g. the viewbox attribute, which is very important to GIS applications. Let’s hope it was just a matter of what could get done in time for the conference, but we have seen otherwise before. Also with ie9 becoming a developing target for SVG apps a few other headaches will occur. The event model in ie differs from Mozilla’s implementation and there’s probably more to surface once you start going cross browser compatibility.
On the other hand the MIX10 keynote on day one heavily emphasized Silverlight 4. While this goes pretty much against the spirit of open standards, one has to admit upon seeing the ease of use of a visual authoring tool like Expression Blend 4, that this is what might be missing the most before SVG can really enter the mainstream.