Followup on Internet Explorer Interview

On the heels of my interview with IE9′s Patrick Dengler, I got some private feedback that was critical of Microsoft for not supporting all of SVG 1.1 in their first SVG implementation.

To put it into perspective, there is no browser that supported all of SVG 1.1 in its first SVG release. In fact, there is no browser today that supports all of SVG 1.1. Opera, Firefox, and WebKit all have missing pieces… and their early releases of SVG support were missing the same bits of SVG as IE9 will: filters, declarative animation, and SVG Fonts. Mozilla has even stated that they do not intend to support SVG Fonts at all (pending more concrete community feedback).

But they all support a very large, functional subset of SVG 1.1, and I’m very excited that IE9 will add as much SVG as they have announced. This means that developers and designers can use the vast majority of SVG 1.1 in their content.

Does this mean that what IE9 supports is all I ever expect from IE. Of course not. At the very least, I want to see filters and some sort of declarative animation in IE10. And I’ve heard from Patrick that they are listening very closely to the developer community, so if you want those features too, then be vocal about it.

But it’s silly to hold Microsoft to a higher standard than the other browser vendors, for their first release. Everyone, even Microsoft, has limited resources, so I’d have been stunned if they did all of SVG 1.1 in IE9. And I’ll be surprised if they are missing features like filters and animation in IE10.

Another way to look at this is that once IE ships support for something, it is next to impossible for them to change it (maybe even more than other browser vendors). Since the SVG WG intends to coordinate with the CSS WG to make some changes to animation and to extend filters, it’s probably best that IE9 doesn’t lock those into their current states. Microsoft is participating in that process, so I’m confident that whatever emerges will end up in a future release of Internet Explorer.

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