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Q1:Why would I use SVG instead of Flash?
A1: SVG and Flash are really not the comparable technologies that most people think they are. Flash was designed for vector animation, whereas SVG was designed to present XML content in a vector format. As such, if you have a data-intensive project, SVG is likely the choice for you. If you are trying to create a Simpsons-like animation for the Web, then Flash is most likely your choice for the time being. As SVG viewers mature in the future, SVG may become a more suitable contender to Flash's animation prowess.
Q2:When will SVG ship with a browser?
A2: SVG is already part of some browsers. Both Amaya and X-Smiles are SVG-capable browsers available to the market. As far as mass-market popular browser vendors, such as Netscape and Microsoft, support is still a ways off. Netscape's Mozilla project has a team working on SVG support (code-named “Croczilla”) for the Mac, PC, and Linux. Microsoft has yet to announce support for SVG in its Internet Explorer browser.
Q3:Why won't JavaScript animate my SVG file on the Macintosh in Internet Explorer?
A3: The Macintosh version of Internet Explorer is plagued with an inability for plug-ins to communicate with the browser, and vice versa, via JavaScript. Due to this, many complex functions and animations that are actually handled via JavaScript functions are unable to play back in this browser. Macintosh users should use Netscape 4.78 to see such SVG content.
Q4:Do I have to know XML to use SVG?
A4: Technically, you do not need to know XML to author SVG. Because SVG is an XML grammar, as you learn SVG you will be learning rules inherent to XML itself. However, because SVG is required to conform to XML's syntax, it is in your best interest to at least get a cursory knowledge of the technology.
Q5:What software do I need to run SVG?
A5: SVG doesn't actually “run” like an application on your computer. Rather, it is a markup language that can be interpreted (read) and parsed (displayed) by a viewer mechanism. A viewer can be either a standalone application or a component of another application. Currently, the most widely used viewer is the Adobe SVG Viewer, a plug-in available for Mac and PC Web browsers.
Q6:Who created SVG?
A6: SVG was developed by the W3C, the standards body responsible for delivering recommendations for a variety of Web technologies. Dr. Chris Lilley of the W3C heads the group responsible for SVG. The group is composed of experts from a variety of fields and from companies that have an interest in successful deployment of graphics technology on the Web. Companies such as Adobe, Kodak, IBM, Macromedia, and more have active members participating in the group.
Q7:Is it illegal to publish a typeface as an SVG font?
A7: This is a rather murky area. SVG fonts are designed for display only within SVG viewers and, according to the recommendation, are not to be interpreted by a code editor.

As each type foundry defines its own release terms, you should check to make sure you are allowed to export their fonts as either SVG or CEF fonts before you publish them with your documents. Though most foundries (including Adobe's large collection) allow the encapsulization of their typefaces for Web publishing, you should consider contacting them (through either email or letter to their customer service department).

Q8:How secure is SVG data?
A8: As you've seen, SVG code is markup text, similar to HTML, and is thus visible to anyone who can view your document. At present, there is no reliable way to secure your SVG data so that no one is able to see the code across all viewers.

Open access to code is not unique to SVG, however. The code of nearly all open-standard markup languages, such as XML and HTML, is accessible through their respective viewers (such as a Web browser). By allowing code to be viewable, other developers (such as yourself) are able to understand how the author achieved the results.

Even more, you can copy code from another SVG file and paste it into your own. By opening the access to this code, you can manipulate others' code to better understand its function.

Q9:Do I need a plug-in to view SVG?
A9: SVG requires a rendering engine, referred to as a “viewer,” to interpret code and display its intended results. Viewers can take a variety of forms, such as a standalone application, a browser plug-in, or a Java class. The W3C recommendation does not confine software vendors to a particular form for a viewer; rather, it specifies what functions a viewer must be able to perform.

Some applications (such as Amaya and Batik) have SVG rendering functionality within their frameworks and thus do not need a plug-in. Presently, though, a plug-in is required to view SVG within the most popular Web browsers and is the most common method people currently use to experience SVG.

Q10:What are SVG's compatability issues?
A10: SVG is an open standard, and as such, anyone can create a viewer or editor for SVG documents without paying the W3C royalties or requiring permission. As such, the only thing preventing widespread use of the technology is a lack of developers interested in making applications for the technology. Currently, there are solutions available on Macintosh, Windows, and Linux platforms, as well as PalmOS, PocketPC, RIM, and Agenda. Not every platform has the same support; for instance, the handheld platforms have an ability to view SVG, but not create it.
Q11:Can I use SVG on a wireless device?
A11: BitFlash, a software vendor working to bring advanced graphics technology to handheld devices, has successfully demonstrated rendering SVG content on wireless devices. Their software serves as a SVG viewer for these units, allowing more advanced graphics to be displayed. Widespread use of SVG in such applications has yet to materialize, but the technology is feasible. To read more about BitFlash and their products, you can visit www.bitflash.com.
Q12:Do I always have to write my SVG code by hand?
A12: Though having a firm knowledge of SVG's markup language will better equip you to manipulate SVG code to your desire, you can use WYSIWYG editors to create your SVG content. Programs such as Adobe Illustrator (versions 9 and 10) and InDesign 2, CorelDraw 10, and JASC WebDraw all allow visual interfaces to SVG authoring.



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