SVG works with FireFox 1.0 on Mac OS X

More than once I have moaned about the lack of useful SVG support in Mozilla browsers such as FireFox. I installed FireFox 1.0 on my PowerBook this morning, and when I visited my front page I was surprised and delighted to see that the SVG graphics are being displayed!

The FireFox logo to the left of this paragraph is an SVG version that weighs in at 12K bytes [when compressed]. Not bad for a fairly detailed image with plenty of graduated tones. If you see a firey fox flying around a big blue marble, then SVG works on your browser, too (otherwise FireFox shows a yellow panel at the top of its window saying you need a plug-in). You can do the usual SVG stuff like dragging the mouse with Control (or the Command key ⌘ on a Mac) to zoom in and with Alt (or Option ⌥) to pan. More importantly (from my point of view), on my front page, the Flickr badge works, complete with declarative animation.

There is one tiny annoyance: the CSS layout is ignored for embed elements (Mozilla bug 236089, I think).

But this is a minor niggle. I am really chuffed that SVG is displayable on Mozilla FireFox (even if only on Mac OS X). I still have ambitions to do a comics entirely in SVG (using some SVG-savvy drawing program rather than crazy old Corel Painter 8). One day...

Update (23 April 2010)

SVG has been re-reimplemented in Firefox since I posted this five years ago. Amongst other differences, the SVG file is displayed like another HTML document in an IFRAME, rather than like an image. One consequence of this is that when I use width="120" height="120 in the EMBED tag, and the image’s natural size is 133×127, then it shows scrollbars rather than resizing the image. Also, the ⌘-drag feature and zoom-in features don’t exist. Declarative animation (SMIL) also does not exist in Firefox.

Also, the 12K bytes referred to is the size of the file when compressed (with Gzip). Back in 2004 the convention was to compress SVG files, give them an .svgz extension, but still serve them as image/svg+xml. This was a kludge to get around the reluctance of web servers to get Gzip compression of HTML and XML files to work consistently. The uncompressed SVG is 48K bytes.