Will Adobe still support SVG?

I am scared by the new alliance between Adobe and Macromedia. What will happen to SVG after this merger? Some critics are already foreseeing the wonderful integration of Flash and SVG to form a new standards-friendly product. And while it is true that Adobe was a strong supporter of SVG, that was only because they needed something to match the popularity of Flash.

Flash is a proprietary product but it has a much larger installed user base than SVG. And now that Adobe owns Flash would it make any sense to push for an open standard? Well, I think they won’t. It would be no surprise if Adobe drops support for SVG entirely and focuses on providing a better Flash solution that could monopolize the whole market. Under these circumstances the Adobe SVG Viewer, the best available SVG viewer (maybe excepting Batik Squiggle) might not have a future at all and this could be a big setback for SVG.

The recent adoption of SVG by two major web browsers (Opera 8.0 and the upcoming Firefox 1.1) is most encouraging. Although the implementations will not be perfect right from the start, they will surely improve over time and they could counteract any move from Adobe. At least that is where my hope is.

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8 Responses to Will Adobe still support SVG?

  1. From the merger FAQ

    How does this affect Adobe’s support of SVG (scalable vector graphics)?
    Both Adobe and Macromedia have been involved in defining SVG and both were part of the W3C working group that defined SVG. The combined company will continue to work with customers and partners to define a future roadmap for our products.

    Does anybody see a clear commitment here to further support SVG?

  2. [...] As I have anticipated in a post a very long time ago: Adobe has decided to discontinue support for Adobe SVG Viewer starting January 1, 2008 (ASV End of Life FAQ). Adobe even plans to remove Adobe SVG Viewer from the Adobe.com download area on January 1, 2009. While this development is not surprising at all, I just hope that by that time Renesis will be a mature alternative to Adobe SVG Viewer. That is because it is hard to believe that Firefox will gain significant market share on IE, especially now that IE7 is out. [...]

  3. David Woolley says:

    There might be a positive side to Adobe dropping out of SVG in that it is my impression that SVG lost focus as being the (static) vector graphics format for web documents as a result of Adobe using it as a way of getting the whole industry to help with their Flash competitor. Another consequence of this is that time to market considerations have forced short cuts in the standardisation process.

    Currently, we are still left with GIF and maybe PNG as the most realistic choices for line diagrams in straightforward web documents.

    Unfortunately, the mobile device industry seems to have taken over generating the pressure for Flash like capabilities and fast time to market.

  4. Noiseputty says:

    All I know is this: I have the new Illustrator CS2, and it sucks.

  5. Bill says:

    How am I going to view all of the automotive wiring diagrams I purchased from Snap-On Tools? I paid a premium price for all that information and now the software company drops support!!!

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