The Craft of SVG

by Dr. Philip A. Mansfield

While SVG technology has made great strides, the craft of using SVG's unique features effectively is still in its infancy. The awesome capabilities of SVG will only become evident when this craft is developed by practitioners with SVG-specific tools in their hands, rather than existing tools to which SVG export has been added. SVG embodies a number of new concepts, like animated filter effects, stylesheets for graphics, and a high level of interoperability with other Web languages. With such new concepts comes the potential to solve new problems or provide more compelling solutions to existing problems. However, to realize that potential will require considerable imagination, experimentation, and ultimately the development of new techniques. It will require re-definition and greater convergence of the traditionally separate roles of Graphic Artist, Web Developer and Developer. At the same time, such convergence will be facilitated by SVG. SVG is like a new kind of paint, the Web its canvas. The great SVG masterpieces of the future will be created by artist/technologist teams using novel techniques and a new combination of skills. Although the author does not claim mastery of the craft of SVG, he will present a number of tantalizing examples that suggest how much there is yet to discover.