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View System Documentation - SVG Browser Plugin Findings

SVG Browser Plugin Findings as of 7/31/07

The most widely used and robust plugin is from Adobe Systems. There are several others including one from Corel and several others are rumored. Also Firefox has an SVG engine built in. However, since IE is used the most and the Adobe plugin is needed for SVG this page will concentrate on the Adobe Viewer.

NOTE: These findings are based on a PC development box running XP Professional with SP2. This does not cover going through the register cleaning out things in between test installations so these findings might not be the case on other machines. There's also very real dependencies on various browser versions as well as the browser's security settings and all the other inter dependencies on the system (like the registry, installed apps etc.).

As of 2008, Adobe will not actively support their SVG Viewer plugin. However the plugin will be available on their site for the foreseeable future.

IMPORTANT: The HTML code and Javascript code that is used by the IBIS View application is only tested to work with the Adobe plugin.

For more information about SVG see: svg.org.

Adobe Viewer v3.0 - 3.0.3

  • Unstable. Lot's of postings about it being unstable on these browsers. FF (.01 and .02) works reliably on my system but NN 6, 7-7.2 is unstable - crashes it. 3.0.3 crashes my FF. When Opera brings up an indicator page it displays the graphic but the rest of the page is missing with v 3.0.1 and .02 but works in 3.0.3 (again on an XP SP2 PC system).
  • 3.0.x Version is 4+ years old (core hasn't changed). They recently (4/2005) released v3.0.3 which has a low risk security fix and the plugin is signed.
  • Must be manually installed by copying the .dll and .zip files to the respective plugins directory.
  • For FF, it seems that the first time the user brings up a chart in the current browser session the mouse overs are handled correctly. After the first time then all bets are off. It may or may not display mouse over info and handle user clicks (e.g. for maps) etc.
  • For FF it caches previous Query SVG images. For example: If the user has a chart displaying data by year and does a drill down on age group the result's page data will be the correct drill down values, the backend java chart will execute and return the updated svg to the client's browser (with the correct drill down data), but the svg viewer sees it as the same request and doesn't update it's window so the year chart is still shown. If the user hits the refresh button then the browser will show the updated chart.
  • Menus disappear in back of the SVG image (e.g. they don't float over the top of the image). So when you mouse over the top or left nav a portion of the menu is hidden behind the SVG image. I've tried many options like setting the css z-index etc. and nothing helps this.

Adobe Viewer v6 ALPHA

  • Biggest issue with this is that the Chart title wrapping doesn't work!!!
  • Version is 2+ years old and is in alpha status - e.g. not considered ready for prime time/general public release.
  • Seems to be stable for FF 1, NN 6/7, Opera 7.5 (doesn't crash system but doesn't let the page display properly).
  • FF Appears to handle chart mouse overs okay. Opera will allow access to the SVG plugin (right clicks) but doesn't appear to support the interactive mouse overs. So maps are not interactive nor are the charts.
  • Must be manually installed by copying the .dll and .zip to the plugins directory.
  • FF Doesn't appear to cache previous SVG images.
  • Menus are still in back of the SVG as in V3.

IE 6 on MS-Windows appears to work with all versions of the Adobe Viewer although with Adobe v6 alpha, the chart titles do not wrap. It should be noted that IE users should use 3.0.3 since it has a security patch specifically made for this browser.

Options/Conclusions for Non IE Users

  • Instruct the user to select JPEG as their default image format. This works fine other then they won't get mouse overs and their maps won't be interactive.
  • If SVG, and FF or NN, instruct them on installing the 6.0.x alpha version of the Adobe SVG viewer. For a few IP charts and quite a few query charts the titles will not be displayed. They can try some of the other versions but it will be a hit and miss situation.
  • If SVG and Opera then they should try 3.0.3 first. If using something older, they might as well select the JPEG option since they don't get any interactively either way (SVG or JPEG). The one advantage of staying with SVG is that they can zoom in and have high a quality graphic.

Opera Query System Oddities Not Related to SVG Viewer

Opera doesn't handle mouse actions for query module selections - sometimes. You can use the keyboard and the [Shift] with/or arrows but the mouse click isn't recognized. So any radio, check box, or list box that is an answer is not clickable - sometimes. The strange thing is that the steps seem to always be clickable even when the other items are not!!!

SVG's Future

SVG appears to have solid footing. However, Adobe seems to have abandoned the SVG Viewer since it purchased Macromedia. They are using Flash as the foundation of their Web 2.0 efforts. Firefox now has SVG support built into the browser but it does not support any scripting so interactive graphics still require a plugin. There are also other SVG plugins but they are not widely support or have issues. According to the w3c SVG website, there has not been much development going on since it was hot back around 2000-2002. However, there are many mapping products that are widely adopting and supporting SVG so we will have to wait and see.
The information provided was retrieved on: Wed, 18 September 2019 16:44:48.

Content updated: Wed, 4 Nov 2015 09:26:28 MST