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Vector graphics markup languages

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The iPad may have started it, but the high resolution screen will soon be the norm. Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired.com

The rise of high-resolution screens means that web developers need resolution-independent graphics or images look blurry. For photographs responsive images may be the solution, but for simpler graphics like logos and icons there’s an easy solution that’s been with us for some time — Scalable Vector Graphics or SVG.

A slightly blurry icon or logo on a retina display probably isn’t going to drive your visitors away, but if it’s easy to fix and can potentially save you some bandwidth as well, why not?

Historically, browser support for SVG has not been particularly good, but these days SVG images work just about everywhere, except older versions of IE. Thankfully it isn’t hard to serve up regular old PNG files to older versions of IE while keeping the resolution-independent goodness for everyone else.

Developer David Bushell recently tackled the topic of SVG graphics in a very thorough post titled A Primer to Front-end SVG Hacking. Bushell covers using SVG graphics in image tags, stylesheets, sprites and even the old-school <object> method. He’s also got a great list of external resources, including SVGeezy for IE fallback, the SVG Optimizer for saving on bandwidth and grunticon which converts SVG files to PNG and data URIs for fallback images.

Head on over to Bushell’s site for more details and you can check out some of our previous posts on SVG for even more resources.

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This module allows you to use svg-edit to create SVG files and then do a number of things with them. You can save them as a PNG and display it as an image, allows user to create their own drawings and submit them to a gallery, and anything svg-edit allows you to do!

SVG-edit is a fast, web-based, Javascript-driven SVG editor that works in any modern browser:

Firefox 1.5+
Opera 9.50+
Safari 4+
Chrome 1+
IE 6+ (with the Chrome Frame plugin, native IE9 support in 2.6)

SVG-edit is an online vector graphics editor that uses only JS, HTML5, CSS and SVG (i.e. no server-side functionality). SVG-edit has the following features:

  • Free-hand drawing
  • Lines, Polylines
  • Rects/Squares
  • Ellipses/Circles
  • Polygons/Curved Paths
  • Stylable Text
  • Raster Images
  • Select/move/resize/rotate
  • Undo/Redo
  • Color/Gradient picker
  • Group/ungroup
  • Align
  • Zoom
  • Layers
  • Convert Shapes to Path
  • Wireframe Mode
  • Save drawing to SVG
  • Linear Gradient Picking
  • View and Edit SVG Source
  • UI Localization
  • Resizable Canvas
  • Change Background
  • Draggable Dialogs
  • Resizable UI (SVG icons)
  • Open Local Files
  • Import SVG into Drawing
  • Connector lines and Arrows
  • Plugin Architecture
  • Smoother freehand paths
  • Editing outside the canvas
  • Increased support for SVG elements
  • Add/edit Sub-paths
  • Multiple path segment selection
  • Support for foreign markup (MathML)
  • Radial Gradients
  • Configurable Options
  • Eye-dropper tool
  • Stroke linejoin and linecap
  • Export to PNG
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