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What is SVG?

SVG image creation with Inkscape
Question: What is SVG?

Answer: SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. It is an open, XML-based graphics format that is being incorporated in Web standards. Many browsers already support SVG to some degree. It can be used for both still images and animations. Because SVG is a vector graphics format, the images can be resized and manipulated without degradation, which is why they are considered scalable.

For example, rather than having three different image sizes for an icon, a website can be configured to use an SVG image scaled to all three sizes. Even when enlarged, it will still maintain its quality. If your browser supports it, you can view an example here.

SVG file sizes can get large, depending on the amount of metadata included in the XML code, especially if the file includes gradients and animations. To compensate for this, there is standard SVG file compression, using gzip, that is lossless and reduces file size by 50%. As browsers continue to adopt HTML5 standards, SVG is expected to play a more significant role in web development.

Photo Source: Flickr

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