The Journal of Online Mathematics and Its Applications, Volume 7 (2007)
Scalable Vector Graphics, David Lane

A Snapshot of SVG Browser Support

I'll break it down by operating system.

1. Win2000/NT/XP

Internet Explorer

For Internet Explorer, you will need the Adobe SVG viewer (ASV). The current version is ASV 3.03.

Netscape

Note that ASV 3 does not work for NS 6, NS 7, NS 8, Mozilla 1.5 and Firefox 1.0. Apparently it used to work with NS 4 and at some point the support was broken. According to the SVG Wiki, NS 9 will begin native SVG support based on Firefox 1.5.

Even though its development has stopped, you might want to try the ASV 6 pre-alpha version. I tested this with NS 7.1 and it seems to work fine. To install ASV 6 you must run the Installer and then manually copy the files NPSVG6.dll and NPSVG6.zip to your Netscape plugins directory. Look for these two files in the directory

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\SVG Viewer 6.0\Plugins\

See the Mozilla Development site for more information.

Firefox 1.5 and 2.0

Firefox 1.5 and 2.0 have native support for most of the current SVG recommendation (embedded font and filter support is not yet implemented, as well as declarative animation). To see exactly what has been implemented in Firefox SVG see the Mozilla Development Center. As far as SVG is concerned there are only incremental differences between the two versions.

Opera

For Opera 9 the situation is similar to Firefox, except Opera also supports SMIL animation (in my testing the animation was not as smooth as with the Adobe viewer). See the Opera SVG specifications for a list of supported elements in Opera.

Opera also supports the Adobe viewer. Assuming that you've already installed ASV 3, you will need to manually copy the files NPSVG3.dll and NPSVG3.zip to your plugins directory. Look for these in the directory

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\SVG Viewer 3.0\Plugins\

Restart Opera, and go to Tools-Preferences-Advanced-Downloads. Uncheck the "hide file types opened by Opera", scroll down and highlight the mime type "image/svg+xml". Click on "Edit" and then select the "Adobe SVG Viewer". Now repeat for the (deprecated) mime type "image/svg-xml". For details of this procedure, see the Opera instructions.

2. Linux

Konqueror

The Konqueror browser (which comes with the Konqueror desktop environment (KDE)) has its own SVG plugin called ksvg. The version which shipped with Konqueror 3.2 onwards was ksvg1, and had partial SVG support. The next version ksvg2 is still a beta release, and is available at the KSVG site. (I should warn you that a Linux savvy friend and I spent several unsuccessful hours trying to compile the plugin beta version on a Fedora Core 2 system.)

Netscape

The ASV reader for Linux is based on the old Netscape 4 plugin, so it works in Gecko browsers for simpler SVG's. Simple static images display correctly, but it has problems with JavaScript.

Firefox and Opera

See the Windows discussion for Firefox and Opera, respectively

3. MacOS

Safari

The current release requires the Adobe Viewer, with similar functionality to the Windows IE version.

The current nightly builds of Safari incorporate native support (based on the Konqueror plugin). In a very limited experiment (September 2006) this version displayed static images correctly, but did not work with declarative animation or JavaScript.

Firefox and Opera

See the Windows discussion.

Camino 1

I have not had a chance to test this, but it should have the same functionality as Firefox. See the release notes.

4. Java Based Solutions

If you have the Sun Java Development Kit (JDK) installed on your system, and know how to program in Java, then the Batik toolkit (part of the Apache project) defines Java classes for including SVG in Java programs and applets. If your SVG contains JavaScript, then it will still work within Java (using a piece of Mozilla technology called the Rhino interpreter). Declarative animation is not supported. The Batik distribution comes with an SVG "desktop browser" called Squiggle.