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SVG vs. Silverlight head-to-head fight

Adobe stops supporting SVG next year, thus there are some SVG consumers are looking for the replacement of this technology, by other, that will be supported. The only technology, can actually replace SVG is Silverlight. Yes, Flex, too, but it’s too complicated to perform transitions. Today, we’ll look into those two technologies and try to understand how to perform migration easily. Let’s start from SVG (Adobe SVG 3.x) vs SL (Silverlight 1.0) syntax


<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.0//EN" "">
<svg width="200" height="100">


<Canvas  xmlns=""
  Width="200" Height="100">

Looks pretty the same, no? At least, very similar. Let’s see what’s going with text.


<text x="10" y="15" font-size="12">
  Hello World!
  <tspan x="10" dy="1.6em" font-size="8">This is</tspan>
  <tspan x="10" dy="1.6em" font-size="20">SVG text</tspan>


<TextBlock Canvas.Left="10" Canvas.Top="15" >
  <Run Text="Hello World!" FontSize="12"/>
  <Run Text="This is" FontSize="8"/>
  <Run Text="Silverlight text"  FontSize="20"/>

Similar too, but what’s about rendering? From now and on, you’ll need Silverlight 1.0 and SVG 3.x plugins in order to see working samples.

Let’s look closer


And even more closer


Silverlight renders small and large text much better, then SVG do.

Our next station is splines and simple geometry.


<rect width="100" height="50" fill="blue" stroke="black"  stroke-width="3" x="0" y="0"/>


<Rectangle Width="100" Height="50" Fill="Blue" Stroke="Black" StrokeThickness="3" Canvas.Left="0" Canvas.Top="150" />

That’s look very similar. What’s about lines?


<path fill="white" stroke="black" stroke-width="2" d="M20,140 Q100,20 100,140 Q100,220 180,140" />


<Path Fill="White" Stretch="Fill" Stroke="Black" StrokeThickness="2" Data="M20,140 Q100,20 100,140 Q100,220 180,140"/>

That’s the same. Even coordinates and tangents are equal. So, how it renders?


Well. There are some differences here.

Never mind, let’s go on into animations


<circle cx="200" cy="150" r="40" fill="red">
    <animate attributeName="cy" dur="5s" repeatCount="indefinite" keySplines="0.5 0.1 0.9 0.5;0.1 0.5 0.5 0.9" calcMode="spline" keyTimes="0;2.5;5" values="150;350;150"/>


<Ellipse Width="80" Height="80" Fill="Red" Canvas.Left="160" Canvas.Top="-91" x:Name="ellipse">
        <EventTrigger RoutedEvent="Canvas.Loaded">
                    <DoubleAnimationUsingKeyFrames BeginTime="00:00:00" Storyboard.TargetName="ellipse" Storyboard.TargetProperty="(UIElement.RenderTransform).(TransformGroup.Children)[0].(TranslateTransform.Y)" RepeatBehavior="Forever">
                        <SplineDoubleKeyFrame KeyTime="00:00:02.5" Value="200" KeySpline="0.5 0.1 0.9 0.5"/>
                        <SplineDoubleKeyFrame KeyTime="00:00:05" Value="0" KeySpline="0.1 0.5 0.5 0.9"/>

Here, it looks like a lot of differences, however, if you’ll look into code, you’ll see, that there are no difference between the methods. Even key splines are the same. Let’s look deeper into code.

circle Ellipse
animate DoubleAnimationUsingKeyFrames
cx,cy Width, Height
attributeName TargetName+TargetProperty
dur KeyTime
repeatCount RepeatBehavior
keySplines KeySpline+KeySpline
calcMode SplineDoubleKeyFrame
keyTimes KeyTime+KeyTime
values (absolute) Value (relative)


That’s all. After all, there are very similar methods and objects are in use. The only difference, that Silverlight is much more flexible, then SVG in animation. Let’s see the result (if the ball is breaking on the edge, just reload internal page – this is load time issue)

So, after all if you know SVG, you can start developing Silverlight (don’t go back :) ).

All this nice, but what’s the problems? Well, there are some. In Silverlight 1.0, there is no Tile or Visual brushes, thus you can not create following effect (this is checker board)


<pattern id="P01" width="10" height="10" patternUnits="userSpaceOnUse">
    <rect width="10" height="10" fill="#FFFFFF" stroke="#000000" stroke-width="0.1"/>
<rect x="0" y="0" width="400" height="400" fill="url(#P01)"/>

But no worry, you probably, will have all you need and much more in Silverlight 2.0 :)

Have a nice day.

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4 Responses to “SVG vs. Silverlight head-to-head fight”

  1. stelt Says:

    Only Internet Explorer needs help, and the Adobe viewer is not nearly the best option.

  2. stelt Says:


    For browsers alone already: every browser now has SVG built-in, except for Internet Explorer, which has a steadily sinking marketshare.

    Silverlight is not (fully) open, while SVG is.

  3. Tamir Khason Says:

    Hi, Wiliam and thank you for feedback. Yes, english in not my native language, however in this (as well as in many other articles) there are more code, then english words :)

    I have no time to write, so I’m not preparing posts, read and review it. I;m just wringin.

    Your feedback is important for me, and I’ll read posts before publishing it.

  4. William Says:

    I just wanted to let you know that, however very informative, it is extremely hard for me, being a Native-American, to follow along with what you're saying in all your posts! You seem to over-punctuate your sentences and use the wrong words or are lacking a lot of words in order to properly make sense of what you're actually trying to say about 45% of the time! You seem to know quite a bit of the English language, so I don't understand how it is a problem.

    Can you please try and proof read your blog-posts before committing them? I would like to be able to understand that which you're talking about in all these posts you have on your blog. In order for me to do so I need your help!

    Sincerely, William.

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