SVG Essentials
By J. David Eisenberg
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: February 2002
Pages: 360

Scalable Vector Graphics -- or SVG -- is the new XML-based graphics standard from the W3C that will enable Web documents to be smaller, faster and more interactive. J. David Eisenberg's insightful book takes you through the ins and outs of SVG, beginning with basics needed to create simple line drawings and then moving through more complicated features like filters, transformations, and integration with Java, Perl, and XSLT.

Unlike GIFs, JPEGs or PNGs (which are bitmapped), SVG images are both resolution- and device-independent, so that they can scale up or down to fit proportionally into any size display or any Internet device -- from PDAs to large office monitors and high-resolution printers. Smaller than bitmapped files and faster to download, SVG images can be rendered with different CSS styles for each environment. They work well across a range of available bandwidths.

SVG makes it possible for designers to escape the constant need to update graphics by hand or use custom code to generate bitmap images. And while SVG was created with the Web in mind, the language has a variety of other uses. SVG greatly simplifies tasks like:

  • Creating web sites whose graphics reflect the content of the page, changing automatically if the content changes
  • Generating graphs and charts from information stored in a wide variety of sources
  • Exchanging detailed drawings, from architectural plans to CAD layouts to project management diagrams
  • Creating diagrams that users can explore by zooming in and panning around
  • Generating bitmap images for use in older browsers using simple automatable templates
  • Managing graphics that support multiple languages or translations
  • Creating complex animation

By focusing sharply on the markup at the foundation of SVG, SVG Essentials gives you a solid base on which to create your own custom tools. Explanations of key technical tools -- like XML, matrix math, and scripting -- are included as appendices, along with a reference to the SVG vocabulary.

Whether you're a graphic designer in search of new tools or a programmer dealing with the complex task of creating and managing graphics, SVG Essentials provides you with the means to take advantage of SVG.

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O'Reilly MediaSVG Essentials
 
4.6

(based on 7 reviews)

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5.0

Oldie but Goodie!

By jyxll1

from Hervey Bay, Qld

Verified Reviewer

Comments about O'Reilly Media SVG Essentials:

It is now 2011. SVG is on a resurgence.
This is still a terrific introduction to SVG at the ground level.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

One-stop shop for SVG, but pdf please!

By arjaydavis

from UK

About Me Designer, Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Illustrations
  • Viewports covered
  • W3c standard
  • Well-written

Cons

  • Not available as ebook
  • Not available as pdf

Best Uses

  • Expert
  • Intermediate

Comments about O'Reilly Media SVG Essentials:

This is an example of why books (and ebooks) continue to be a worthwhile investment over referring to the internet.

With the internet: answers, descriptions are scattered everywhere. With a good book like this one, (most of) it is all in one place making learning a new subject less daunting.

Particularly good in this book is the explanation of co-ordinate systems and viewports used in SVG and how they interact. I have not found any other book that does this so well.

There are a few SVG books out there but none match the friendly but authoritative style of O'Reilly yet again seen in this book. Some O'Reilly books carry the Definitive Guide perhaps this should have been one of them too.

Even though this book has been published for a while it is still pretty much relevant to the SVG standard also available for a some time, which is encouraging to know that such a standard looks like it will have longevity.

1 star missing off the full 5 star mark because: the book could be extended to include use in HTML5 and also because the book is not available as an ebook.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Some code needs updating

By Daniel K Schneider

from Geneva, Switzerland

About Me Educator

Verified Reviewer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about O'Reilly Media SVG Essentials:

        This book is still a good buy. It remains my favorite SVG book. However, SVG is now big in HTML5. Therefore O'Reilly should publish a new version that includes HTML5 specifics and more DOM scripting.

        Also, Eisenberg, like many other SVG authors back then didn't test SVG within a native browser and missed the fact that namespaces must be declared. Add the following within the first SVG tag of examples that break with a "prefix not bound to a namespace" message:

        xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"

         
        5.0

        SVG Essentials Review

        By Andrew Odewahn

        from Undisclosed

        Comments about O'Reilly Media SVG Essentials:

        While it's difficult to separate my excitement over SVG from the contents of this book, it's quite possible that the two are so directly related as to be inseperable. Within a few hours of buying this book, I was producing and printing extremely high quality images that I had found all but impossible to produce w/other technologies (JPEG codecs, etc.). If you are familiar with the basic mark-up language concepts, then you should have no trouble gleaning the essential elements of SVG.

        After an excellent introductory chapter that provides a general overview, subsequent chapters cover aspects of SVG in detail, such as how to create basic shapes or generate text. One thing I particularly liked was that the author mostly uses a single example (SVG code to create a picture of a cat) to illustrate new concepts, creating a sense of cohesiveness that tied the chapters together. This book is *not* just a scattershot collection of essays that characterizes so many other technical books -- the text is clear, concise, and to the point. Finally, there is a very uselful appendix that summarizes the most frequently used attributes.

        Perhaps the only drawback is that if you are coming to SVG from a non-technical background, you might find this book a little too gear-headed for your liking. For technical readers that want a thorough introduction (i.e., not a PhD thesis) to this exciting and useful technology, however, this book is a must.

        (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        SVG Essentials Review

        By Darcy Vaughan

        from Undisclosed

        Comments about O'Reilly Media SVG Essentials:

        This books serves as a solid foundation in SVG. It is concise, to the point, and yet has enough sophisticated examples to utilize it in the real world. Excellent book!

        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        SVG Essentials Review

        By Rich Edwards

        from Undisclosed

        Comments about O'Reilly Media SVG Essentials:

        A fantastic introduction - thoughtfully presented, and with some great example architectures in the later chapters and appendices. However, I was disappointed to find that the examples in the "Scripting SVG" section do not work in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 with the Adobe Plug-In (presumably because of IE's object model) - surely (whatever one thinks of IE) this is likely to be the most common end-user platform?

        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        SVG Essentials Review

        By Thomas H. Bellus

        from Undisclosed

        Comments about O'Reilly Media SVG Essentials:

        The first clear and thoughout descriptions to help with the coordinate system for SVG. When one learns the basics well then the Kool things that are possible become a reality.

        Excellent teacher

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