Inline SVG extension

From assela Pathirana

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Following is a very simple piece of work. Feel free to comment, particularly about alternative approaches and so on.


Purpose & Quick Howto

To enable including in-line svg code in a wiki document, using client browser's capability (native as in mozilla firefox or with a plug-in as in internet explorer and Adobe's SVG plugin).

Do I need this extension

Probably not! You can achieve the same results using standard mediawiki tools

  • Upload the svg file as an image
  • Then use it in an [[Image:foobar]] tag. It works for many browsers.

And if you want to play it safe (remember many old browsers might not support svg format!)


Follow the steps below:

  • Cut and paste the source code below in to a file named SVGtag.php in your extensions directory
  • Call SVGtag.php by adding following line to the end of LocalSettings.php
  • Include svg code as follows:
<svgcode calling_arguments>
<svg  various arguments come here>
svg code here
    • For example
<svgcode width="300" height="200" version="1.1">
<svg  version="1.1" id="Layer_1" xmlns="&ns_svg;" xmlns:xlink="&ns_xlink;" width="300" height="200"
     viewBox="0 0 300 350" >
<rect x="0.5" y="0.5" fill="#FFFFFF" stroke="#000000" width="250" height="175"/>

See the bottom of this article to see whether your browser support svg.


See Also: SVG

In a perfect world, there is no need to use fancy method to incorporate a SVG script to a web page. However, the conflicts in various browser standards make the waters muddy. There are several methods to do this, depending on targeted browser, but nothing works perfectly for everything[1]. The best compromise seems to be having the svg code in a separate file and include that file in a special object/embed/iframe tag. the latter seems to work best in both worlds (i.e. Mozilla, native svg rendering and IE assisted by Adobe SVG plug in.

<iframe src="file.svg" width="500" height="500">

can show a properly formatted svg file in most of the modern browsers.

How it works

(see metawikipedia:Write_your_own_MediaWiki_extension first.)

  • The extension registers a hook to Mediawiki wgParser requesting it to run returnSVGtagged function whenever
<svgtag> blah blah </svgtag>
is found in the code, using 'blah blah' (code between <svgtag> and </svgtag> as the argument.
  • returnSVGtagged function does the following
    1. Creates a unique file name based on MD5 checksum of the svg code in the argument.
    2. Checks whether a file by that name exists
    3. if no
      1. create a new file under that name with svg code as argument
    4. end if
    5. return a iframe tag calling the unique file name.

Source Code

#Copyright 2006 Assela Pathirana
#    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
#    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
#    the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
#    (at your option) any later version.
#    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
#    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
#    GNU General Public License for more details.
#    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
#    along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
#    Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA  02110-1301  USA
#    Inspired by svgextension.
$wgExtensionFunctions[] = "wfSVGtag";

function wfSVGtag() {
	global $wgParser;
	$wgParser->setHook( "svgcode", "returnSVGtagged" );

function returnSVGtagged( $code, $argv)
	global $wgUploadDirectory, $wgUploadPath, $IP, $wgArticlePath, $wgTmpDirectory;
	$hash = md5( $code );
  if (!is_numeric($boxwidth)){
  if (!is_numeric($boxheight)){
  if ($svgversion==""){
  $dest = $wgUploadDirectory.$tmploc;
  $path= $wgUploadPath.$tmploc;
	if ( ! is_dir( $dest ) ) { mkdir( $dest, 0777 ); }
	if ( ! is_dir( $wgTmpDirectory ) ) { mkdir( $wgTmpDirectory, 0777 ); }

	$outfile = $dest . $hash.$extension;
  $pname = $path . $hash.$extension;
	if ( !  file_exists( $outfile ) ) {
		$ptr = fopen($outfile, "w");
    '<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG '.$svgversion.'//EN" "'.$svgversion.
    '/DTD/svg'.$svgversion2.'.dtd" [ <!ENTITY ns_svg "">'.
    '<!ENTITY ns_xlink ""> ]>';
		fwrite($ptr, $header);
		fwrite($ptr, $code);
 		$txt  = "<a href=$pname><iframe src=$pname width='".$boxwidth."' height='".$boxheight."' ></iframe></a>";
    return $txt;


SVG Browser Test

You can see the images here even if your browser does not support SVG. (They are in fact png images)



Then, if you see the same images below, then your browser supports SVG.

Server configuration

If your web server does not support the content type svg, you have to add it for svg files that are hosted there to work properly. Add the following to either the httpd.conf (if you have rootly powers in the server, which may not be the case if you are using a economical hosting plan) or to a .htaccess file otherwise.

AddType image/svg+xml .svg

If you want to support the svgz file format as well (compressed svg) then the following is also needed.

AddType image/svg+xml .svgz
AddEncoding gzip .svgz
<FilesMatch \.svgz$>
  <IfModule mod_gzip.c>
    mod_gzip_on No

What is the advantage of having SVG instead of an image format

There are several web friendly image formats (e.g. PNG, GIF) that are traditionally used to show vector-like data. Why should one complicate his life and other's by using SVG? To know the answer first try clicking on the boarder of one of the frames above. They should open a svg image filling the whole area of your browser, not losing the image quality at all. That is the advantage of a vector format! Still the file sizes are quite small.

See also: [2]

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