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Re: SVG and the promise of smaller size

From: Paton J. Lewis <palewis@Adobe.COM>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 18:33:32 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Apu Nahasapeemapetilon <petilon@yahoo.com>
Cc: www-svg@w3.org
At 09:36 AM 10/15/99 , Apu Nahasapeemapetilon wrote:
>One of the benefits of SVG being touted is smaller
>file size when compared to bitmapped formats. But
>in general, SVG files are not necessarily smaller.
>There are many examples on this site:
>   http://indy.cs.concordia.ca/svg/examples/index.html
>The examples are available in GIF as well as SVG
>formats. In most cases the GIF files are smaller!

The SVG examples on this site are not at all optimized for size. Here are 
some obvious optimizations that could be done:

a) use relative path commands instead of absolute ones,
b) reduce the precision from six decimal places to, say, 3,
c) remove unnecessary whitespace,
d) distill the in-line style attributes into an embedded stylesheet, and
e) compress the SVG file with gzip.

For example, applying these operations to the file california.svg (found on 
the Concordia site above) produces the following results:

original SVG file:      225,723 bytes
associated GIF file:     47,939 bytes
optimized SVG file:      27,560 bytes

Note that the GIF is not scalable, can't be printed with any fidelity, and 
its text is illegible.

As with any image format, there are both unoptimzied and optimized ways of 
representing the same information in SVG.

Paton J. Lewis
Adobe Systems
Received on Friday, 15 October 1999 21:33:41 UTC

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