SVG and Browser Support

My Inkscape book has hundreds of figures, all drawn with Inkscape and stored as SVGs (except screen shots, of course). In the online version of the book, all of the figures are presented as PNGs (with just a few exceptions). Wouldn’t it be great if they were presented as SVGs? When I started the book this wasn’t practical, SVG support in browsers was rather limited. But times have changed and with the imminent release of IE9 which includes native SVG support it is time to reevaluate if SVGs can be used. So what is the current market share for browsers that support SVGs? According to Jeff Schiller, the market share in July was 43%. But market share is strongly dependent on the type of content. It is interesting to see that the usage of both IE6 and IE7 drops by around 4% each during the weekend (while IE8 gains a little). This demonstrates IE6 and IE7 entrenchment in the workplace. Of course the most important data is for the actual users of the online Inkscape manual. Here are some statistics for the book users from last month:
Firefox 3.642.32 %
Internet Explorer 7.011.17 %
Internet Explorer 8.010.77 %
Safari 533.410.77 %
Safari 533.16.16 %
Firefox 3.54.66 %
Opera 9.83.25 %
Internet Explorer 6.02.94 %
Firefox 3.02.06 %
Safari 534.30.86 %
Safari 531.20.83 %
So about 70% of my book’s readers already can view SVG without using a plug-in. It seems that this is the time to start using SVGs. How to do this while still supporting non-SVG capable browsers is a topic for a later post.