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Database design web-app - best vector graphics library?

I'm building a web-based database design app, which currently has a fairly ordinary tree-based UI. I'll be adding a visual ERD-type interface to it but haven't started the development of that aspect yet.

Does anyone have good experience with any of the various vector graphics libraries that are out there for web development? Which have proved themselves useful and which have been disasters?

I'm open to either Canvas-based systems or SVG/VML and am really keen to hear the experiences of those who've already been down this path.
Bernard Darnton Send private email
Monday, April 30, 2007
I went through the same exercise (finding a JavaScript graphics library).  At the time, there was no question that Walter Zorn's library won hands down.  Check it out at .

Hope this helps!
Steve Moyer Send private email
Monday, April 30, 2007
I used to be way in to SVG, I did a website on the basics of it for hand-coders and I still write about it occasionally (at ).

When I started there was little support and things looked grim. Today Firefox and Opera both have great support and there's a Java applet called Batik from Apache that's got a good implementation you could serve to IE.

To get an idea of the current state of SVG in the browser, a friend of mine just published some pretty comprehensive test results at .

If you're looking for some good current resources on SVG, you could poke around . They have a slant towards Opera browser of course, but since their implementation is so advanced the information is more current than a lot of sources out there.

As for VML, I think it's been mostly abandoned.
Rob Send private email
Monday, April 30, 2007
Serving Batik to IE could be a problem because some people might not have the Java plugin installed or have security issues with it.

The other alternatives are to use an "Ajax" toolkit like Dojo to abstract away the details of whether the graphics are SVG or VML.  Look up "Dojo chart" on Google...
Jeff Schiller Send private email
Monday, April 30, 2007
I also looked at SVG, but it wasn't mature enough (lots of problems rendering syntactically valide markup) and you had to have plugins for most browsers.  It was also a pain to generate on the server side.

If you're generating the entire drawing on the server side, it's probably acceptable by now (judging from the post above).  My application sends data structures to the browser and the browser actually renders the drawings, so SVG would create more server load.
Steve Moyer Send private email
Monday, April 30, 2007
Why not Flash? The player is everywhere.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Flash Player 9 with Actionscript 3.0 is awesomely powerful, it will blow your socks off! Just download the free Flex 2 SDK from and start building AS3.0 apps for Flash Player 9.

Friday, May 04, 2007

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