SMIL Animation in Mozilla report

Archive SMIL

I’ve published the report I wrote for regarding my project implementing SMIL Animation in Mozilla. At 147 pages and ~700kb it’s fairly detailed but I hope it will be of interest to some. Thanks to all who helped. Here it is:

Also, I was invited to represent the Software Engineering faculty by presenting my project at an Engineering project competition run by my university from which I picked up the prize for innovation which means I got paid for working on Mozilla! Stoked!

Finally, I’m taking a bit of a break from this work at the moment. I nearly went crazy finishing the uni project last year and right now it’s summer so I’m getting back into surfing, swimming, running, riding, squash and maybe even some karate! Maybe in a month or two I’ll be ready to look at the code again and I’ll try to tidy up the SMIL Animation code.

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SMIL Animation patch



You did great Brian!

Any chance for up to date patch so I have what to do for 2 months? ;)

By the way, what karate type do you follow? I do Kyokushinkai among others MA ;)


Thanks Gandalf!!

I’m afraid I can’t do another patch just now. For the presentation I gave I wrote a basic implementation of animateTransform and I’d like to either remove it or fix it up before making another patch. Also, roc’s given me some feedback which I’ll try to address in the next patch.

Karate is something new for me so I don’t know what kind yet! I don’t mind which type of karate as long as one day I can do palm blasts and walk on walls… oh wait :)


>> right now it’s summer

Boy, you do make us people in the northern hemisphere jealous!

But thanks for your work on the animation stuff


Brian: uhh… Well, I probably will try to make this patch up to trunk. I’d prefer to be able to use your updates through :(

About Karate, the choice is simple. If you want fight, find some full-contact kind of karate, not Shotokan, near to Kyokushin or Oyama probably. Or think about sth like Muay-Thai, Kickboxing, etc.
If you want to feel the sould of Karate, learn the art philosophy, etc., then Shotokan might be nice.


Will SVG animation be part of Firefox 2.0?


Hi IFlo,

No it won’t. I haven’t been keeping in touch with the SVG developers but the plan last year was for most new SVG work to go into Gecko 1.9 which will be the basis of Firefox 3.0, while Firefox 2.0 will be based on Gecko 1.8.

I’m hoping to get back into this stuff soon so hopefully it’s ready for Firefox 3 but I’m really depending on other work on the SVG attribute value storage before it’s really useful. I think the SVG guys are busy with all sorts of other stuff at the moment.

Jeff Schiller


Since is a big portion of the stuff missing from Firefox’s SVG implementation, can anyone give us a timeframe on it? Like when will it be merged into the trunk? I would hate to see this slipping and not making Firefox 3.



Hi Jeff,

No change from my side. I still haven’t got back into it (apart from addresing some bitrot). I’m busy with other things but I’ll see if there’s been any progress on the attribute stuff. If there has then I’ll have a bit more motivation to get back into it.

Gan Uesli Starling


After having migrated from Amiga -> Win32 -> NetBSD I’ve had my fill of proprietary formats and so will be sticking to formats purely W3C-ish forevermore. Toward that end anything you do to push forward SMIL and SVG in Firefox will be vastly appreciated.

I used to hand code graphics in PostScript on a plain ASCII text editor so as to enjoy total control. Stuff I wrote on the Amiga ported to Win32 and thence to NetBSD very well. I’d hoped to learn similar tricks for SVG when first I read of it. But on NetBSD there is pretty much only Apache Batik, alas. Then after reading how SMIL is a W3C format I got excited all over again. But my joy was yet again premature.

And so I look forward with most eager anticipation toward your future efforts in bringing SVG and SMIL to Firefox. I’ve bookmarked this page and will peek in every month or so.


Hi Gan,

Thanks for the encouraging comments. I’m starting to get back to work on this stuff. tor has recently checked in a patch that hopefully marks the start of some concrete steps towards implementing animation in SVG and which should assist in integrating this work.

I hope to let you know of some progress on my end in the coming weeks.

Justin Clift

Heya Brian,

Hope you get some solid progress happening, it’ll have important knock-on effects.


Regards and best wishes,

Justin Clift


Thanks Justin,

I’m working on it. It’s hard to find time but I did some work earlier in the week and I’ll hopefully get a chance to do some more tonight or tomorrow. So it’s underway, just moving slowly.

Thanks again for your comment,



Hi Brian

Great work!
SVG will be a recomended image format for the 100$ laptop (see:
Application developers on the OLPC will mostly be working with Python, the GTK GUI and the GECKO HTML engine.

SMIL animations in GECKO would be very helpfull for this project.

Justin Clift

Hi Brian,

Keep going, it’s important. :)

Regards and best wishes,

Justin Clift


Hi Brian,
Is there some new assessment when SMIL animations will be released?


Hi Michael,

I’m not sure. Not in Firefox 3 anyway, hopefully Firefox 4. You can follow the progress at the links mentioned in this post.


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