Wet blanket

Archive SMIL

Well, SMIL has finally landed on mozilla-central! It’s been a long road since I first started out on this project nearly 5 years ago but we’ve finally reached the first milestone! Thank you very much to many who have helped or even just offered encouraging comments but thank you particularly to Daniel Holbert, Robert O’Callahan, Chris Double, and Tim Rowley for their massive contributions. It’s been a team job all the way.

But althought we’ve come a long way I want to emphasise that we still have a long way to go. I’ve updated the status page to give you an idea of the features still remaining to be implemented. In particular, integration with SVG and CSS is a massive task (although it makes up only two rows of the chart) and by far the bulk of animation demos and tests won’t work without this. Also, syncbase timing is a big job.

The good news is <animateTransform> is in the pipeline (ready for review any day now) and for maybe the first time ever, there’s a little bit of momentum behind SMIL.

Previous Post
Next Post
Beached as bro


Jeff Schiller

I see you’ve got your animateTransform patch landed. Any chance somebody could spin a nightly with SMIL enabled for me? Thanks in advance!

Daniel Holbert


Here’s a TryServer build with animateTransform support:

Sample animateTransform animation:

Bread and Circuits » Canvas3D and C3DL hit Ars

[…] sure to read the full article which also talks about Brian Birtles’ awesome work to get SMIL implemented.  It’s a great time to be thinking about graphics on […]

Mozilla apuesta por SMIL y Canvas 3D para Firefox | Historias de Queso

[…] semana, Brian anunciaba en una entrada en su blog que el primer hito importante había sido finalmente […]


Fantastic work guys! Great news! Super Super great!

I have just downloaded the latest 3.1 beta, but the animateTransform example mentioned above is still not working. In what version of Firefox will this be released?



Hi Jacobus, thanks very much!

I’m afraid I’m a bit out of the loop at the moment but I think the situation is as follows:

  1. SMIL is not on the 3.1 (now 3.5) branch but only on trunk, so you need a nightly trunk build. I think you can get them at https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/nightly/latest-mozilla-central/.
  2. SMIL should now be built by default (bug 473705) on trunk.
  3. SMIL is disabled by default and needs to be enabled by a pref in about:config, namely svg.smil.enabled (bug 473904).

As far as I know, SMIL won’t make it into Firefox 3.5. So the earliest it might appear would be 3.6, and that might be incomplete.

Hope that helps!


It helps a lot, thanks Brian ;-) also, a personal thanks from me for all you have done for SMIL and Firefox. I’m sure your effort will go a long way.

The lack of SMIL support in Firefox is the only reason I still need other browsers. It’s going to be super when that hole is finally closed.

I drink to open standards and to all the boys and girls who fights for our freedom by pushing these standards!!!!


Hi, is there any status update with SMIL in firefox? I’m using 3.5, it’s January 2010, will it be some time this year? Looking forward to it, thanks.


Hi DJ. We’re expecting to have a basic version of SMIL out in Firefox 3.7 (Gecko 1.9.3). At this stage it looks like this version will be missing some features such as animateMotion and some timing features (e.g. event-based timing).

Matt Canvas

Is this live now? I have been using other browsers, time for firefox again…

Thanks for all your work on SMIL I appreciate it.


Hi Matt,

Yep, sure is! Please give it a try!

Thanks Matt!

Leah Madison
Leah Madison

Hey Brian - thank God! I can roll out Firefox again. You’ve really done a great-job. Thanks again!

Leave a reply

Most markdown like **bold** and _italic_ is supported.

Never shown. Only used for looking up your gravatar.