VML (Vector Markup Language) is a way of using text to describe graphical shapes. These text
descriptions are very short as compared to the size of standard JPG/GIF images, can be
embedded within a web page and do not require the download of additional files. Microsoft's
Internet Explorer can interpret the VML code and render (display) the described shapes onto
the web page with a wide variety of control options. No other browser supports the VML
technology at this time.
VML is similar to the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) technology
which all browsers are expected to eventually support and which will provide vector graphics
capabilities such as those offered by Macromedia's Flash technology. Because VML is an application
of XML, it can be used with HTML and CSS to provide animation and interactivity with users
on web pages. If your web site visitors predominately use MSIE, then the use of VML may be
a very appropriate, and simpler, way to provide graphics for your site. To sweeten the pie,
Microsoft's Office Products (2000+) also support VML.