Canvas was initially introduced by Apple for use inside their own Mac OS X WebKit component, powering applications like Dashboard widgets and the Safari browser. Later, it was adopted by Gecko browsers and Opera and standardized by the WHATWG on new proposed specifications for next generation web technologies.
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At the time of its introduction the canvas element was met with mixed reactions from the web standards community. There have been arguments against Apple's decision to create a new proprietary element instead of supporting the SVG standard. There are other concerns about syntax e.g. the absence of a namespace.