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SVG Fonts [Re: Minutes, SVG WG Brussels f2f day 4 (Monday)]

From: Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 10:42:06 +1200
Message-ID: <AANLkTinZx2eChquiZaIp5z8W5D18W82W7_p8EbCpUZT9@mail.gmail.com>
To: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Cc: www-svg@w3.org
On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 2:52 AM, Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org> wrote:

> <fat_tony> ... I propose for SVG 2.0 we mandate you use WOFF
> <fat_tony> ... and have SVG Fonts as an optional features

I strongly support this.

<fat_tony> DS: I have a counter proposal, right now we have SVG Tiny 1.2
> fonts in Opera and Webkit
> <fat_tony> ... and there are patches for FireFox

Actually there aren't. However, creating SVG Font support is not a big deal,
at least up to the level of SVG Tiny 1.2 (which is all Opera and Webkit
support). My concern about SVG Fonts is that they're just unnecessary for
the Web platform.

<fat_tony> DS: To me as a developer, there are couple of different things
> about SVG Tiny 1.2 fonts
> <fat_tony> ... you can have overlaps
> <ChrisL> http://www.w3.org/Fonts/WG/
> <fat_tony> ... which you can't do in traditional fonts
> <fat_tony> ... and you can do scripting

It's not clear from the minutes what these "overlaps" are.

I think the case for using WOFF in SVG is very strong. Opentype is much
better than SVG Fonts in almost every respect: hinting, subpixel
antialiasing, i18n support, availability of fonts, familiarity to authors,
support in font design tools, advanced formatting features (see CSS3 Fonts
spec), and so on.

Therefore the question is, what do SVG Fonts offer that WOFF can't?
Considering SVG Tiny 1.2 Fonts, and not knowing what "overlaps" are, I've
heard three suggestions:
1) More predictable rasterization
2) 3 points on the Acid3 test
3) Compatibility with SVG content that already uses SVG Fonts.

But none of these are compelling:
1) You don't get truly predictable rasterization because the SVG spec
doesn't define rasterization. Also, you can use
text-rendering:geometricPrecision to disable hinting in Opentype
rasterizers, giving you most of the available predictability.
2) Adding features to the Web platform to pass Acid3 is the tail wagging the
3) There seems to be very little SVG Fonts content on the Web that's not
testcases. Maybe there's more in "walled garden" environments, but that's
not an argument to have SVG Fonts on the Web. If a deluge of such content
migrates to the Web, we can make SVG Fonts non-optional at that time.

(Yes I know we had a thread about this not long ago, sorry for repeating

"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are
healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his
own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." [Isaiah
Received on Monday, 31 May 2010 22:42:39 UTC

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