W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-svg@w3.org > March 2011

Re: font formats and SVG2

From: Dr. Olaf Hoffmann <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2011 12:55:53 +0100
To: www-svg@w3.org
Message-Id: <201103021255.53444.Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
 John Daggett:
>Can someone explain what the features are that are not offered in TrueType 
>fonts?

I think, the possibility to embed SVG fonts within a graphics (SVG document)
is an important feature for authors, as soon as this is widely implemented.
The glyphs can be created with features from SVG, no need to learn yet 
another format not much related to the graphical problem, the authors has,
if just a few glyphs are needed for a logo or something like that.
SVG fonts help to keep things simple for authors, especially for those not
very interested in creating complete fonts for general use, but just some
glyphs for a special purpose.
If the glyph information is directly embedded in the SVG document, it is
simply possible to provide standalone documents with predictable behaviour
for the presentation of the glyphs. 
To assume that referenced external fonts in another format are always
available is risky and I think it will not be acceptable for some designers
with a quite detailed opinion about the appearance of their graphics and
how to control this on their own.

Of course, other font formats will be typically pretty useful for documents
with mainly text (XHTML etc). A detailed control about the appearance
of a glyph it typically not so important for the author of such text documents 
as for some text within an SVG document with close relation to other 
graphical content.

If such an SVG font feature is not available or only optional or not widely
implemented, authors will use the path element for this purpose and the
text information will not survive. This happens already know, because
SVG font implementations in some widely used viewers is not very good
or not available at all.
What remains is pure graphics with no more textual, accessible information 
in it. If SVG fonts work, at least some of those authors can be convinced to
provide accessible documents and not just colorful decorative graphics.
Therefore it is important to have such a feature to help authors to provide 
more meaningful documents.

Olaf
Received on Wednesday, 2 March 2011 11:56:28 GMT

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