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RE: font formats and SVG2

From: Patrick Dengler <patd@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2011 15:44:30 +0000
To: Manuel Strehl <svg@manuel-strehl.de>, "www-svg@w3.org" <www-svg@w3.org>
CC: "www-svg@w3.org" <www-svg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <4A2DB3AE4504E944AF122BBFBA7FBA1F58289D9D@TK5EX14MBXC118.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
I believe we have stated in the past that we are currently betting on WOFF.  We believe that SVG Fonts should be a separate module (as part of the modularization of SVG 2.0) and as vendors we should implement them accordingly.  We tend to implement features based upon demand.  We have yet to see enough demand for this.  I  believe the Mozilla is in the same mind but I don't want to speak to that for them.

From: www-svg-request@w3.org [mailto:www-svg-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Manuel Strehl
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2011 11:53 AM
To: www-svg@w3.org
Cc: www-svg@w3.org
Subject: Re: font formats and SVG2

I'm with the "Keep it" fraction. Especially the ability to access every single font property in the Javascript DOM is extremely tempting; not for long texts or even books, but for something, that could be called "multimedia font". Such a font could, e.g., interact with the user at runtime, which is almost impossible with OpenType (apart from manipulating OTF features).


Am 02.03.2011 13:59, schrieb Jeremie Patonnier:

I strongly agreed with Dr. Hoffmann and Andreas

I recently write a little about that topic : http://jeremie.patonnier.net/post/2011/02/07/Why-are-SVG-Fonts-so-different

Hope that help to understand why SVG fonts does not have the same purpose as OTF/WOFF fonts.

2011/3/2 Andreas Neumann <a.neumann@carto.net<mailto:a.neumann@carto.net>>
well explained - Olaf.

I second your argument. SVG fonts are important and will hopefully be implemented in all browsers. It is a hen and egg problem. Currently, only Batik, Opera and Webkit-based browsers support SVG fonts (only the version with the d-attribute). The market share of these browsers may be around 15-25 percent. The larger market share does not support SVG fonts. No wonder that SVG fonts are not widely used.

If SVG fonts are implemented beyond just the d-attribute (such as it is the case in Alex'/Abbra implementation) it opens a lot of additional options:

* Multicolor fonts
* fonts with patterns
* fonts with multimedia
* fonts with animation

It is also true, what Olaf explained, that in SVG a content author often just needs a subset instead of a complete font. The possibility to add just certain glyphs into or linked to a document allows for smaller file sizes than just linking to a full ttf/otf/woff or whatever font.

Just my opinion as a content author,

On Wed, 2 Mar 2011 12:55:53 +0100, Dr. Olaf Hoffmann wrote:
John Daggett:
Can someone explain what the features are that are not offered in TrueType

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
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.


Andreas Neumann
Böschacherstrasse 10A
8624 Grüt (Gossau ZH)

Web : http://jeremie.patonnier.net<http://jeremie.patonnier.net/>
Twitter : @JeremiePat<http://twitter.com/JeremiePat>
Received on Thursday, 3 March 2011 15:45:10 UTC

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