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

Re: font formats and SVG2

From: Helder Magalh„es <helder.magalhaes@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2011 16:12:00 +0000
Message-ID: <AANLkTi=GAiSMpfmrD_eN9RRWvgWW-w-wW3Co65zTA2oU@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Dr. Olaf Hoffmann" <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
Cc: www-svg@w3.org
Hi everyone,

> Because older viewers only interprete SVG fonts (partly), however
> removing is no option anyway.
> For example on my current Linux systems for the still pretty good
> Adobe plugin it is the only way to display SVGs containing text
> by using an embedded font, because obviously Adobe forgot to
> embed at least one default font and the plugin obviously does not
> like or find the fonts available on the computer (presumable some
> kind of free font format compatible with the Debian licence conditions).

That's apparently a Linux-only issue. I've been using a few
awkward/rather old TTF fonts (for compatibility with previous content)
with IE+ASV (on Windows XP and above) with success for a few years
now. By comparison, Firefox only "recently" (with version 3.0 or 3.5,
I don't recall by heart) got it right.

I did notice a tricky situation while using font names with spaces:
double quotes aren't used and ASV doesn't support aposthrophe (') in
font-family; Opera (I estimate that testing was made with version 8 or
9) complains if &quot; is used (apparently there's no need for them
also). So idea is matching the font name exactly, as declared in the
font's metadata, with no extra cruft. Example: font-family="New
Century SchoolBook, Bookman, serif"

>> The
>> use cases just aren't strong enough to justify the ongoing cost
>> of implementation/testing this mostly redundant feature.

I'm not a fervent supporter of SVG fonts, as both 1) I never had a
serious need to use them and 2) I didn't see good enough
cross-implementation support for them, yet. However, I do sense
openness and easiness in the (SVG) format for creating (it's there
since Inkscape 0.47 [1], for example) combining and mixing graphics
which then turn into characters.

Could it be scaring font vendors a bit, particularly regarding
intellectual property and return of investment? I somehow understand
these concerns, although I don't believe piracy fights with becoming
the authoring process more complex, but with clear licensing rules and
reasonable costs [2], when applicable. (Of course both can be
hijacked, but that's with any technology).

IMO, current SVG implementations are mature enough to "risk" going
through the way of implementing full SVG fonts. I confess I even felt
some sadness with the recent "boom" of WOFF and other open font
formats, not that they aren't good enough (I'm simply not into the
details) but for the lost opportunity for SVG Fonts to become an
ubiquitous standard .

Currently, I'm with Patrick in the sense that implementors seem to be
placing their money on WOFF at the moment. Keeping development of the
SVG Fonts as a module in SVG 2.0 seems to be the most reasonable
decision at this stage and will still allow a user demand driven "time
will tell". ;-)


[1] http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/Release_notes/0.47#Initial_SVG_Fonts_support
[2] http://www.dontmakemesteal.com/
Received on Thursday, 3 March 2011 16:13:06 UTC

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