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Re: SVG Fonts [...]

From: Dr. Olaf Hoffmann <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 09:52:08 +0200
To: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>, www-svg@w3.org
Message-Id: <201006040952.09940.Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
John Daggett:
> You seem to be hung up on the final form font data ends up in.  Given
> a set of glyphs designed in SVG, you can use FontForge to create an
> OpenType font from those.  If you'd like to view an OpenType font in
> XML form, use FontTools/TTX [1]. View, edit, create a new OpenType font
> and use it in your SVG.

Sure, many conversions are possible, maybe?
Is it true, if the the SVG glyph consists of multiple paths?
Even if - if I want to use it with SVG, why to convert it into another format?
Yesterday I created a small example - and it turned out, that some viewers
have no problem to display such complex glyphs.
Ironically these SVG fonts seem currently the only option to provide text
for the adobe plugin on my Debian/Linux system, because this plugin obviously
has no built-in font and all the adobe fonts vanished finally with the 
progress of Debian/Linux and open fonts ;o)

> Do you require JPEG images to be defined in an XML serialization?  Why
> does the final form of font data need to be defined exclusively in SVG?

No, typically I do not convert all my JPEGs from my digital camera to SVG.
And I do not convert my SVGs into JPEGs or PNGs or MNGs or OGGs, just 
because this is possible for some fraction of it. In most cases such a
conversion is pretty useless, because all these formats have different 
use cases.
And apart from the problem of limitations of viewers the best one can
do is to chose an appropriate format for the current use case.
Everything else is some kind of makeshift due to the (partly understandable)
limitations of implementors.

And there are a lot of use cases for these compact font formats, if it
really works for example with combinations of CSS+(X)HTML in the
future and if there are enough font-servers around to avoid that 
millions of authors start to provide the same font-document at millions
of URIs, just because they are not allowed simply to link to a font
file on a well known font server ;o)
I can really already see this, once a larger amount of viewers start
to interprete one formats - over one to five years many authors
will discover this and the will start to republish these font, partly
ignoring licensing problems, often ignoring, that the same font is
already available at a million other URIs.
To reduce this, there are more efforts required than just to define
a format many implementors agree on.

There are a lot of other use cases for glyphs in graphics with the
requirement to have everything in one file and to keep it simple
for authors (not necessarily for implementors - however such examples
like the adobe plugin or batik show, that it is not really a challenge, if 
there is a will). And this is the reason, why SVG fonts are important
especially for SVG documents.

Of course there will by many use cases for another font-format as
well, if this is widely interpreted, because the majority of authors
will have only the requirement, that the same font is used, not 
necessarily that this is something, they did themselves or that it is
located within the same file.
For example I use typically generic font-families in SVG files.
The results are not very predictable between different viewers
and for example current versions of Opera seem to clip the last
glyph of the fantasy-font ;o) Therefore it will be clearly an improvement
to get some comparable results with some named fonts in whatever

Received on Friday, 4 June 2010 08:43:45 UTC

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