From: Ernest Cline (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Mar 03 2004 - 23:26:28 EST
I strongly doubt that any OS would want to support SVG fonts natively.
At best, they might choose to include a utility that would transform the
font into form more useful for itself. There are two major problems
with SVG fonts.
1) Lack of hinting - Without the ability to hint, getting fonts to look
good at small sizes is extremely difficult. SVG fonts have no
hinting mechanism, altho in theory it wouldn't be too difficult to
add one. Possibly patent issues have kept W3C from adding
such a method. W3C does not intentionally release specifications
that would require implementors to pay royalties to implement the
standard. However, even were hinting part of SVG fonts, there
is another more serious and intractable problem.
2) Lack of indexing - This is the far more serious problem with
SVG fonts and it simply cannot be fixed. For large font files,
if the glyph you want to match is the 3526th in the file for example,
then the processor has to read at least the 3525 glyphs that
precede it before it can get to glyph number 3526. Worse, the
glyph can refer to data that occurs after the glyph, altho with
careful management that problem can be handled by the font
author to optimize access. Even so, an implementation can't
simply read in only the bits that it needs to generate the glyphs
that it will use.
A major benefit of SVG fonts is that they allow an author
to include special visual effects such as gradients, color,
or even animation. A secondary benefit is that they are a
portable format. SVG fonts have their niche, but the lack of
indexing means that they can never be the only font forma
that is ever needed.
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