F2F/Auckland 2011/WOFF in SVG 2

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WOFF in SVG 2

Discussion for Auckland f2f.

Benefits of WOFF

All of the "HTML/CSS and SVG" browsers now implement WOFF (Firefox, Chrome, IE9, Opera) as do some of the xxx-to-PDF converters (Prince). So it has more traction in browsers than SVG Fonts (Opera).

WOFF is a wrapping around TrueType/OpenType so the actual font rendering reuses existing TT/OT layout code. In particular it has much better internationalisation than SVG fonts.

The compression is gzip, same as is used for SVG and PNG, so no overhead there either.

CSS3 allows advanced typography features like swash forms, alternate glyphs, lining figures, etc. These are already implemented in Firefox.

The font foundries like WOFF and are licensing commercial fonts in WOFF. So there is an increasing amount of fonts available and these are being used in HTML/CSS.

Drawbacks of WOFF

Its another format. Except it isn't really, TrueType has been around for ages

TrueType is patented. Except those patents expired a couple of years ago. Libre software like Freetype and Pango works with it.

TrueType/OpenType is semi-open, controlled by Microsoft and Apple and Adobe. Except its now an ISO standard as well, the full text is freely downladable as well.

No multicoloured, animated, video fonts. Some of that can be done by using the text elements as masks or inputs to filters.

Proposal for SVG2

I (ChrisL) propose that for SVG2, WOFF be mandatory and SVG Fonts be allowed, but not required.