Font Rendering Using Silverlight

Fil posts about a cool library he made called Sistr that lets you use Silverlight to render high quality fonts. This is a good example of the power of Silverlight (since it really enables you to use markup for stuff in your normal HTML page way). But its also unfortunately the kind of thing that isn’t going to be adopted much until Silverlight gets deployed more widely. I suspect no one wants to force people to do a download just for somewhat better visuals.

Which brings up an interesting feature suggestion (which might already be there). If Sistr made it really easy to fall back to the standard HTML rendering (or a PNG file) when Silverlight is not installed rather than pushing the Silverlight install, this could be easier to adopt. Since it supports the same HTML markup already, that should be fairly straightforward, although the rendering can be so different that designers might not like that approach.

Or another approach would be a web-service that creates the PNG server-side for users that don’t have Silverlight. Cache it so you don’t re-render on every request, but make the developer story just as easy as putting markup in a page (as easy as the existing Sistr).

One thought on “Font Rendering Using Silverlight

  1. Actually, I do fall back to the standard HTML rendering if Silverlight is not installed (or if there’s a runtime error) — the goal is to be an unobtrusive enhancement to the page.

    I like the idea of an image (or other alternate fallback) as well, perhaps for a future version …

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