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I don't understand what exactly zooming has to do with hinting. Fonts use hinting to great effect, and they're specifically designed to be displayed at different sizes and resolutions.

Hinting makes all vector drawings (including fonts) look better; but zooming means that bitmaps don't have an advantage, since a PNG will be no better than an unhinted SVG.

That's not true at all. Firstly, any PNG would have a limited resolution, requiring massive file sizes to be indistinguishable from an SVG. Secondly, browsers don't scale bitmaps with perfectly alias-free filtering, which means you get artifacts when scaling down and blurryness when scaling up.

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