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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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