font-variant-alternates enables simpler access to glyph alternates in fonts such as swashes, character-variants, ornaments and more. It provides an easier method over having to use 4-letter-codes (e.g. 'swsh', 'cv01'...) as arguments to font-feature-settings. font-variant-alternates refers to the @font-feature-values at-rule to map speaking feature names to OpenType feature numbers. In the font-variant-alternates style rule, the requested feature activation becomes easy to use and to read and allows flexible combination of font features.
As part of Interop 2022 we committed to supporting font-variant-alternates and @font-feature-values in order to reach parity with Firefox and Safari on this aspect of OpenType feature selection through CSS.
The ergonomics of font-variant-alternates are better than having to know OpenType feature codes and passing them to font-feature-settings.
Low, extensively tested in WPT, shipped in Firefox and Safari.
This feature provides an ergonomics improvement over font-feature-settings.
Developers can immediately benefit from this feature when they write their own @font-feature-values mappings to font features, based on the font's documentation or tools such as https://wakamaifondue.com/. On top of that, if the font foundry provides a @font-feature-values block, it becomes even easier to activate font features.
Does this intent deprecate or change behavior of existing APIs, such that it has potentially high risk for Android WebView-based applications?
The font-variant-alternates property is debugged through DevTools as usual. This way parsing issues or invalid values can be detected. There's no extra support for the @font-feature-values rule.
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