@MaxDidIt: Firetype format tags look nice but often we just want to pass html formatted text coming from an external source. In this case we would have to translate html tags to firetype tags. That's ok but it would be much easier if firetype does this parsing itself. Like the native flash textfield already does.
Implementing HTML formatting tags in firetype is unfortunately more complicated than it initially sounds. Just having firetype parse basic tags like < em>, < strong>, seems simple when you look at it, but it brings a whole bunch of problems with it.
The problem is that both browsers and the Flash Player, which can handle these tags, also have native access to the installed fonts of the OS. Switching to bold or italic fonts within a paragraph mostly means that the text rendering engine of the browser switches to the respective, separate bold or italic font file of that given font family.
This can already become tricky in Flash Player if you use embedded fonts, where you have to make sure all font files of a font family are embedded if you want to make inline formatting work at all.
firetype has a similar problem: In order to make tags like < strong> and < em> work, you would have to
- load all respective fonts of the same font family,
- make them known to firetype and
- make firetype understand that the < strong> tag in that context means a switch to the respective bold font of the currently used font family
Most of the functionality for that is already available, like inline formatting, loading font files, defining formats, etc. The only thing really missing is firetype understanding font families, but that should be manageable. The problem I see is creating an API for the user that makes this as easy to use as the native Flash TextField while still handling the limitations you have in Actionscript.
How much do I/we have to donate to speed up development of the interactivity features?
Alright, both the support for basic HTML tags (maybe including elements like images?) as well as interactivity (featuring links with mouseover effects, etc.) are features I would want to implement eventually anyways. But as mentioned, it might take a while.
I think both features might take about a month of full-time work each to implement. I think we might get first results released earlier in both cases, but to have the features nearly fully implemented (there is always some detail that might be added subsequently) should take about that amount of time.
So, I don't have that much experience with "donation-driven development" , but 1-2 average month's wages would give me the freedom to work on this exclusively. That's the best case scenario, of course, any amount is greatly appreciated and will motivate me to push firetype further.