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Re: WOFF FAQ (action 29)

From: Christopher Slye <cslye@adobe.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2011 16:29:10 -0800
CC: "public-webfonts-wg@w3.org Group" <public-webfonts-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0FED2B49-1EE2-419C-95A6-9EFB1B2D0E0A@adobe.com>
To: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Hi John. Thanks for working on this. Comments...

What's your reasoning for using the word "typography" e.g. "Web typography" and "served typography"? To me, this makes WOFF sound more ambitious than it is; it's really just for delivering a font, right? Along those lines, I'd change the title of part 3 to "What are the benefits of Web fonts?"

Your section "What isn't WOFF" very quickly continues to describe what WOFF is. ("A WOFF package, or wrapper, contains ...") I wonder if it would be better to put those descriptions in the preceding section.

I understand what you're thinking in part 3 (benefits), but many of the listed benefits are not unique to web fonts. (Searching and accessibility are possible with "regular" HTML text.)

In part 4, would it be clearer to the average reader to use the term "cross-linked" instead of "hotlinked"?

Part 6:
"Browsers that don’t yet support WOFF will use the next installed font on your font list" --> "Browsers that don’t yet support WOFF will use the next available font on your font list"

Part 9:
"the CSS @font-face syntax" --> "the CSS @font-face rule"
"has been a standard for a decade" --> "has been a standard for over a decade" (or "since 1997", or is it '98?)

Part 10:
"In November 2011" --> "In November 2010"

Part 12:
"a license or service fee is paid by the content provider" --> "a license or service fee is paid by the content author or provider"

Part 13:
"A combination of font subsetting and WOFF compression means that the impact on page load is minimal. Users may expect reasonable speeds." WOFF does not include any facility for subsetting, so I don't know if it's appropriate to include that. And "reasonable speeds" is pretty vague. In fact, a very large font, compressed by WOFF, could still be a pretty hefty download. Maybe we should say that compression will help, but download size will depend on the font.

-Christopher


On Feb 3, 2011, at 8:04 PM, John Hudson wrote:

> Prompted by David Berlow's pointed reminder about WOFF benefits, I have 
> finished revisions to the replacement FAQ text. Please take a look at 
> let me know if you think anything needs to be clarified or changed. I 
> have added a preamble to the effect that some of the information is 
> bound to date fairly rapidly. I'd like to get this live fairly soon, 
> before that happens, so please respond promptly with any suggestions. 
> Thanks.
> 
> JH
> 
> _____
> 
> 
> This document replaces a temporary FAQ published in July 2010 in support 
> of the W3C press release regarding initial submission of the WOFF draft 
> specification. Given the speed with which WOFF has been embraced by both 
> font vendors and browser makers, some of the information in this FAQ 
> will doubtless become dated very quickly. The core text describing WOFF 
> is not expected to change much, but obviously this document can only 
> point to some of the early implementers and examples.
> 
> 
> 1. What is WOFF?
> 
> Web Open Font Format (WOFF) is an open delivery format for Web 
> typography, or ‘Web fonts’. Using WOFF files, a Web author can reference 
> a font in CSS, using the @font-face syntax, and have it downloaded with 
> the HTML or other Web content and used to display text in a reader’s 
> browser; WOFF is also relevant to locally stored document types using 
> Web standards, such as EPUB. The content of the WOFF file may be a font 
> that the author has licensed as a WOFF or converted from an 
> appropriately licensed desktop format font, or even a font that the 
> author has created.
> 
> Until now, served typography has not been common on the Web due to the 
> lack of an interoperable font format; most text on the Web has relied on 
> a limited number of fonts locally installed on the reader’s device, or 
> has been represented by images or other approaches that inhibit 
> searchability, accessibility and other text operations such as cutting 
> and pasting. WOFF provides a compact, open solution to these issues.
> 
> 
> 2. What isn’t WOFF?
> 
> WOFF is not a new font format. It is a delivery format, like a package 
> containing a font. A WOFF package, or wrapper, contains a compressed 
> TrueType or OpenType font, and some metadata. It is helpful to think of 
> the metadata as labels on the package, indicating where the WOFF comes 
> from and where it is meant to go.
> 
> WOFF is not a desktop installable font format. It is specifically 
> intended for Web delivery of fonts associated with particular sites and 
> content, and will not be available to the user to install or use with 
> other documents.
> 
> 
> 3. What are the general benefits of Web typography?
> 
> • An enhanced typographic palette on the Web
> • Preservation of brand identity through cross-media typographic design
> • More sophisticated typography using advanced layout features such as 
> smallcap variants, ‘oldstyle’ numerals, etc. available in some fonts 
> (accessible using CSS3 typographic features)
> • Better internationalisation and more options for typography of 
> non-European text
> • Better accessibility (text can be recognised and read by 
> text-to-speech software; images of text cannot)
> • Better searchability and search engine optimisation (text can be 
> searched and indexed; images of text cannot)
> 
> 
> 4. What are the specific benefits of WOFF?
> 
> • A single, open and interoperable format for Web served fonts
> • A formally defined and documented W3C Web file format
> • A suite of conformance test tools for WOFF fonts, creators and user agents
> • In-format compression for smaller font deliveries and shorter download 
> times
> • Improved user experience (smaller file sizes means faster page loading)
> • Improved security for users (fonts are loaded only from the same 
> source as the other page content)
> • Protection of author’s font asset investment (fonts cannot be 
> ‘hotlinked’ by other sites)
> • Web font information easily accessible to web authors and users from 
> WOFF metadata
> 
> 
> 5. Do you have demos or examples that show WOFF?
> 
> The text of page you are reading is formatted using WOFF (if your 
> browser supports it).
> 
> There are several pages by Jonathan Kew and John Daggett of Mozilla, and 
> by Sylvain Galineau and others of Microsoft, which demonstrate WOFF 
> fonts. Although they are designed to showcase that company’s browser 
> (Firefox 3.6+ and IE9 preview 3, respectively), the demos work the same 
> with other browsers that support WOFF.
> 
> 
> 6. I’m a web author. When can I start using WOFF? How do I use it?
> 
> Today! A few lines in your CSS stylesheet link to a WOFF font and 
> indicates where on your page to use it. Browsers that don’t yet support 
> WOFF will use the next installed font on your font list, so there is 
> graceful fallback. Over time, as new browser versions support WOFF, your 
> stylesheets will continue to work without any need for you to update or 
> edit the CSS code. [Link: Learn more about WOFF implementations.]
> 
> 
> 7. Are there WOFF fonts I can use?
> 
> WOFF fonts are already available from some commercial foundries and Web 
> font services, including Ascender, Bitstream, FontShop, Monotype, 
> Typekit, Webtype, WebInk, etc.. Free and open source fonts that can be 
> served as WOFF files are available from the Open Font Library, SIL Web 
> font collection, or FontSquirrel.
> 
> Some commercial foundries will license fonts for Web serving directly in 
> WOFF format; others may permit or expect authors to create their own 
> WOFF files from licensed desktop fonts. Authors should check font 
> licenses before creating and serving WOFF files.
> 
> 
> 8. I’m a font creator. How do I make my own WOFF files?
> 
> You can use a font editor that already supports WOFF generation 
> directly, like Fontforge. Or, you can use another tool that generates 
> TrueType and OpenType fonts, then convert these to WOFF files with a 
> utility such as sfnt2woff. If you know how to design a font, you can 
> start adding WOFF to your repertoire immediately.
> 
> 
> 9. How long has WOFF been around?
> 
> Nine months elapsed between the first appearance of WOFF and its 
> publication as a public Working Draft at W3C in July 2010. However, 
> efforts to deploy served fonts on the Web are much older. Half of the 
> solution, the CSS @font-face syntax, has been a standard for a decade, 
> but was hampered by the lack of an interoperable font format. Until 
> 2010, it has been difficult for multiple stakeholders (browser 
> implementers, font designers, foundries, web designers) to reach a 
> consensus, but W3C has been able to bring them to the table. The 
> WebFonts Working Group has made swift progress in refining the WOFF 
> specification and developing the conformance test suite.
> 
> 
> 10. How close is WOFF to becoming a W3C standard?
> 
> As of 1 February 2011… WOFF has been published on the W3C Standards 
> Track; this means that it is on its way to becoming a Royalty-Free 
> standard. In November 2011, the WOFF specification was submitted for 
> ‘last call’ comments, and responses to this are now being addressed by 
> the Working Group. The conformance test suite, mostly developed by WOFF 
> co-inventor Tal Lemming, is in an advanced state. Once there are 
> implementations that pass the test suite, WOFF will move to being a W3C 
> Recommendation (Web Standard).
> 
> 
> 11. How does WOFF relate to other Web formats (HTML, CSS, SVG, …)?
> 
> CSS and SVG already have ways to point to downloadable fonts, so those 
> specifications don’t have to change to use WOFF. As implementations pick 
> up, content will start to refer to WOFF for served fonts.
> 
> 
> 12. Will website visitors have to pay to use fonts?
> 
> No. Website visitors do not pay to read text displayed with WOFF. If the 
> fonts used are commercial, a license or service fee is paid by the 
> content provider.
> 
> 
> 13. Will downloading fonts slow page loads?
> 
> A combination of font subsetting and WOFF compression means that the 
> impact on page load is minimal. Users may expect reasonable speeds.
> 
> Initial testing of WOFF compression on a random selection of some few 
> hundred fonts indicated an average compression of about 50%. This 
> in-format compression is standard in all WOFF fonts, so content 
> providers do not need to go through extra steps (server-side 
> compression) to ensure the fastest possible downloads.
> 
> 
> 14. Will WOFF replace other formats?
> 
> WOFF is not expected to replace other, desktop font formats such as 
> TrueType, OpenType, Open Font Format, or the Web SVG font format 
> (although it may render the latter unnecessary). WOFF provides a 
> Web-specific compressed delivery formant. A font vendor may offer the 
> same font in OpenType for desktop/print use, and in WOFF for Web use; 
> each with the appropriate license.
> 
> 
> 15. Will WOFF work on mobile devices?
> 
> Mobile devices use the same technology stack (HTML, CSS, SVG, 
> JavaScript) as desktop devices so the benefits will apply to mobile as 
> well. Many mobile devices ships with very few fonts, perhaps making WOFF 
> even more interesting for those platforms.
> 
> 
> 16. Where can I learn more about WOFF?
> 
> See W3C’s page about fonts on the Web as well as the home page of the 
> WebFonts Working Group for more information. The current status of 
> specifications related to fonts is also available.
> 
> _____
> 
Received on Saturday, 5 February 2011 00:29:44 GMT

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