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RE: Font streaming - good or bad?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 10:20:22 -0400 (EDT)
To: Simon White <simon.white@jkd.co.uk>
cc: "WAI List (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0204251019430.21751-100000@tux.w3.org>
OK. This is something that CSS and SVG both do, and it should not impact the
accessibiltiy provided there are sensible defaults for font and you are not
relying on the users having the streamed font to make a layout work...



On Thu, 25 Apr 2002, Simon White wrote:

  Dear Charles and all on list,
  Sorry for the slightly hazy question that I put to the list. I am sadly not a technical person, more of an accessibility messenger! The following is more of a technical answer and may well help (although it could also hinder) those answering my question, or wondering how to answer it! <grin>

  Font Streaming is, in this context:
  When a user visits a site, a font type is streamed to the browser so that all text is rendered on that site in that particular font. When the user leaves the site, they also lose the ability to have that font in any other website.

  So, if I was wanting to use Verdana and it was not available as a Web font, I could stream that font to the browser so that all text would be rendered in Verdana. When I leave that site, my font becomes, say, Times New Roman/Helvetica/Arial because they are Web-friendly fonts that all browsers can display.

  This only works in Netscape and Internet Explorer, no other browsers, can it can be turned off by the user in their browser and would be overridden by a user's style sheet.

  I hope that this makes the issue clear and sorry for the earlier hazy post. In response to Charles directly, is this an issue for CSS2 and SVG or is it something that *should* not impact on the accessibility of a site?

  Thanks everyone in advance, I fully appreciate everyone's hard work on answering these questions.

  Kind regards


  -----Original Message-----
  From: Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:charles@w3.org]
  Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2002 14:15
  To: Simon White
  Cc: WAI List (E-mail)
  Subject: Re: Font streaming - good or bad?

  Hi Simon,

  I am not sure what you mean by font streaming but if it is something like
  webfonts in CSS2 or the SVG font system then there is some experience with it
  (more so in SVG)...



  On Tue, 23 Apr 2002, Simon White wrote:

    Dear All,

    I have a client that wants to use images to make the text look good on a
    Web page (because it is anti-aliased and that makes the text clearer) but
    this causes enormous problems that I don't need to mention here.

    A workaround for this would be the use of font streaming to control the
    look of the text. However, although I cannot see that this would pose any
    accessibility problems per se, does anyone have any previous experience
    of font streaming and accessibility?

    In particular, does anyone at the W3C have any further information on
    this subject? If not, I am going to trial the idea and see what happens
    and would be happy to share my findings with everyone as long as I am not
    duplicating previous postings or ideas.

    I shall leave this in everyone's capable hands and look forward to
    hearing what people have to say about it.

    Kind regards


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Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI  fax: +33 4 92 38 78 22
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Received on Thursday, 25 April 2002 10:20:23 UTC

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