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Re: Fonts WG Charter feedback

From: karsten luecke <list@kltf.de>
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2009 22:39:17 +0200 (MEST)
Message-Id: <200907032039.n63KdH07014445@post.webmailer.de>
To: www-font@w3.org
Tal Leming wrote:
> On Jul 2, 2009, at 6:29 PM, Håkon Wium Lie wrote:
>> Also sprach Thomas Lord:
>>> There is a lot of talk to the effect that concerns TTF/OTF support
>>> will lead to "accidental piracy" are the main motivation for
>>> resistance to TTF/OTF. I am beginning to believe that that is not
>>> really the motivation but, rather, exclusion by incumbents against
>>> potential competitors is the driver.
>> I support your analysis.
> Could you please elaborate on what you believe is happening?
> Tal

Are you (Thomas Lord) implying that some type designers or foundries try to "kick out" collegues just by asking browser developers to only support a font format that not everybody can produce? Nothing farther from truth.

First, I expect that a future versions of FontLab Studio will allow making EOTs. (Of course I don't know.)

Second, if that should not happen -- or should not happen fast enough -- you can be sure that Letterror, Tal Leming, perhaps me or someone else will provide tools which allow collegues to create EOTs. Maybe even for free.
The type world is more cooperative than you seem to think.
And as a "independent" type designer who enjoys experimenting, I can assure you that competence is not bound to larger foundries, or "incumbents", at all.  :)

As to the former part:
> If, tomorrow, IE suddenly supported TTF/OTF the market
> I described would exist and have a lot of potency since
> there would be room for trade in font files that work
> in all major browsers and with all major desktops, 
> printers, etc.

The request for EOT support is exactly to avoid that EOTs which are "made" for the web are used elsewhere, or the other way round. Yes, this does imply some trust in browser and OS developers, that each would support only the respective format.
Type designers don't live on the moon, they have friends or collegues who are print or web designers, and are very well aware what goes on, what are their needs, how they deal with otherones' IP. Favoring EOT does not come out of nowhere. I only started to prefer EOT, by the way, when reading the discussion on the www-style and www-font lists.
It is also amusing how you and others try to sell foundries markets.

* * *

Back to the main issue:

The problem with raw TTF/OTF fonts being supported at all is that ...
(a) it is damn easy to download these -- I just installed Mozilla 3.5 and the latest Safari and fetched some fonts from @font-face demo sites. Cool.
(b) all fonts out there right now, licensed for print use earlier on, can be uploaded and used as web fonts.

About the "break web font rendering" argument I can only say that this is a non-issue. CSS definitions state multiple fonts in preferred order, from specific fonts down to mere style, which implies that a page may render better or worse. Not good or bad. Same with @font-face. If the mechanism is not supported, an alternative font will be chosen. This does not break functionality, the page is still readable and may even look good.

Karsten
Received on Sunday, 5 July 2009 20:43:11 GMT

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