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Re: Questions re web-fonts

From: Erik van Blokland <erik@letterror.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2009 19:21:20 +0200
Cc: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Message-Id: <A8BDAFF3-ECA4-4A5D-8FAE-BFA3455C2B29@letterror.com>
To: cfynn@gmx.net

On Jul 7, 2009, at 6:25 PM, Christopher Fynn wrote:

> Some questions for Karsten and others advocating "EOT only" support:
>
> If web-fonts (EOT, EOT-lite, or whatever) are intended not to work  
> "on the desktop", will they work in desktop based web-design  
> applications without invoking the browser?

Desktop based web design applications keep all resources for a project  
together, fonts would not be any different. Perhaps, if the app  
developer is nice, it would offer conversion functionality, with a  
polite reminder that fonts can be subject to licenses, would you like  
to visit the foundry site <click here>. There is precedence for such  
functionality in various design apps.

> With regard to fonts, do applications like Office Live, Google Docs  
> and other so called "cloud computing" apps count as web applications  
> or as desktop applications? Can I  use  embedded / linked fonts in  
> documents created with such apps?

If the cloud company wants to offer more fonts, they will, no doubt,  
get in touch with the foundry. If the same cloud company also wants to  
include the fonts in a standalone app, they can discuss this with the  
foundry as well. Perhaps the cloud company will use some of that  
venture capital and commission a set of really nice fonts as part of  
their new visual identity.

> Do I use web fonts or normal TTF/OTF fonts for this? If "web fonts",  
> what happens when I want to edit these same documents in a local  
> application? What fonts do I use when I'm using a word processor to  
> design web pages with embedded fonts?

There are limits to any functionality. I would argue that if you're  
designing webpages in a word processor, matching fonts is the least of  
your problems. The word processor won't give you nice embedded video  
either. Is that a problem? (if it did offer embedded video, it's  
propbably not a wordprocessor)

> Users want fonts that work seamlessly - Sometimes it seems we are  
> talking here like "the web" and "the desktop" are two discrete  
> realms and we can have one font format for each realm with little  
> inconvenience to users.

Bandwidth seperates the realms, and will continue to do so for some  
time. I have a set of fonts in which each weight is 12-15Mb. Works  
great offline, hardly notice them when printing, but they will not  
play well online.

As far as the user experience is concerned, the support questions at  
foundries will show you it is not a seamless world outside the web  
either. OpenType vs. TrueType vs. (yes, still) Type 1 postscript. Mac  
vs windows (still). Support for different scripts, languages, keyboard  
drivers (still), custom encodings (still), proprietary crazy  
publishing systems. Of course every app treats fonts differently (even  
if they're from the same vendor), and often users have no idea what  
they're doing anyway. (not my or your users of course, they are  
terrific and skilled fellows)

Cheers,
Erik
Received on Tuesday, 7 July 2009 17:22:02 GMT

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