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Re: Questions re web-fonts

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Tue, 07 Jul 2009 10:58:36 -0700
Message-ID: <4A538CCC.5010401@tiro.com>
To: cfynn@gmx.net
CC: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Christopher Fynn wrote:

> Some questions for Karsten and others advocating "EOT only" support:

That's not me, but I want to comment on your questions anyway.

> 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?

> 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? 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?

It seems to me that what these questions point to most clearly is the 
inadequacy of the OT font format specification in terms of addressing, 
with clarity of intent, the use of fonts in electronic media. Apart from 
whatever permission bits or tables may be added to that specification -- 
perfectly legitimately and following ISO standards procedure --, there 
isn't even clarity about what the existing embedding bits mean in terms 
of web linking.

New uses for fonts are emerging all the time, and this is one of the 
reasons why I prefer to see a single, flexible format. The distinction 
between 'desktop' and 'web' use seems to me artificial and unwieldy but 
something that we're being forced towards because the distinction is not 
being made where it should be made: at the licensing level supported by 
permissions (even if those permissions are only informative, i.e. there 
is no enforcement requirement on the part of browsers, apps or systems).

If we're not allowed the right thing, don't be surprised if we end up 
with the wrong thing.

John Hudson
Received on Tuesday, 7 July 2009 17:59:27 GMT

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