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Re: Questions re web-fonts

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Tue, 07 Jul 2009 14:56:20 -0700
Message-ID: <4A53C484.4040005@tiro.com>
To: Erik van Blokland <erik@letterror.com>
CC: cfynn@gmx.net, www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Erik van Blokland wrote:

>> 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.

This is a good point, and I think some form of compression for fonts on 
the web will benefit everyone. But there's nothing to say that the same 
compression couldn't also be used on the desktop. Fonts are getting 
bigger, not only in terms of glyph set size but also in complexity of 
OpenType Layout tables. Web publishers, ISPs and mobile device makers 
are not the only people interested in ways to make fonts take up less 
bandwidth, storage space and memory: I already have a customer fussing 
about the size of the font footprint in the OS. [The latest version of 
the MS VOLT tool optimises the GSUB table precisely to address this 
concern about font size.]

> 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)

Yeah, but I don't think anyone that this is a good situation.

Received on Tuesday, 7 July 2009 21:57:09 UTC

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