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Re: Questions re web-fonts

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 11:37:01 -0500
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0907150937p2d349d4brf1056d01b949192c@mail.gmail.com>
To: Erik van Blokland <erik@letterror.com>
Cc: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
On Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 11:07 AM, Erik van Blokland<erik@letterror.com> wrote:
>
> On Jul 15, 2009, at 5:49 PM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>
>> Any new format, on the other
>> hand, even if decided on today, will require at least half a decade
>> before it's truly usable.
>
> This is just not true.
>
> EOT lite *is* a new format for Opera, Safari, FireFox. Support has to start
> from scratch. So, 2014 before those apps support it you reckon?

Nope, non-IE browsers have a faster update cycle than IE, and their
users upgrade much faster.  Half of the problems on the web are caused
by people who still use IE6, despite it being over 8 years old and two
versions obsolete now.

Assuming the non-IE browsers wanted to support this, we could have
good support in 2-3 years, max, and acceptable support much faster,
perhaps even within a year.  I personally would start using it in my
day-job as soon as Firefox supported it, as that would let me hit
probably 85% of users immediately.  My company's software is Windows
only, so Safari users aren't a big concern, and Opera/Chrome/others
are small enough that I can use their non-compliance against them
without adversely affecting most of the viewers of my sites (the
actual usage statistics of viewers of the sites I develop for my job
are more heavily skewed toward IE than the overall internet anyway -
they're mostly middle-aged women).

> A webfont wrapper as proposed (more on that in a seperate post) is not a new
> format. It is a plain ttf / otf which can be offloaded to the OS for
> rendering. The unwrapper code is a handful of lines in Python, I'm sure it
> can be done in a single line of Perl. Supporting EOT and it's light version
> require a much bigger investment in time and testing. Regardless of what
> gets decided, there is no reason to resort to imaginary arguments to dismiss
> things.

It most certainly is a new format!  You can't just take the wrapped
file, throw it at the existing code, and expect it to work.  The data
is being presented in a different and incompatible way to what is
currently supported by any browser.

The work to decode it may be less than the work to decode EOT Lite and
thus may take somewhat more time, but the time required for the
general public to update to browsers that support the new format
vastly swamps this to the point of utter insignificance.  The only
reasons not to support EOT Lite would be if most foundries still
didn't agree to it, or if it was just completely unusable in some way.

~TJ
Received on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 16:38:02 GMT

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