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Re: A way forward

From: karsten luecke <list@kltf.de>
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2009 00:12:01 +0200 (MEST)
Message-Id: <200907242212.n6OMC1gj003118@post.webmailer.de>
To: www-font@w3.org
Dear Mr Fink,

> The same state of ignorance and lack of familiarity
> exists about the new EOT, as well. It is a 
> very, very recent development. Dimly understood. 

the situation is not that bad. After all, Jonathan Kew has posted the ZOT specification on this list and people have read it.  :)

> I believe that if the larger web design community 
> understood that an interoperable solution for Web Fonts
> could be in hand within 2-3 years, rather than 6-10
> years, as is the case with the .ZOT proposal, [...]

Whether the format of choice will be EOT Lite or .webfont or ZOT, all of them should be equally simple and fast to implement -- and do not make much of a difference on the font production side. A brief overview (perhaps the links also answer some of Mr O'Callahan's questions):

ZOT:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-font/2009JulSep/0018.html
This is literally a compressed TTF/OTF font. OpenType fonts are based on TrueType's sfnt-structure, i.e. organizing data into separate tables: a table for glyphs, a table for font names and other strings, a few tables for general font info, a few tables for layout behavior, perhaps a table for kerning, etc. ZOT splits an OpenType font up into its tables, compresses each table individually, and saves these again in sfnt-like structure.

..webfont:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-font/2009JulSep/0548.html
A .webfont is a zip containing an xml-file containing metadata and a TTF/OTF font file, preceded by a few additional bytes.
I think Tal or Erik have indicated that they have made tools for this.

EOT:
http://www.w3.org/Submission/EOT/
EOT Lite:
Is basically that, but has an empty "RootString" and font data should neither be compressed nor XOR-encrypted. Ascender's description is here:
http://blog.fontembedding.com/post/2009/06/29/Revised-Web-Fonts-Proposal.aspx
This means that an EOT Lite font is a TTF/OTF font whose data is preceded by a few additional metadata.
A tool is available now as Mr Davis announced on this list.

(My personal opinion: My favorite is .webfont, it is the most straightforward thing to produce and read, and it allows inclusion of any past and future font format. EOT is odd as regards the data structure, yet since what counts is the tiny 'obfuscation' effect that header data has, it does the job. ZOT is tailored around TTF/OTF font's internal structure which is elegant, but it is too much TTF/OTF-specific and does not account for future font formats.)

The recent arguments against EOT -- especially since teeth have been pulled -- are as hard to understand as why ZOT is brought up again when there is the simpler .webfont.

Best wishes, Karsten


P.S. to Mr O'Callahan: I informed Mr Davis earlier today that Mr Daggett doesn't like "the silly XOR'ing of the data":
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-font/2009JulSep/0593.html  ;-)
Received on Friday, 24 July 2009 22:13:39 GMT

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