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Re: Merits and deficiencies of EOT Lite

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 17:34:37 -0500
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0907281534n4b103d0cm8490b191697b606b@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>
Cc: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 5:11 PM, John Daggett<jdaggett@mozilla.com> wrote:
>
> Sylvain Galineau wrote:
>
>> I don't understand how any of the existing format proposals would
>> yield "backward-compatibility with CFF-Fonts in IE" ? Since no file
>> format can  fix GDI or OS issues, I'm not sure I understand how this
>> can be held against EOT-Lite in particular. And what
>> backward-compatibility ? It seems the capability is currently missing
>> for all browsers (modulo Safari enabled to use Apple's rasterizer) and
>> all CFF Fonts. What am I missing ?
>
> Right, all of the rendering and GDI issues are not relevant.  The
> argument for EOT-Lite is that supporting it now means that once all
> non-IE browsers add support EOT-Lite, web authors will have a single
> format supported in all browsers, including older versions of IE.  The
> alternative is that all browsers rev to support a new format, be it
> .webfont, ZOT, or something else, and that rev window gives
> IE a chance to ship better @font-face support and support for loading
> CFF fonts so that support for this single format has a better chance
> of being interoperable across implementations.

As stated elsewhere, the CFF issue is a Windows GDI issue, not an IE
issue.  According to some tests done by Hudson, it affects Firefox
(and any other browser that pushes off font rendering to Windows in
certain ways) just as much as IE.

This has apparently been fixed in Windows 7.  It will automatically
work everywhere in that OS.

> I realize the advantage of having backward compatible solutions, I'm
> just pointing out if the goal is a single font format that all
> commercial font vendors can support and we need it now, now, hurry,
> hurry, rush, rush, then it's not necessarily EOT-Lite.  Microsoft has
> the ability to ship browser updates in the same timeframe that other
> browsers can update.  It also has the ability to add support in
> previously shipped versions of IE.  We shouldn't be anchoring the
> debate on what are effectively resource-allocation decisions in
> Redmond.

The goal is not a single font format.  The goal is an interoperable
format that vendors support.  Two or more such formats are perfectly
fine, as long as each has interop.

> Maybe this is just me but implementing EOT-Lite in non-IE browsers
> without revving IE effectively handicaps CFF fonts, TTF fonts would
> be favored for market reasons rather than on technical merits. CFF
> font vendors would be under market pressure to offer TTF versions of
> their fonts and switch to using a TTF tool chain.  Clients would be
> advised, "you should use TTF fonts because IE doesn't support CFF
> fonts" and I'm guessing that stigma would outlive it's validity. In
> many ways, CFF fonts offer advantages in compactness that TTF fonts do
> not.  I would much prefer all browsers support both on an equal
> footing and let font vendors and their clients choose based on
> technical merit rather than market pressure. But I guess if this is
> not something CFF font vendors are concerned with I would not dig in
> my heels so much.

See above for the source of the CFF issue, and why it's a global
issue, not an IE issue (and thus not a blocking issue for EOT-Lite).

> Some may consider what I'm writing just to be stalling, mere sophistry
> to buy time until "naked" fonts take over the world and pressure IE
> into capitulation, hoist the flag, viva la Revolucion!  Rather this is
> me pleading for better support for @font-face in IE and CFF fonts on
> Windows, because the web in many ways is only as good as it's lowest
> common denominator.

Better @font-face support in IE would be awesome (and Sylvain has at
least talked about pushing that in IE, though I don't think he's
offered any promises yet), but what currently exists in legacy IEs is
at least *sufficient* for most purposes.

> The EOT-Lite proposal effectively asks non-IE browsers to commit to
> supporting something with no equivalent commitment to do *anything*
> from Microsoft.  I would care less about supporting EOT-Lite if
> Microsoft was committing to supporting @font-face and CFF fonts better.

So your objection is rooted in 'fairness' grounds rather than anything
to do with the actual font format?  This doesn't seem logical - even
if we scrapped EOT-Lite in favor of some new format, and IE supported
it, you'd still need the updated @font-face support in IE and CFF
support in Windows.  These problems are completely orthogonal to the
question of format.

> Hopefully this message reaches Sylvain on a chamomile tea day
> rather than a triple venti day.

More than likely it'll be a Jimmy Juice day.  ^_^

~TJ
Received on Tuesday, 28 July 2009 22:35:37 GMT

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