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Re: Merits and deficiencies of EOT Lite

From: Thomas Phinney <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 22:55:19 -0700
Message-ID: <f49ae6ac0907282255h66864349v3608241d29bfc732@mail.gmail.com>
To: Gustavo Ferreira <gustavo.ferreira@hipertipo.net>
Cc: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>, www-font <www-font@w3.org>
On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 10:35 PM, Gustavo
Ferreira<gustavo.ferreira@hipertipo.net> wrote:
> On Jul 29, 2009, at 12:45 AM, John Hudson wrote:
>
>> John Daggett wrote:
>>
>>> 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.
>>
>> There is already a TT bias for the web, just as there are the remnants of
>> a once strong PS bias for imagesetters. I think web designers will be
>> advising their clients 'You should use TTF fonts because CFF fonts look like
>> crap and are hard to read at text sizes' long before they get around to
>> saying 'And IE doesn't support CFF fonts'.
>>
>> Without significant improvement in CFF rasterisation, I think a natural
>> divide will emerge between CFF fonts for headlines and display typography
>> and TTF for text. (...)
>
>
> Sorry, but I don't agree with your analysis.
>
> I believe the divide will be between "screen text fonts" and "other fonts",
>  or "size specific fonts" and "scalable fonts" – not TTF vs CFF.

On what basis do you believe this?

Currently, there essentially are no size specific fonts any more. The
main operating systems have ceased to support bitmap fonts. Given that
even in browsers type is scalable (variable zoom levels set by the
user) means that truly size-specific fonts that only work at one size
are not going to be very useful.

Fonts optimized for a general size range are a different matter. Is
that what you meant? For example, a font optimized for use at very
small sizes?

But in truth all outline fonts are (at least technically) scalable,
and as a result of their spacing and other design characteristics, all
fonts are by very nature optimized for a particular size range.

> "Screen text fonts" are not necessarily TTF fonts.

On Windows, for web fonts, I believe they are exactly that. Since 90%+
of viewers are on Windows, this matters.

I'm not saying I like this fact (there are many things I prefer about
OpenType CFF over OpenType TTF). Nor am I saying that the superiority
is particularly inherent in the format. But right now, the situation
is such that any foundry delivering Web fonts for use at text sizes
would be crazy to deliver OpenType CFF. Customers may not know *why*
the rendering sucks, but they will know something is bad.

> "Size specific fonts" are independent from font formats.

Probably so. Can you elaborate on what you mean by this?

Regards,

T
Received on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 05:55:55 GMT

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