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Re: [OpenFontLibrary] Fwd: www-font: WebOTF Proposal

From: Jonathan Kew <jonathan@jfkew.plus.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 10:25:13 +0100
Cc: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Message-Id: <47F8594C-AE44-49F3-8D0F-7F35F3541882@jfkew.plus.com>
To: Dave Crossland <dave@lab6.com>
I think I'm having trouble understanding what he's saying here....

On 7 Aug 2009, at 09:37, Dave Crossland wrote:

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: "Nicolas Mailhot" <nicolas.mailhot@laposte.net>
> Date: 7 Aug 2009, 9:30 AM
> Subject: Re: [OpenFontLibrary] Fwd: www-font: WebOTF Proposal
> To: "Open Font Library" <openfontlibrary@lists.freedesktop.org>
> Le Jeu 6 août 2009 22:43, Ben Weiner a écrit :
> > Hi there,
> Hi,
> > With Nicolas Spalinger's comments about font metadata (13:00 BST  
> today) > fresh in my mind, I wan...
> I am personally not in favour of a web-only font format.

I really don't want to restart the debate over whether there should be  
a web-only font format....

> Every other web
> content uses standard formats and the web is successful because moving
> content to and from the web does not have any barrier.

....but will just suggest that this is not an accurate  
characterization. Was HTML a standard format when the web began?  
Actually, I'd say it still isn't a "standard format" for desktop use;  
it's widely supported, true, but it is still primarily a web format,  
with a variety of other formats dominating non-web use.

> That being said, this particular proposal is even worse than the  
> previous
> ones since it makes it easy to create web fonts with site or web- 
> specific
> names and ids.

In what way does it do this? What names/IDs are we talking about? The  
font names are the existing names in the OpenType content; WebOTF  
doesn't change anything about that. Or is this referring to the family  
names used in CSS rules? Those are defined by @font-face and are  
completely independent of any names in the font file itself,  
regardless of its format.

> The whole FLOSS desktop font stack is built over extensive
> logic to substitute fonts whenever appropriate and possible. If you  
> allow
> web fonts to use different ids than normal font files, you strip a  
> large
> part of the info that makes this substitution effective.

But the point of web fonts is (at least in part) to allow site authors  
to provide exactly the font they want to use, rather than just making  
some requests and having the client do whatever substitution it thinks  

> People will claim their web fonts will be perfect and do not need
> substitution, but we consider than the user is in control and should  
> be
> given the means to refuse a font download if he wants to (to save
> bandwidth, for licensing reasons, because the web font is ugly or  
> broken
> or stale or not refreshed to take into account new text added on the  
> web
> site, etc).

Sure, browsers should allow users to disable web font downloading. I  
don't see how that has anything to do with the format of the web  
fonts, whether EOT, OTF, WebOTF, or whatever.

> Also we've seen all too often web site creators that do not
> take our client specificities into account and assume Microsoft or  
> Apple
> fonts are available to complete their design. We can workaround it  
> with
> smart font management code but its efficiency will be greatly  
> reduced in
> they have little data to make decisions from.
> For example, when TTF/OTF linking was imlemented in Firefox, Mozilla
> developers posted a set of examples. In one of them a well-known FLOSS
> font was used instead of Helvetica. But because the css rules linked  
> the
> font file directly and never mentioned its real name,

What name is being considered "real" here?

> browsers would
> download it even if another (possibly more recent and better)  
> version was
> already installed locally. The writer obviously considered the  
> presence of
> this font unlikely, which is true for Apple and Microsoft systems, but
> false for Linux systems.

This has nothing to do with the font format used, AFAICT. If you want  
a local version of font FooBar to be used in preference to the linked  
version, if available, then list them this way in CSS.

Received on Friday, 7 August 2009 09:25:57 UTC

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