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Re: Embedding fonts

From: Brad Chase <bchase@bitstream.com>
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 14:24:52 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <355893C9.5BC1DD63@bitstream.com>
To: chris@w3.org
CC: Chris Wilson <cwilso@MICROSOFT.com>, "'Todd Fahrner'" <todd@lowbrow.com>, www-style@w3.org, www-font@w3.org
OK, time for Bitstream to throw in it's $.02....

I'll stay away from all the anti-aliased versus delta hinted stuff
except to say that the end result depends highly on (a) the font in
question, (b) the quality of the anti-aliasing algortihm, and (c)
personal preference. And, just to keep the record straight, it is
possible to reproduce the delta-hinted bitmaps using TrueDoc, if that is
what the document author desires. Extensis BeyondPress currently
supports this ability.

Chris Lilley wrote:

> Chris Wilson wrote:
> >
> > BTW, IE's downloadable font implementation is a strict subset of
> what CSS2
> > defines for Fonts.  We didn't pick that syntax randomly - it came
> straight
> > from the WebFonts Working Draft (http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-font),
> which both
> > Microsoft and Bitstream had a hand in developing.  (Todd, I know
> that you
> > know this; this was for others' benefit.)

It does, though the current implementation does not expose the
@font-face informaiton in the document object model (at least not as far
as I can tell), not does it support the kind of plug-in extensibility
for rendering the would allow the @font-face rule to reach it's full
potential. I believe that Netscape is going to add @font-face support in
5.0. I hope that Microsoft can provide the plug-in capability for
rendering. Then document authors can get back in the drivers seat...

As an interesting side note to all of this, as big a fan as I am of
@font-face, I think the use of LINK and FONT FACE may very well be here
to stay-- at least for a while. Many embedded developers would like to
have access to the fonts but are not enthused about having to spend the
memory to implement CSS.

> > However, TrueDoc is now usable in Internet Explorer
> > >through an ActiveX control.[1] How do you and your readers like
> ActiveX?
> > >You have to embed the control in the HTML of every page you want to
> use
> > >TrueDoc in - can't specify it in the stylesheet and have done.

True enough. However, you could put the LINKs, the OBJECT for the
ActiveX, and the reference to the stylesheet all in a JavaScript file
and accomplish the same thing. (I agree that things will be better when
it can all be done via the stylesheet, but all that was a DRAFT- not to
be implemented- until today.)

> > >Unfortunately, Netscape (the TrueDoc implementor) doesn't implement
> enough
> > >CSS to let you embed fonts through CSS. You still have to muck
> around in
> > >the HTML, against the recommendations of the HTML 4.0
> Specification.

NS 4.0 does support CSS font markup. You do NOT have to use FONT FACE.
Many authoring tools do not support CSS yet, that's true. But it's
pretty easy to work around-- if you've been to truedoc.com and looked at
the source, you'll find a fair amount of stuff done with CSS. (Like all
of the test drive.)

NS 4.0 does not support the (at the time of release) DRAFT @font-face
rule. If they don't clean it up in 5.0, then we yell at 'em. ;-)


> >  I could probably convince our typography team to assist
> > anyone who wanted to implement OpenType embedding in Mozilla as
> well.  I'm
> > sure you can imagine why I can't offer to do it myself.  ;^)
>
> That assistance would include help with the necessary licensing of the
>
> Microtype Express technology from Agfa?

We could do it if we had the rights to the software at both ends.

> > presuming you didn't want to insert the TrueDoc ActiveX control in
> your
> > pages.  If you're going to build two copies of the font anyway, you
> can use
> > the CSS2 syntax IE4 uses for the EOT file, and the META syntax Nav
> uses -
> > neither will interfere with each other.
>
> Actually they will. Not the meta syntax per se, which is harmless
> (although the hxburned attribute inserted by Hexmac Typograph is
> non-standard) but the fact that you need to have font face tags all
> over
> your HTML, which has several problems:

As mentioned above, this is incorrect. You can use CSS1 for everything.
The only divergence is the LINK vs. the CSS2 @font-face. And you can put
this all in a single JavaScript file that you load by reference.

Nope, it's not a perfect world. (Being heavily involved in web site
production at the moment, I can attest to THAT!) But, you can get it to
work pretty well now, and with a lttle teamwork, I think it's gonna get
better.

    Brad Chase
    Bitstream Inc.

    bchase@bitstream.com
Received on Tuesday, 12 May 1998 14:34:30 GMT

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