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Re: Downloadable fonts and image replacement

From: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 09:45:40 +0200
Message-ID: <17487.9508.225295.787138@localhost.localdomain>
To: Joshua RANDALL FTRD/DIH/BOS <joshua.randall@francetelecom.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org

Also sprach Joshua RANDALL FTRD/DIH/BOS:

 > > Now that descigners are using
 > > advanced CSS, I think the time is right try getting webfonts started
 > > again. And simple downloads of existing, currently available, zipped
 > > truetype files is a pragmatic way to start.
 > 
 > I agree that it would definitely be good to reincorporate webfonts  
 > into current CSS work, but I'm not sure how a standard supporting  
 > webfonts would specify required font type support for conformance  
 > purposes. 

You're right. Just like CSS doesn't dictate which formats can be used
as backgrounds or what formats the 'cursor' property accepts, the
specification itself should not prescribe which font formats to
support. As such, the CSS specification doesn't need to change, only
implementations do.

(However, the specification needs to change if we want to webfonts to
coexist gracefully with pictorial text replacements.)

 > However, one of the goals of the style effort, moving forward, should  
 > be to make it possible to render pages on a much wider variety of  
 > devices; including PDAs, mobile phones, and set-top boxes.  In many  
 > cases these devices do not contain built-in support for truetype, so  
 > it would be up to user-agent manufacturers to provide such support.   
 > Since these devices often have a very limited set of built-in fonts  
 > (sometimes only one or two faces), they arguably have the most to  
 > gain from webfonts work.

Yes. It seems, however, that truetype renderers increasingy enter
these kinds of devices as well -- at least the high end of the range.
When web fonts were specified in 1998, there was no format that was
generally available on all desktop systems. That has now changed.
Despite possible legal problems with TrueType, popular Linux
distributions include a TrueType renderer and open-source tools can
generate TTF files (e.g., fontforge).

 > Many (most?) browser manufacturers have either announced or have  
 > already shipped initial support for native SVG.

Certainly, at Opera, we are very proud of our SVG implementation. I
see some issues wrt. using SVG as a font format, though. First, I
havn't seen any SVG font families. It would be helpful if someone
could take an existing font family (I suggest Bitstream's Vera) and
convert it to SVG for comparison purposes. Second, AFAIK, SVG fonts
cannot hold TrueTypes's embedding information (or equivalent). Third,
AFAIK, SVG fonts don't contain hinting information.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong on these points.

-h&kon
              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome@opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome
Received on Wednesday, 26 April 2006 07:56:12 GMT

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