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Re: Web Fonts

From: Jan Brasna <discuss@alphanumeric.cz>
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2006 23:05:35 +0200
Message-ID: <44F2091F.8090001@alphanumeric.cz>
CC: www-style@w3.org

> The original observation was that "image replacement" techniques are 
> most often used to replace text by an image of text in a specific font 
> and it seems Web Fonts, if they had been available, would make probably 
> 80% of image replacement unnecessary. Web Fonts would be easier for the 
> designer and more accessible for the reader. So why aren't they 
> implemented?

The reason for the custom font might be a transition of the identity to 
the web environment.

Image replacement nowadays solves this. It's mostly neither scalable nor 
selectable, has a fixed dpi, but is a "rasterization" of the type itself 
- there is no need to have the font handy at the client.

Typical commercial case: Heading as a part of a corporate identity, 
licensed font, professional (read: expensive) type foundry. Licensing 
issues, anyone? (See below.)

> CSS3 will make image replacement itself as easy as a single property

Great thing to have. However with IR you have (from today's point of 
view) only a raster interpretation with no ability to being gracefully 
sized/magnified.

> There are by some estimates around 500 free fonts available, in 
> the sense that you can redistribute them freely.

With respect to all makers of these fonts... They are pretty useless for 
this case. Designers use professional fonts and with no real chance to 
use them for the rendering this solution degrades as a whole and we're 
still stuck with the raster/image "export" that doesn't violate the license.

> Microsoft has developed a solution for that: its EOT[2] format is a 
> variant of OpenType that embeds in the font file the list of documents 
> (URLs) the font may be used with.

This could be the way here. However it denies the original concept of 
using generic TTF/OTF/T1/(...) fonts.

It is the way sIFR kind of went - introduced a tool to provide the 
rendering of a particular text element with the chosen embedded subset font.

> So maybe we need a standard format that does what EOT does: 
> [...] i.e., embed rather than redistribute.

Absolutely. Ideas?

> You may also want to subset a font, to eliminate glyphs that you don't 
> need and make the file quicker to download.

Additional point to be considered as a bonus for the embedding solution.

-- 
Jan Brasna :: www.alphanumeric.cz | www.janbrasna.com | www.wdnews.net
Received on Sunday, 27 August 2006 21:06:25 GMT

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