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Re: [css3-webfonts] Downloaded fonts should not...

From: Brad Kemper <brkemper@comcast.net>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 08:22:11 -0700
Cc: Ambrose Li <ambrose.li@gmail.com>, www-style mailing list <www-style@w3.org>, David Hyatt <hyatt@apple.com>
Message-Id: <A24B7103-EE79-480E-AA03-13C0D17B5259@comcast.net>
To: Patrick Garies <pgaries@fastmail.us>

On Apr 14, 2008, at 10:15 PM, Patrick Garies wrote:

>  I am /for/ downloading fonts through CSS if, by “downloadable”,  
> you mean that font files may be cached on a user’s system. I agree  
> with any ideas that fonts obtained through CSS should not be  
> installed on the operating system for use with other applications or  
> in the UA for cross‐domain applications.

Cross-domain fonts would save a lot of downloading if there was a way  
to ensure that it was the exact same font, without having to download  
it twice. Also, what exactly qualifies as cross-domain? If I have www.mydomain.com 
  with a downloadable font, will my users have to download the font  
again in order to use it at ordering.mydomain.com? Sometimes third  
level domains are all controlled by the same entities, sometimes not.

I'm not sure how the download speed of a Web font compares to, say, a  
JPEG (would a font be comparable to a 640x480 JPEG, or 10 such JPEGs,  
or 1/10 of such a JPEG, or what?), but my concerns with cross-domain  
restrictions and with not letting the font sit in a semi-permanent  
cache is that I don't want my desire for accurate font rendering to be  
at odds with quick downloading.

It would be nice if the font could be downloaded incrementally, if  
doing so would help with the speed. Perhaps just the characters needed  
by the page, with additional characters supplied on demand for other  
pages, if such a thing were possible. If that is not feasible then  
download in blocks: upper, lower, and numbers first, for instance,  
then punctuation, then other characters as needed. Perhaps that is  
just an implementation detail though. As an author, I am concerned  
about what specifying a couple or three downloadable fonts would do to  
the download speed of the page, and whether the page will initially  
render without the font, as the font downloads. Perhaps David Hyatt  
could explain how it works in WebKit?

> I think that licensing, copyright, or other IP issues are outside of  
> the scope of CSS work.

I totally agree. CSS doesn't deal with licensing restrictions for  
images, music, movies, or other media, so why for fonts? I can see how  
an implementor might not want to be perceived as aiding piracy by  
making it too easy to use the font in other applications (such as  
InDesign or Word), but even if they did enable easy downloading it is  
really not worse than being able to download an image or MP3 from the  
Web. As an author, I mainly want people to be able to see the font I  
specified on a Web page as easily as they see it in some printed  
piece[1].


[1] Note to David Wooley: I already am familiar with your "use PDF if  
you want that" argument, so no need to rehash it in response to this.
Received on Tuesday, 15 April 2008 15:23:26 GMT

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