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Re: [css3-webfonts] Proposal-in-progress for cross site font sharing [was "Downloaded fonts should not..."]

From: Brad Kemper <brkemper@comcast.net>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2008 07:59:46 -0700
Cc: Patrick Garies <pgaries@fastmail.us>, www-style mailing list <www-style@w3.org>, Dave Crossland <dave@lab6.com>
Message-Id: <F56EF1DF-94F1-478C-A9FF-1DCFAF371EBF@comcast.net>
To: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>


On Apr 17, 2008, at 11:24 PM, John Daggett wrote:

>> The thing with fonts is that most people will want to use
>> the ones they have or that are easily available.
>
> I think there are actually a number of relatively distinct use cases  
> for downloaded fonts, each with slightly different tool requirements:
>
> 1. General use for alphabetic scripts - this is probably what most  
> people thinking about this are interested in, the use of downloaded  
> fonts throughout a site, both for display and body text.  Size of  
> the fonts involved probably aren't too big, probably don't need font- 
> specific compression schemes.  The big problem with "easily  
> available" fonts for many of these the license won't allow  for use  
> as a downloadable font, or worse, it's actually hard to figure out  
> what license actually applies (e.g. all the lovely fonts shipped  
> with Mac OS X).
>
> [...]
> While the first usage is wonderful, the latter two I think would end  
> up having a much broader impact on web design internationally!

That may be true. I am mostly concerned with the first usage, because  
as a designer in the US, my sense is that most designers are (or soon  
will be) frustrated by the paucity of selection of fonts they can use  
online. Fonts are a big way of conveying the character of the design,  
so if there was a way to include a downloadable font that did not have  
a significant hit on rendering time, and was easy to include, and  
reliable (available in the well-known browsers), I think that it could  
catch on big time here.

There are also trends in graphic design that can make certain fonts  
popular choices, so I could see the "sharability" of fonts as making a  
big difference. I have about a thousand fonts in my collection (mostly  
from when I did print design), and probably about a third of them are  
freeware fonts with no licensing restrictions (actually, come to think  
of it, I actually have a CDROM somewhere that claims to have a  
thousand free fonts on it of that sort). Since the visual design of  
the font cannot be copyrighted, there are many knockoffs of just about  
every Adobe or URW font. Many/most are just alphanumeric with  
punctuation, and would be "good enough" for Web design.
Received on Friday, 18 April 2008 15:00:47 GMT

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