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RE: CSS3 @font-face / EOT Fonts - new compromise proposal

From: Levantovsky, Vladimir <Vladimir.Levantovsky@MonotypeImaging.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 17:12:15 -0500
Message-ID: <E955AA200CF46842B46F49B0BBB83FF2767C14@wil-email-01.agfamonotype.org>
To: "Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: "Gustavo Ferreira" <gustavo.ferreira@hipertipo.net>, <www-style@w3.org>

Philip, Tab, all,

While I agree that both free and commercial fonts may be useful and nice
(and, as Gustavo pointed out, there are fonts that have been designed by
professional typographers and made available under free license), I
would like to emphasize once again that the goal of this W3C activity is
to develop a standard mechanism for web font embedding that satisfies
the needs of the worldwide web community at large.

This means that web content authors and developers should be free to
choose any fonts they like; the technology should _not_ in any way apply
limitations that would restrict their freedom of choice, regardless of
whether they choose free or commercial fonts. From this point of view,
and in light of the numerous positions expressed by font vendors, I
believe that the proposed compromise solution achieves these goals:
- access control will enable web authors to apply restrictions that are
required to satisfy font license terms (if any applicable restrictions
are necessary);
- obfuscation-through-font-specific-compression will satisfy font
vendors concerns while, at the same time, will provide valuable benefits
(such as reduced font size and lower bandwidth requirements) to all web
users. And it works the same way for both free and commercial fonts.

However, while using raw font data only is technically possible it is
very restrictive - web content developers will be severely limited in
their font choices. And serving raw fonts would require sending more
data with no extra benefit to either website developer or web user.

I would like to finish this with the same plea that Gustavo just made -
let's put politics aside, come out of our entrenched positions and come
up with the mechanism that helps us respect license restrictions,
protects fonts against misuse while giving web developers complete
freedom to create a content using high-quality fonts. I am a true
believer that a golden age of web typography starts today!

Thank you and regards,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-style-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:www-style-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd)
> Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 3:25 PM
> To: Tab Atkins Jr.
> Cc: Gustavo Ferreira; www-style@w3.org
> Subject: Re: CSS3 @font-face / EOT Fonts - new compromise proposal
> Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> > Well, that's another issue making me reluctant to point any out - I 
> > know that I don't have a critical eye in this subject.  Thus it's 
> > fairly likely that I'll point out something which is merely 
> "nice" and 
> > have my point dismissed out-of-hand.  I simply don't know what 
> > qualities a font must possess to qualify as "professional", 
> nor am I 
> > willing to put in the time to crash-course myself and then 
> search for 
> > fonts that satisfy this.  I *do* know that there are many 
> which I am 
> > glad to use for my own purposes, and that I'd love to have 
> available for webdesign purposes.
> > 
> > I also suspect that there qualities that would mark a font as 
> > "professional" which are largely irrelevant to making a 
> font "useful" 
> > or "nice".  Thus I doubt that an exhaustive search for 
> "professional" 
> > free fonts, even had I the skills to make it, would 
> actually be useful here.
> Yes, I agree with your analysis.  Fonts may well be both 
> useful and nice, yet still lack the features that one would 
> expect in a font created by a master typographer such as 
> Herman Zapf.  In particular, fonts created by 
> non-professionals may well lack hints (important when 
> rendering on low-resolution devices) and the kerning pairs 
> may be either lacking or noticeably sub-optimal.
> Neither of these would prevent the font from being useful (in 
> some circumstances), and quite probably it could appear nice 
> to many who read text set in it, but there would still almost 
> certainly be some aspects which a professional type designer 
> could legitimately point out as defects.
> Philip TAYLOR
Received on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 22:12:02 UTC

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