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

From: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 19:44:25 -0500
Message-ID: <7c2a12e20811131644s6e42eb99te7216a44e0d527c3@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Thomas Phinney" <tphinney@adobe.com>
Cc: "Mikko Rantalainen" <mikko.rantalainen@peda.net>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>

On Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 10:49 AM, Thomas Phinney <tphinney@adobe.com> wrote:
> There are literally several thousands of high-quality retail font families. Currently there are singles or at most a couple dozen high-quality free font families. The latter number could increase at a pretty healthy rate, and still not come close to the former number for a century or two. Or ever, if the growth rate of the former continues to be vastly higher.

Admittedly, that point of mine is somewhat meaningless without
specific timescales, yes.  I'm optimistic about the potential for
success of the free software movement, but I don't expect real success
in less than a couple of decades.  Feel free to disregard that point
if you like.  I still don't view making font foundries happy here as
being very important for the web as a whole, for the other three
reasons I stated (which are more defensible, which is why I listed
them first).

> But I still consider this a side issue. Web designers want to be able to use retail fonts, and they want to be able to use most any font. Ergo, a solution which doesn't make font vendors happy won't make web designers happy either.

Let's be clear here: only *some* web designers want to be able to use
retail fonts.  Not "web designers".

The overwhelming majority of websites run on almost nonexistent
budgets (or in other words, the overwhelming majority are small).
Lots of personal sites and so on.  These sites mostly cannot afford
retail fonts, or if they can afford some cheaper ones, most would
likely not view it as worth the money.

On the other hand, I'm not sure the very largest websites would all
want to license retail fonts either.  Certainly Wikipedia wouldn't,
for one, for ideological reasons.  Some others (more typical ones)
might prefer to buy or the font outright, or have it developed to
their specifications, rather than rely on a third-party font:
companies like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft could afford that.
Others, like social networking sites, will probably want to allow
their users to choose the fonts, which means retail fonts are likely
to be unused for the bulk of the site (since a typical Facebook user
probably isn't going to be willing to pay for a retail font for their
Facebook page).

There is almost certainly a large middle class of websites, such as
those designed by professional contractors for businesses with lots of
money to spend, whose designers will want to use retail fonts -- but
these are not all websites, nor all web designers.  I suspect they're
a fairly small minority, but even if not, they can't be assumed to be
the same as web designers as a whole.
Received on Friday, 14 November 2008 00:45:01 UTC

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