W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webfonts-wg@w3.org > May 2010

Re: WOFF and extended metadata

From: David Berlow <dberlow@fontbureau.com>
Date: Fri, 28 May 2010 07:42:55 -0400
Message-ID: <AANLkTimE3E2v9HhZ0M0i-z1oaB5mBmOKbtKjR_82K3IQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: "public-webfonts-wg@w3.org" <public-webfonts-wg@w3.org>
>Are you talking here specifically in terms of WOFF file metadata, or
font metadata more generally?

JH, I am thinking of both: WOFF, and backwards to UFO. I’m writing here
within the scope of WOFF.
I think users and web authors should be sharing WOFF’s metadata, though
perhaps not the same UIs to that metadata.

WOFF, as the intelligent web font format (vs SVG) should I think, contain
three kinds: origins and credits,  permissions, and recomendations.

The first is mostly covered in the spec now, including optional space for
the kerner’s caterer, so I’m happy. I’m not going to say credits are not
that important again, but rather point out that if a font is horribly used,
sized, scaled and rendered, and nearly “all” the user can find out is my
name — I know most users will be assuming I’m dead, but for the few that
find out I’m alive – it’s hardly productive or community-building to be so
frugal with meta data.*

The permissions are intended for information purposes only and is to protect
the web author and publisher. Permissions for WOFF should cover all linking
and embedding options on the web. Right now it looks like there’s just one
url in the spec.

The third, which I consider the most important, is recommendations. I think,
every property a WOFF CAN have assigned to it in HTML/CSS, MUST be covered
here by whatever metadata makes sense, per property in WOFF’s metadata spec.
EPAR “only” covered those properties present in the spec as of a few months
ago, but some sort of W3C rule should be applied to WOFF where: If the list
of all “text” or “font” properties changes, Then WOFF MUST change too.

If people want to make WOFF into more than a web format before it is
completely specified, that could complicåte things. But otherwise, I think
this is doable now with wide support. Recommendations, tied to the
properties of HTML/CSS, would need no extensibility outside the rule stated
above, would it?

And one way maybe to think ahead of the problem (perhaps partly out of
scope), is that WOFF’s metadata should cover all the properties SVG fonts
have now, as: won’t web authors want to apply all those properties to WOFF
in the near future? How do SVG and WOFF coexist, merge? Is SVG going to get
smarter about glyphs, kerning and features, or what?

>I am sorry I don't understand what it is that users would check to see if
fonts are used according to the metadata.

Vlad, I was not speaking about whether an end user would be interested in
the permissability of the use they were seeing, though I can easily imagine
the corporate owner of a proprietary font wishing to do so.

I was talking more of UI features of UA’s (not just browsers). End user’s
agents could compare the recommendations in the metadata to the web author’s
css, so the user of the font(s) could know these fonts are being used within
the recommendations, or not. This is looking forward to a time when fonts
don’t look ugly because of browsers or OS anymore, but lots of education
still remains.

In conjunction with the web author’s use of this metadata, I’m planning to
make it possible for web authors to shop via this metadata.

* If I have to, I’ll address the issue of metadata being too big for cell
phones, but I’d rather hang up.;)
Received on Friday, 28 May 2010 11:45:20 UTC

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