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RE: pixel fonts

From: <lee@sq.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 96 19:36:33 EDT
Message-Id: <9608082336.AA02858@sqrex.sq.com>
To: billhill@microsoft.com, david@verso.com, www-font@w3.org
David Siegel[SMTP:david@verso.com] wrote:
> although bitmap fonts have some advantages for the web, I am generally 
> against them. The will end up causing more troubles in the future, as 
> people look at sites through TVs and high-res monitors, both. Not a step 
> forward in my mind.

Bill Hill <billhill@microsoft.com> wrote:
> I'd go further. A BIG step backward!

I think I agree, but I also think that if the HTTP proposal for including
client resolution, geometry and colour informatin is included, bitmap
fonts could work.  The main advantages I see over using individual gifs
are sending multiple images in a single transaction (like HTTP 1.1) and
in positioning to align baselines with surrounding text.  The latter
consideration seems to be the more important of the two.

However, adding movedown="35" to an image to move it down by the given
numbr of pixels would presumably be sufficient.

I think that the requests to use bitmap fonts are coming from font
designers who don't want to allow their outline fonts to be embedded, for
fear of copyright infringements and piracy.  This is a valid concern
which OpenType must address.

There are also concerns that a hand-tuned bitmap font can give a better
appearance than an outline font at low resolutions.  I think that this is
utter nonsense unless it can be combined with knowledge of the client's
screen size, resolution and number of colours.  Armed with that knowledge,
though, it is possibly true.  However, it would be necessary to show how
the bitmap font approach can be made amenable to high quality printing.

So a formal write-up is needed, including a technical specification as
to exactly how it would be implemented.  But is it worth anyone spending
a few days doing that?  Would anyone listen?


Liam Quin, SoftQuad Inc    | lq-text freely available Unix text retrieval
lee@sq.com +1 416 239 4801 | FAQs: Metafont fonts, OPEN LOOK UI, OpenWindows
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Received on Thursday, 8 August 1996 19:37:10 UTC

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