W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-font@w3.org > July to September 1996

Re: pixel fonts

From: Erik van Blokland <evb@knoware.nl>
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 96 18:14:59 +0200
Message-Id: <199608091613.SAA17168@kalvermarkt.denhaag.dataweb.net>
cc: "w3" <www-font@w3.org>
>Chris Lilley wrote:
>> Treating a pixel font (or an outline font rendered with anti-aliasing) as
>> an alpha channel rather than as image data has interesting possibilities,
>> such as true antialiased text of any color on any color background, or
>This is a genuine question, not meant to be sarcastic: what kind of
>technology is it that the font designers wish to protect here?  Is it the
>bezier data? The kerning and hinting information, that sort of thing?

All of the above. Outline fonts provide incredible flexibility and 
versatile applications, They will function within for instance a webpage, 
but once released from its context, it can be used in many different 
ways. Writing letters, printing stuff etc. Sending along an outline font 
in a webpage will help to display the page in the way it was intended. 
But it can be used for other things at the receiving end. The reason 
outline fonts are preferred for onscreen type is also the reason why 
people will be interested to capture the type and use it for other 
purposes. This won't be allowed by enduser licenses of most 
typefoundries, but there is no way to police the piracy. Hence, a concern 
for typedesigners and typefoundries.

>> >   However, it would be necessary to show how
>> > the bitmap font approach can be made amenable to high quality printing.
>> That seems to be an important requirement, as print-on-demand shops that
>> generate 'books" of printed and bound document sets looks like a growth 
>Isn't this exactly the kind of thing that the font vendors wish to
>prevent - high quality print reprodution?  This is one way in which
>they could preserve their control on their fonts - license them to such
>print-on-demand shops. 

The printing of pixelfonts does not have to be a big problem. The font 
can contain orginal fontnames and ID's. People that own the fonts can use 
those in printing (substitution could even be automatic), others can use 
substitution fonts such as the schemes that acrobat uses, making a 
multiple master instance with the same width and weight. This scheme can 
also be used so overcome unaccaptable difference in rendered resolution 
of the font and the resolution of the screen.

erik van blokland, LettError
home of the randomfonts
   letterror http://www.letterror.com
   typelab   http://www.dol.com/TypeLab/
Received on Friday, 9 August 1996 12:14:07 UTC

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