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Re[4]: pixel fonts

From: Brad Chase <brad_chase@met.bitstream.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 96 10:10:53 edt
Message-Id: <9607128398.AA839870689@met.bitstream.com>
To: www-font@w3.org
Erik van Blokland wrote:
> I can't repeat this often enough: of course outline fonts are better 
> for many applications, but current formats    are    just   not   safe  
> enough    for    online   use.

The problem is not in the font format per se, but in the handling of it. 
Mechanisms exist now for protecting the downloaded font files from being 
copied and rendering/installing the fonts so that only the installing 
application can access them. (The current W3C font draft encourages the 
use of these measures.) The weak link in the chain is the downloading 
process itself.

The use of subsets will certainly act as a detriment to copying font 
files, though a determined individual could certainly assemble any entire 
font from a sufficiently large set of fragments. (OTOH, the universe of 
individuals willing to invest that much time instead of their money is 
fairly small.) Stronger protection mechanisms, such as encrypted 
transmission, are  under discussion in the W3C font work group. 

I think the use of scaleable fonts for web pages is inevitable. They are 
entirely too useful in a world where display devices have a variety of 
output resolutions. (And don't forget, while many bitmaps assume square 
pixels, there are output devices that have RECTANGULAR pixels.) Your help 
in making them work reliably while protecting designers would be very 

        Brad Chase
        Product Manager
        Bitstream Inc.
Received on Monday, 12 August 1996 10:52:47 UTC

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