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Re: Questions re web-fonts

From: Christopher Fynn <cfynn@gmx.net>
Date: Thu, 09 Jul 2009 15:22:04 +0600
Message-ID: <4A55B6BC.5040502@gmx.net>
To: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
CC: karsten luecke <list@kltf.de>
karsten luecke wrote:

> Christopher Fynn wrote:
>> If web-fonts (EOT, EOT-lite, or whatever) are intended not to work "on the desktop", will they work in desktop based web-design applications without invoking the browser?

> Ideally, web-design apps would have similar rasterizing functionality as browsers so they can offer a proper preview (with web-fonts).

But if you're OK with one desktop app having "similar rasterizing
functionality" why can't another? Someone could just as easily make
other desktop applications, or even an OS windowing environment, work
with web fonts as well as normal TTF/OTF fonts.

>> Users want fonts that work seamlessly [...]
> Erik van Blokland and John Hudson have given good answers.

Yes but they each gave a somewhat different answer.

> TTF/OTF fonts per se (possible permission tables or embedding bits aside) 
> ideally would work in all kinds of environments. That's the technical side. 

"All kinds of environments" includes the web.

> Permissions are another issue and independent of the font format. 
> Standard uses are covered by standardized license agreements, and beyond 
> that, communication between foundry and user is required as Erik said.

In 2009 think "Standard uses" needs to include the web. Any licence
written today should certainly explicitly state whether or not web use 
is allowed and under what conditions. - Execpt in special cases, or 
where they wish to purchase an extended license, leaving it up to the 
customer to contact the foundry or vendor seems rather unrealistic.

> The sole unhappy purpose of EOT (or alternatives) is to address the very specific situation that the current @font-face implementation resembles a bank that deposits its money in plastic bags in front of the building ...

My reading on this is that almost all legitimate commercial, government, 
educational or ngo site are going to make damn sure they have a proper 
licence for fonts used on their site.  Anything published on such a site 
is visible to everyone and it would be  too easy to get caught for using 
unlicensed fonts. Any kind of font linking with cross browser support 
provides a new market for fonts just when many publishers of printed 
periodicals and newspapers are struggling.

Of course if the font used on the web is TTF/OTF there is no technical
barrier to prevent anyone from grabbing the font and using it in printed
publications where unlicensed use would most likely be undetectable. But
would anyone who is prepared to do that would ever pay for the font
anyway? EOT may offer a low height garden fence, but if the format
becomes widespread you can bet there will be half a dozen EOT to OTF
converters available before too long.

Foundries and font vendors might want to consider licensing only "lite"
cut-down versions of their fonts for @font-face web use (i.e. plain TT 
fonts a limited character set and no (or limited) OpenType features) - 
Some vendors might want to insisting that these be in EOT lite or 
whatever web-font format is agreed to here.

But I see no good reason not to support plain TTF/OTF ~ and maybe Type 1
~ as well.

I make fonts or complex scripts - because the OpenType support for 
complex scripts is *very* different from platform to platform and 
application to application - it is difficult enough making a single
OTF font for a complex script that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux; in 
Adobe CS3, MS Office and OpenOffice; and in different browsers. I don't 
want to have to support some web-font format as well. My users want a 
single font file that works everywhere.

- Chris
Received on Thursday, 9 July 2009 09:41:01 UTC

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