RE: A way forward

Friday, July 24, 2009 karsten luecke <>:


First, Mr. Fink is my father. He's 91 and living in a nursing home nearby my
home. My name is Rich.

>the situation is not that bad. After all, Jonathan Kew has posted the ZOT
specification on this list and people >have read it.  :)

I have to repeat what I said to John Hudson except now I went and looked up
the actual date: the new EOT is only four weeks old!  Four weeks! (It was
announced on June 29th, right before the American 4th of July holiday
It holds the promise of an interoperable web fonts implementation that will
cut down the wait by around five years. And all we're going to give it is
four weeks before declaring an "impasse" has been reached and dismissing it?
Now, I know that's not what you, Karsten, are saying, I'm just repeating.
July is a big vacation month. So is August. Is it really possible that an
adequate appraisal and consensus among web developers and designers has
formed in so short a time? Impossible.
All I am saying is that the new EOT should receive a hearing in keeping with
its potential benefit. And those who oppose it should be held accountable
for a decision that basically says to all web authors and the browsing
public: "Sorry, but you'll just have to wait an extra five years."

(FWIW - I happen to favor Jonathan's proposal. But I'm keeping an open mind
on all for the moment.)



-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
karsten luecke
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 6:12 PM
Subject: Re: A way forward

Dear Mr Fink,

> The same state of ignorance and lack of familiarity
> exists about the new EOT, as well. It is a 
> very, very recent development. Dimly understood. 

the situation is not that bad. After all, Jonathan Kew has posted the ZOT
specification on this list and people have read it.  :)

> I believe that if the larger web design community 
> understood that an interoperable solution for Web Fonts
> could be in hand within 2-3 years, rather than 6-10
> years, as is the case with the .ZOT proposal, [...]

Whether the format of choice will be EOT Lite or .webfont or ZOT, all of
them should be equally simple and fast to implement -- and do not make much
of a difference on the font production side. A brief overview (perhaps the
links also answer some of Mr O'Callahan's questions):

This is literally a compressed TTF/OTF font. OpenType fonts are based on
TrueType's sfnt-structure, i.e. organizing data into separate tables: a
table for glyphs, a table for font names and other strings, a few tables for
general font info, a few tables for layout behavior, perhaps a table for
kerning, etc. ZOT splits an OpenType font up into its tables, compresses
each table individually, and saves these again in sfnt-like structure.

A .webfont is a zip containing an xml-file containing metadata and a TTF/OTF
font file, preceded by a few additional bytes.
I think Tal or Erik have indicated that they have made tools for this.

EOT Lite:
Is basically that, but has an empty "RootString" and font data should
neither be compressed nor XOR-encrypted. Ascender's description is here:
This means that an EOT Lite font is a TTF/OTF font whose data is preceded by
a few additional metadata.
A tool is available now as Mr Davis announced on this list.

(My personal opinion: My favorite is .webfont, it is the most
straightforward thing to produce and read, and it allows inclusion of any
past and future font format. EOT is odd as regards the data structure, yet
since what counts is the tiny 'obfuscation' effect that header data has, it
does the job. ZOT is tailored around TTF/OTF font's internal structure which
is elegant, but it is too much TTF/OTF-specific and does not account for
future font formats.)

The recent arguments against EOT -- especially since teeth have been pulled
-- are as hard to understand as why ZOT is brought up again when there is
the simpler .webfont.

Best wishes, Karsten

P.S. to Mr O'Callahan: I informed Mr Davis earlier today that Mr Daggett
doesn't like "the silly XOR'ing of the data":  ;-)

Received on Saturday, 25 July 2009 01:09:30 UTC