RE: WebOTF Proposal: updated description and sample code

Saturday, August 08, 2009 Erik van Blokland <>:

>So why would one need the IE rendering engine in an ebook?

Maybe I didn't explain myself well. Of course you don't need IE for that!
(Thank heavens.)
The problem is packaging a font to travel along within the epub package.
Lately, there's been an outbreak of E-Readers - Stanza, eReader, Mobi,
Eucalyptus, and on and on and on. Epub is my favorite format because it
relies mostly on the standard troika of HTML/JavaScript/CSS. (It's a little
more complex than that, yeah, but not much.) Epub's an open standard and
meshes well with the web. 

[You see, my position is that I already have a universal E-Reader -
everybody does. It's also called a browser! And once we've got the font
thing settled, with just a bit more in the way of JavaScript properties and
a bit more thought about handling Page Zoom and Text Zoom, by George, we've
got it! Sorry, I get excited...]

Now, with an engine that supports @font-face linking to raw fonts, I can
just include the TTF or OTF. No hassles and it matters not if the font is
actually installed in the OS; it just has to be present in the .epub file to
be called by the CSS as a resource. But if I want something licensed - say
Minion Web Pro from Adobe, just for example - which they're not going to let
me deliver naked, even though it's wrapped inside the .epub file, what do I
do? This is a whole other realm. Could be brisk business, too. Remember,
after I've downloaded the E-Book I'm reading it sans-http, straight from the
file system.
Clear? Confusing?

This might help:
I did a really quick and dirty proof of concept a while back for my online
friend and former MSFT readability guru, Bill Hill at:
Here's the link:
Not having the time to climb the learning curve for Adobe AIR, I grabbed
what I knew and used an HTA (Hyper-Text Application) which is basically the
IE engine executed by mshta.exe so it has extended vbscriptish privileges
like full-screen/no-chrome/file-system-access. I then wrapped the HTA up
along with its supporting files into an exe. (Feel free to crack it, by all
means. In fact, while the book app is running, I think the files unpack to
C:\temp, if memory serves correctly.)
Now, this particular example is a Windows only thing. But the problem I'm
describing is an every-platform thing.
The fonts travel along as EOTC files. And I also used Cufon font-embedding
for the book title and chapter title. (Just for the variety.) 
The content used is from an upcoming p-book by novelist and life-long
friend, Eric K. Goodman.

FWIW - if it helps explain what I'm talking about.

Any ideas, suggestions, questions, happily entertained.



-----Original Message-----
From: Erik van Blokland [] 
Sent: Saturday, August 08, 2009 2:25 PM
To: <>
Cc: Jonathan Kew; www-font; Karsten Luecke; Tal Leming; Erik van Blokland
Subject: Re: WebOTF Proposal: updated description and sample code

On 8 aug 2009, at 19:56, "Richard Fink" <> wrote:

> I've put the question
> to the IE team directly and they have no plans or desire to take the  
> IE
> rendering engine cross platform so EOTC or EOTL is out of the  
> question.

I guess I am missing something- both of those formats can be rendered  
as plain TrueType once they're unpacked, no? So why would one need the  
IE rendering engine in an ebook?


Received on Saturday, 8 August 2009 21:13:33 UTC