Re: Announcing new font compression project

On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 9:03 AM, Chris Lilley <> wrote:

> On Friday, March 30, 2012, 1:20:24 AM, Sylvain wrote:
> SG> Re-enacting old battles never goes out of style but if there is
> SG> such interest in it I suggest starting a separate thread
> SG> (tentative subject line: ‘The MTX conspiracy!’).
> Thanks Sylvain. I was just composing a similar message.
> SG>   I’d rather read concrete feedback on Raph’s intruiguing proposal
> Yes.
> So concretely, this is a WOFF update that uses the same overall structure
> and has similar benefits (such as inclusion of license and other metadata
> along with the font) but produces improved compression due to three things:
> - MTX-derived table rearrangement to pre-compress and remove redundancies
> or derivable information
> - LZMA compression (or is it LZMA2)?

It is LZMA and not LZMA2. I had some discussion with Igor Pavlov (the
creator of LZMA) about this, and he agrees that not using LZMA2 is
appropriate. The latter format contains optional transforms (I believe
mostly useful for compressing things like binary machine code), and also
the ability to concatenate multiple streams. Neither is appropriate within
this context, and the extra filesize overhead and code complexity is

> - optional multi-table streams rather than one stream per table
> When considering a new compression scheme for something already widely
> deployed, the following questions seem pertinent:
> - is the improved compression significant enough to warrant a change (it
> seems that the answer is yes here, although it would be good to see more
> data with a wide variety of fonts)
> - is the compression scheme well documented, with an open and freely
> implementable specification (seems so but again this needs to be verified)
> - is there implementor interest
> - are there any concerns regarding security
> - are there any concerns regarding patent claims

I definitely agree that these are the most relevant questions, and feel
optimistic about the answers.

> --
>  Chris Lilley   Technical Director, Interaction Domain
>  W3C Graphics Activity Lead, Fonts Activity Lead
>  Co-Chair, W3C Hypertext CG
>  Member, CSS, WebFonts, SVG Working Groups

Received on Monday, 2 April 2012 18:38:36 UTC