Re: [CSS21] @font-face question

On Wednesday, May 5, 2004, 9:19:50 PM, Adam wrote:

AB> ----- Original Message ----- 
AB> From: "Chris Lilley" <>
AB> To: "Adam Badura" <>
AB> Cc: <>
AB> Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2004 9:06 PM
AB> Subject: Re: [CSS21] @font-face question

AB> On Wednesday, May 05, 2004 9:06 PM, Chris wrote:

CL>> AB> Or is there a way using
CL>> AB> something other, perhaps DHTML or JavaScript?
CL>> AB> Adam Badura (
CL>> Not really.
CL>> Are you using downloadable fonts for a particular artistic effect, or
CL>> are you using them to get support for a particular language?

AB> Artistic. I know that I can use graphic images, but I supose this is not as
AB> good as font would be

You are right, it is not. Its still very prevalent, though, because
its seen as easier (until the design changes or the text changes and
someone has to find the old photoshop files and edit the text, or re
do the thing from scratch) and better (precise control over tracking
and kerning, ese of drop shadows and other effects).

AB>  and using a font is easier for me, because I can
AB> change text easly.

Yes, exactly.

AB> Why "@font-face" is not implemented in browsers, or at leasn not as it
AB> should be? I thought it is not THAT difficult, esspecialy for big companies.

I agree it is not that difficult, as demonstrated by the fact that it
is implemented in SVG Tiny browsers on mobile phones! So a desktop or
laptop machine could fit it in I am sure *if there was a will to do

The original font wg, which I chaired and whose work later got
absorbed in to the CSS wg, was unable to agree a single font format
that should be supported - vendors championed their own one, and
no-one would give in to the other. So the original specifications, as
they became in CSS2, had ways to link to different font formats, lists
of formats, and all that.

There was also a failure to get the solution that had been agreed upon
actually implemented in the Netscape 4.x timeframe. IE 4.x implemented
it (although only on Windows, and most designers used Macs in those

Frankly this was not a desirable solution and was too much work for
content developers. They were willing to make one font, in a subset
suitable for their site; they were not willing to make multiple copies
in different versions with different tools and put different markup
and styling in their content, one per implementation.

Building on this experience, in SVG we picked *one* font format that
everyone had to support, and allowed optional support of other
formats. We also dropped the (frankly, experimental) stuff about
synthesising fonts on the fly, generating lookalines based on
detsailed font metrics, and so forth. The parts that people actually
used, ie describing a font and making it available for download, we
used in SVG.

I think that is why fonts in SVG have been a lot more successful.

The other reason is that people who implement graphical standards like
SVG tend to be more worried about design and aesthetics than people
who implemented the early browsers, who often saw it as merely a
rendering layer that they had to get done on top of the really
interesting network code.

 Chris Lilley          
 Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 Member, W3C Technical Architecture Group

Received on Wednesday, 5 May 2004 17:14:35 UTC