Re: Downloadable fonts and image replacement

Also sprach David Woolley:

 > Caution: I think I've come across some which don't have accurate
 > licensing tags; at the very least, any whole font technology is going
 > to have to reject any font that is not explicitly flagged as fully 
 > redistributable, otherwise there will be a big lobby against it by
 > the font industry.

Yes. Truetype files, as you probably know, carry information about how
the font can be "embedded" into pages. There are four levels:

1. None - This level of embedding does not allow for embedding.
Another font is substituted for the selected font.

2. Preview & Print - This level of embedding allows the selected font to
be seen on the screen and printed from the document in which the font
was embedded.  

3. Editable - At this level, the selected font can be seen on screen,
printed, and edited (but only in the host document).  

4. Installable - This level includes attributes of all previous levels.
The selected fonts can be installed on the computer and used in other
documents and applications. 

To make sure we're not upsetting anyone, only level 4 fonts should be
accepted by UAs. Also, even if level 4 fonts are "installable", the UA
should not install them for other applications to use -- the font should
be treated like a cached resource.

 > Historically, the only browser families that I'm aware of as having
 > font download support have been from fully commercial organisations.
 > It is the nature of such organisations that they tend to design to
 > support other commercial organisations, so there was, historically
 > at least, a strong incentive to implement DRM and none to do
 > simple downloads.

Right, this is an important observation. Now that descigners are using
advanced CSS, I think the time is right try getting webfonts started
again. And simple downloads of existing, currently available, zipped
truetype files is a pragmatic way to start. 

              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª        

Received on Tuesday, 25 April 2006 21:22:18 UTC