Re: WebFonts ready for use

On Tue, 29 Apr 2008 04:17:45 +0200, Maciej Stachowiak <>  

> On Apr 22, 2008, at 8:13 PM, Brad Kemper wrote:
>> On Apr 22, 2008, at 2:50 PM, Paul Nelson (ATC) wrote:
>>> Given the other discussions on this list with regards to [...] sharing  
>>> embedded fonts between pages, the concept of using raw fonts on the  
>>> internet is still of great concern to commercial font vendors.
>> What is the danger of sharing fonts between pages, if they could be  
>> somehow verified to be the same font first, which would really be a  
>> prerequisite to doing so (to prevent abuse to the page from another  
>> site's pages). If it is the same font, and only existed in the  
>> browser's RAM, then how can that hurt font vendors? All it does is  
>> prevent the same font from having to load twice.
> I think Safari/WebKit will indeed load the font once if loaded from the  
> same URL (for example if two documents share a stylesheet referencing  
> the font or if they have different stylesheets referencing the same font  
> URL). We do not attempt to optimize for the case of bitwise identical  
> font files loaded from different URLs - I am not sure this would be  
> worth it.
> I do not think either form of sharing is precluded by the spec, or  
> security or IP considerations. These are simply transparent performance  
> optimizations.
> What is not OK (in my opinion) is exposing the font to Web pages that  
> don't have an @font-face rule for it in their stylesheet,

Once a webfont has been installed for use in a UA I don't see why it would  
have to be limited to the webpage that included the @font-face. I'm for  
example thinking of the case where all the systemfonts didn't contain  
glyphs for some particular range, while a webfont happened to do so. I  
think in such a situation it would be better to show some text using the  
webfont rather than to show missing glyphs (usually hollow rects) or even  
no text at all.

> or installing it on the system where random documents and applications  
> can see it. That would be a security risk and would not even  
> conceptually be embedding.

I agree it shouldn't be installed on the system so that other applications  
can see it.


Erik Dahlstrom, Core Technology Developer, Opera Software
Co-Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
Personal blog:

Received on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 08:14:24 UTC