Re: CSS3 @font-face / EOT Fonts - new compromise proposal

On Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 9:49 AM, Thomas Phinney <> wrote:

> > 4) Even if free fonts tend to be a lot worse in some respects, it has
> > been admitted here that some high-quality professional fonts are
> > freely licensed (even if they weren't openly developed in the first
> > place).  That number can only possibly increase, since fonts that are
> > freely licensed are not likely to be un-licensed (they can't be, if
> > free means as in speech).  So any lack of font quality is likely to be
> > of limited duration anyway.
> The conclusion is not a logical consequence of the antecedents.
> There are literally several thousands of high-quality retail font families.
> Currently there are singles or at most a couple dozen high-quality free font
> families. The latter number could increase at a pretty healthy rate, and
> still not come close to the former number for a century or two. Or ever, if
> the growth rate of the former continues to be vastly higher.
> But I still consider this a side issue. Web designers want to be able to
> use retail fonts, and they want to be able to use most any font. Ergo, a
> solution which doesn't make font vendors happy won't make web designers
> happy either.

I must disagree.  The situation right now is *no* real font linking.  As
such *any* font linking would be an improvement.  In other words,
restricting ourselves to *only* free fonts on the web *is* a viable fallback
position that would make us web designers happy, and could be implemented
without controversy.

Now, commercial fonts on the web would make us *more* happy, to be sure, but
we must keep in mind that commercial fonts are really just icing on the cake
here.  Getting *any* support for font-linking is the goal.  Getting an
acceptable form of support for commercial font-linking is bonus points.
This is why many of us on the list are so reluctant to agree to anything.
Well, it's one reason (the other is because we like being contrary).  We can
live without commercial fonts.  Commercial fonts can live without us, at
least for a while still.  Bringing the two camps together would be
wonderful, but we are not so desperate for such a meeting to agree to things
that are ultimately harmful to us.

Note that I like how the conversation is going in these threads.  I'm not
averse to a compression-based obfuscation.  I am worried about patent issues
around the MTX algorithm.  I would of course prefer nothing at all, but
Access Controls plus compression seems to be a non-unreasonable price to
pay.  However, we must keep an appropriate sense of what's important.  We
currently have no font-linking, so font-linking at all is important.
Commercial font-linking is a nice bonus, nothing more.


Received on Thursday, 13 November 2008 16:31:16 UTC