Re: CSS3 Web Fonts issue with 'block on download'

On Thu, May 7, 2009 at 1:49 PM, Jonathan Kew <> wrote:
> On 7 May 2009, at 13:58, Adam Twardoch wrote:
>> Levantovsky, Vladimir wrote:
>>> Adam, this is a brilliant idea. A significant part of EOT is the
>>> font-specific lossless MTX compression, and the reason MTX compression is on
>>> average 30% better than generic zip is because the compressor optimizes the
>>> source data, and separates and groups different types of data in a font into
>>> three separate data blocks
>>> ( The first block
>>> contains all the metrics and layout data, and can be decompressed and used
>>> for page processing while other two blocks containing glyph information are
>>> downloaded. Not only the fonts will be downloaded twice as fast because you
>>> have less data to download, you can process the page layout while the
>>> significant chunk of glyph data is being downloaded.
>> Excellent. I was not even aware that a "streaming-like"/"progressive"
>> structure of EOT is already part of the spec, but I agree that this fact
>> makes a compelling argument supporting the claim that in many cases, EOT
>> is a much better choice for web font use than TTF or OTF.
> Isn't the MTX compression format used in EOT patented, which might be
> considered an obstacle to general adoption? Or has this already been
> satisfactorily resolved through some kind of free and universal license?

Unless things have changed since the last time it came up on the list,
MTX is indeed still patented.  This makes it impossible for Gecko to
incorporate it, at least, due to the GPL.  (Webkit's code is a mix of
BSD-style and LGPL, I believe, which presents similar problems.)

While I like what I've heard about MTX, and very much appreciate the
possibility that it can help here with webfont rendering, it's still
unacceptably encumbered.

(If I'm wrong, and it has been freely licensed in the interim, then woo!)


Received on Thursday, 7 May 2009 23:46:07 UTC