W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > October 2009

Fwd: font features in CSS

From: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 00:53:46 -0700 (PDT)
To: www-style <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <17889810.411051256975626072.JavaMail.root@cm-mail02.mozilla.org>

Forwarding this from www-font, as this pertains to the thread on www-style and is an important point.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "Thomas Phinney" <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu>
To: "Chris Fynn" <cfynn@gmx.net>
Cc: www-font@w3.org
Sent: Saturday, October 31, 2009 12:33:49 AM GMT -06:00 Guadalajara / Mexico City / Monterrey
Subject: Re: font features in CSS

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 10:16 PM, Chris Fynn <cfynn@gmx.net> wrote:
> Bert Bos wrote:
> ...
>> I thought at first about moving the font features from the 'font-variant'
>> property to a descriptor inside @font-face, but I actually prefer now to not
>> have them there either.
>> This should be handled outside of CSS, with a program such as Fontforge or
>> maybe a format such as the proposed WOFF. That not only makes the font
>> features available in contexts where you don't have or want CSS, such as
>> XSL, SVG, PDF or TeX, but it also avoids complexity in CSS and a dependency
>> of CSS on a particular font format.
> You expect web designers to use something like FontForge and to know how to
> re-write OTL tables? I think this is a little unrealistic - and would be
> more difficult than learning to some moderately complex CSS. Would
> commercial font licenses even permit altering fonts like this? This could
> also result in all kinds of odd variants of fonts in circulation.

Also just takes us back to "dumb" fonts and needing to duplicate 90%
of the glyphs in a font if we want to change 10% of them for a
different effect.

All because one is worried that the following conjunction of the
planets will occur:

1) the original desired font will not be available because the
browser/platform is too primitive for @font-face,

2) yet despite this the substitute font in the primitive environment
will in fact be extremely advanced and have the same class of

3) AND those alternates will be sufficiently weird that using them
instead of the default forms will create some kind of real problems.

4) AND the problems will be significantly larger than any problems
caused by the failure of getting the desired font in the first place.

In short, I disagree that the risks of things going horribly wrong are
particularly large, or warrant avoiding implementation of the


Received on Saturday, 31 October 2009 07:54:27 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Monday, 23 January 2023 02:13:40 UTC