W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2011

Re: [css3-font] Extension of font-stretch property

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2011 17:49:36 -0800
Message-ID: <4D364330.4000005@tiro.com>
CC: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>, www-font@w3.org, David Berlow <dberlow@fontbureau.com>
John Daggett wrote:

> In this vein, I should point out that it would be far more
> interesting to support some form of arbitrary font axes, such as
> Quickdraw GX variation axes or Adobe Multiple Master fonts. These
> formats allow a font designer to design specific
> parameterizations into the font data, similar to the way hinting
> data allows a font designer to add adjustments for display at
> specific resolutions. The Skia font that still ships with OSX
> supports 'weight' and 'width' axes, allowing a single font to
> support an arbitrary range of weights and widths.  While this
> isn't currently widely supported technology and would require a
> new version of OpenType, it has a lot of size benefits for web
> use.

[Multiple Master was originally included in the OpenType specification, 
but later removed. Interpolation continues to play a major role in font 
design and creation, but not at the application and rendering end of 

Although Multiple Master is more familiar to most people -- including 
most font creators --, I suspect something like TT Variations as 
implemented in GX would be of more interest once people came to grips 
with its possibilities. MM is at once limited in a number of ways and 
imposes a significant overhead in terms of the number of axis masters 
required for complete glyph sets. The ability to define Variation 
behaviour for discreet glyphs within a font is very attractive.

Microsoft have historically been wary of interpolation and variation 
technologies, and would perhaps be the hardest sell on reintroducing 
them. But I reckon there are a fair number of font developers who would 
support such a move, and who would see in fonts on the web fairly 
crucial need for such technology.

Received on Wednesday, 19 January 2011 01:52:13 UTC

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