InDesign users to be extinct like "lead" users, CSS coauthor cries!

joeclark's picture

A YouTube video of a presentation at Google by Håkon Lie and Michael Day has Lie declaring that InDesign users, particularly at newspapers, will soon be so passé they will be more comparable to the old guys who moved “lead” type.

The context is the ability of Prince, a software application, to output a “typeset” PDF from HTML+CSS. (Lie was coauthor of the original CSS spec.) While that claimed capacity was covered in an article I read, then and now my response is “I’ll be the judge of that.” The presenters’ insistence that HTML-CSS-Prince handles “most” requirements (more than 80%) will, I suspect, be antithetical to the real typographers who read this forum. I think we spend rather a lot of time on that other 20%.

Jongseong's picture

Ralf, that's a great idea.

If I recall correctly, one Korean foundry, Yoon Design, do something similar. They offer a single weight each of hangul serif and sans faces optimized for the web (spacing, hinting, maybe even bitmaps for common web sizes) for free to those who register on their website. Perhaps it helps in developing brand loyalty and getting users to try out their more extensive ranges of typefaces for print.

Si_Daniels's picture

>(those) Uses not addressed in my EULA are permitted by default of common law. It’s a free world. What I don’t explicitly prohibit in writing is permitted.

So why do you call out other formats in your EULA?

"(iii) Portable Documents: You may “embed” ST typefaces in PostScript-Language files, .PDF files, .DOC files and .EVY files for distribution, viewing, and imaging to other parties."

James Arboghast's picture

@Adam: The nature of my work is font business and technology. My clients pay me to have knowledge and assist them with it when they need it. I think it would be very unprofessional of me if I based my knowledge only on reading the tealeaves.

I am sorry if I implied you lack professionalism Adam. Obviously your line of work differs very much from mine. I'm tuned in to mainly to design and marketing concerns as an indie "foundry", whereas you deal mainly with font technology.

@Sii: So why do you call out other formats in your EULA?

The document is out of date, and I've been lazy and unprofessional getting it up to date. You're complaining about a clause that is permissive in nature, because it specifies some formats and not others. I could update it tomorrow with the recent formats you mention, and webpage embedding and so on, and somebody will invent a brand new document format, making my EULA instantly out of date.

Meanwhile, formats and uses of ST products not covered by the out of date EULA are permitted. I have never had any legal problems or disputes of any kind with any of my clients or purchasers of ST products.

What department do you work in Sii?

j a m e s

James Arboghast's picture

I said "I'm not trying to personally attack anyone here", but obviously I lack the professionalism to have put it more clearly.

j a m e s

twardoch's picture

Si Daniels is the lead program manager for fonts at the Microsoft typography group:
http://www.atypi.org/05_Brighton/25_typetech/40_speakerst/view_person_ht...

A.

dberlow's picture

Howcome: "First, it’s important that the markup languages of the web are spared from holding all the typographic and presentational information that we want to associate with documents."

We've talked about this offline quite a bit, but, that's how all this started. I mean, the founding papas of the web didn't have the foresight to make all things possible, so they started with no form, only content. Now, where does one draw the line between 'some of the typographic and presentational information' and 'all of the typographic and presentational information'.

Howcome II:"Second, we need ways to express beautiful typography and design for web documents."

The essence of this second thing, expressing beautiful typography, is not possible without the opposite of your first thing: at least the 'option' of a typographic specification specific to the font needs of the user of a web site.

It should be obvious that expressing beautiful typography, other than by image, requires knowledge of 'where' the expression is to take place if the variations are as diverse as those found in the entire web audience. Is that not obvious?

Cheers!

James Arboghast's picture

Adam, thanks for pointing to that page about Sii. I wasn't questioning Sii's qualifications but trying to ascertain if he is a legal professional or expert, or if if he specializes in other aspects of the font business.

I take it that none of us taking part in this discussion are legal professionals, and for that reason critiquing legal matters comes down to one peron's professional opinion versus that of the next.

Arbo: The fact that you and Adam both know how to obtain major commercial font products for free makes me wonder about your professionalism

I did mean "wonder", not worry. It's fair to say I worry about people's morality, but that applies to the whole human race. Adam you defended your professional need to know the technical details of outline extraction, which is perfectly professional for your line of work, "And of course I have experimented with font extraction from PDF or Flash documents — how else would I be able to advise any of my clients (various font vendors large and small) on its viability." I wish to point out that I did not question that activity. I wondered aloud about the morality of a person in Dan's position knowing where to obtain illicit copies of major retail fonts. Apologies to Dan too. I was pondering the moral compromise inflicted on designers as an industry by the wonderous digital media revolution and all its foibles.

j a m e s

Si_Daniels's picture

>but trying to ascertain if he is a legal professional or expert,

Er? Sorry, but I don't follow this line of reasoning. I made the basic point that for ideas (like Hakon's Web font idea) to take root they need to be supported by commercial font makers, and the place they would show this support is in their EULAs (basic or extended). I also observed that font vendors have been going in the opposite direction in recent years clamping down in their EULAs on any technology they perceive (rightly or wrongly) as putting their IP in harm’s way.

Do you need to be a lawyer to make these observations?

aluminum's picture

James...I think you, and a lot of the industry, is hung up on the whole 'ability to extract outlines' issue of embeddable type.

The reality is, anyone that wants your font illicitly would find taking the time to do that silly, as they could quickly and easily get the source fonts online in a matter of minutes.

So, to go back to the issue of 'web fonts', we probably are over-thinking the 'outlines' issue. We probably don't have to worry too much about the scrapbooking mom using some software crack to extract web based fonts for her 4 year old's birthday party scrapbook. Or, perhaps we do need to worry, but not on the technology side...but rather on the consumer awareness side.

joeclark's picture

(This system won’t permit nested blockquotes.)

> > First, it’s important that the markup
> > languages of the web are spared from holding
> > all the typographic and presentational
> > information that we want to associate with
> > documents.
>
> I mean, the founding papas of the web didn’t
> have the foresight to make all things
> possible, so they started with no form, only
> content. Now, where does one draw the line
> between “some of the typographic and
> presentational information” and “all of the
> typographic and presentational information”?

I keep being told to be extra-nice to David Berlow, because (I am also immediately thereafter told) he’s been “doing this forever” and none of the rest of us have. But his remark above is nonsense. It masquerades as an expert’s posing an intractable question none of the peons had managed to think of before.

HTML elements have explicit or implied semantics. The most useful distinction, which, contradictorily, is intrinsically presentational, is the classification of elements as either block-level; inline; or, for a rare subset of elements (iframe, del, ins), either. Block-level elements act like paragraphs (notionally, with a carriage return before and after) and inline elements fit inside lines.

These categories are, however, overridable with CSS, as via display: inline and display: block. (That’s how standards-compliant Web pages style navbars – unordered lists, a block-level element – as nice little rows of words you can click.)

Now, in principle every single element in HTML can be styled in other ways, and the other ways germane to this discussion involve font, size, leading, and foreground and background colour. Indention can be styled for some elements. A small number of elements are hard to style (abbr/acronym, q, button, fieldset/legend), but those are due to browser bugs, not flaws in the spec.

In short, then, dberlow, the answer to your question is as follows: The dividing line is right where we’ve been telling you it is all along, between HTML (structure) and CSS (presentation).

Purely presentational elements (not a misprint) like font and center simply aren’t used in standards-compliant authoring. An additional grey area comes up with other purely presentational elements, namely b/i/u, whose application in the context of Web standards used to be debated quite a bit. Now people know that you can use those elements if you are, for example, transcribing a(n) historical text that uses bold, italics, or underline in a way that other elements, like cite, em, or strong, cannot capture. These borderline edge cases do not vitiate the explicit principle, at work every minute of the day on the Web and easily learned by Googling or reading any of a dozen books, that HTML marks up page structure and CSS specifies appearance. This is noncontroversial and it’s tiresome to have to beat this dead horse.


Joe Clark
http://joeclark.org/

howcome's picture

dberlow: the founding papas of the web didn’t have the foresight to make all things possible, so they started with no form, only content. Now, where does one draw the line between ’some of the typographic and presentational information’ and ’all of the typographic and presentational information’

I don't think web documents should hold any typographic or presentational information. Instead they should link to style sheets that can be reused and cached. The web is diverse and the final presentation should be made as close to the user as possible. There, more information about the user's environment is available, and the presentaion can be optimized on a per-user basis.

dberlow: The essence of this second thing, expressing beautiful typography, is not possible without the opposite of your first thing: at least the ’option’ of a typographic specification specific to the font needs of the user of a web site. It should be obvious that expressing beautiful typography, other than by image, requires knowledge of ’where’ the expression is to take place if the variations are as diverse as those found in the entire web audience. Is that not obvious?

I'm not sure I understand your question. Does your 'where' refer to where in the document? Style sheets languages offer selectors with high enough specificity to address single elements (e.g., #foo in CSS). So, you can create highly customized presentation while maintaining the separation of content and presentation.

howcome's picture

joeclark: I would like to know how I prevent a word from being hyphenated in Prince, for example

Here is one way. In your style sheet you have:

.foo { hyphens: none }

In you HTML/XML document you have:

<span class='foo'>Thiswordisnothyphenated</span>.

You can read more about it in the proposed specification, and in the Prince documentation:

http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-gcpm/

http://www.princexml.com/doc/6.0/properties/

howcome's picture

DanGayle: I think one problem that you’ll run into when discussing web fonts is that your 5% “good enough for web use” free fonts is in most Typophile’s estimates, 4.9% too high.

Right :-)

Most web users, however, will be happy with the 4.9%. And many will be overjoyed by the remaining 95% as well. For use in headlines, in latin scripts, many of them are suitable. Ransom notes is another use case. I think it's wrong to focus on the quality of current fonts, though. It's like saying the web is a failure because you wouldn't want to read 99.9% of the pages that people publish.

I believe high-quality fonts will be made legally available if browsers learn how to do web fonts. It may be open-source fonts, commercial limited-range fonts, commercial fonts restricted by the 'Referer' HTTP header, or through new business models that none of us have thought of. But it will happen.

Si_Daniels's picture

>I believe high-quality fonts will be made legally available if browsers learn how to do web fonts.

Is this based on talking to actual font designers? If not do you have any interest in talking to the type design community, say at TypeCon or ATypI?

Nick Shinn's picture

I’m working on extending the ’font-variant’ propoerty in CSS to better select fonts with OpenType features. Would this be of interest in this forum?

Of course.
Fixing a defect, OpenType fonts containing superior characters could remedy the "extra leading" effect that accompanies reference numbers and the dreaded "th".
Also, true small caps.

Here is a site that uses SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) to access the contextual alternates in Handsome Pro:
http://culturalcartography.net
Apparently, they had a lot of difficulty with inconsistent implementation by different browsers, so the feature may not work for everyone.
Having OT features available via CSS would be easier than SVG, or the latest Flash capabilities.

James Arboghast's picture

Sorry, but I don’t follow this line of reasoning. I made the basic point that for ideas (like Hakon’s Web font idea) to take root they need to be supported by commercial font makers, and the place they would show this support is in their EULAs (basic or extended). I also observed that font vendors have been going in the opposite direction in recent years clamping down in their EULAs on any technology they perceive (rightly or wrongly) as putting their IP in harm’s way.

Do you need to be a lawyer to make these observations?

Nope. You also observed that some document and media formats aren't specified in my EULA, and I responded that that is not restrictive. We are both in effect "lawyering" even tho niether of us are legal professionals. I just wanted to know for certain I got that 100 percent correct, as you are forcing me to give legal opinion on my EULA in a public debate.

Aluminium: James...I think you, and a lot of the industry, is hung up on the whole ’ability to extract outlines’ issue of embeddable type.

Nope, not me. (much laughter) I think it sucks, but I'm not hung up on it. If I was hung up on extraction I wouldn't allow embedding of my fonts in PDF, Word and similar documents.

The reality is, anyone that wants your font illicitly would find taking the time to do that silly, as they could quickly and easily get the source fonts online in a matter of minutes.

Yeah great! (much laughter) What a rude twisted age we live in. I don't call it the "wonderous digital media revolution and all its foibles" because I'm hung up on it. I try to make fun of it instead.

"mew"

j a m e s

Si_Daniels's picture

>as you are forcing me to give legal opinion on my EULA in a public debate.

Sorry you feel that way. I wasn't intentionally trying to force you to do anything.

Dan Gayle's picture

@Sii and Howcome
If not do you have any interest in talking to the type design community, say at TypeCon or ATypI?

I think that this is an awesome idea. You could take your presentation to the people necessary to make your ideas work in a non-crappy font way. For instance, if you could convince Mr. Berlow, he might follow through on my "Roger Black custom fonts for magazine website" scenario I joked about above.

Convince the source, the suppliers, designers, and users of fonts, and you effect millions of people worldwide who use web browsers.

dberlow's picture

Dan "...magazine or newspaper’s website using a proprietary Font Bureau salvaging of an obscure Benton typeface from the early 20th century."

A little late with the idea, a little early with the style. ;

Howcome: "There, [close to the user], more information about the user’s environment is available, and the presentation can be optimized on a per-user basis."

We are on the same track, Howcome, welcome.

Howcome: "I’m not sure I understand your question. Does your ’where’ refer to where in the document?"

My 'where' Howcome is the user environment too. I understand you, Howcome, to be proposing that the name of the font be passed to the network (and little else), installed on the client's machine, and turned over to the OS (and nothing else). That proposal is not, in my opinion, complete to the task at hand and as the OS' continue to diverge in their treatment of 'the same type data', that solution becomes less complete over time.

Besides being of concern to some type folk, your proposal implies that the consortium are not doing everything they can in this regard, nor are operating systems, browsers or foundries. Is this true!? But your proposal's scary to me because I can only 'lend' property in the form of a box of shapes, but not the intellectual property that makes that box of shapes into the words users expected and got, in print.

Some say, I want to break it completely to fix it, but I don't. I want to expand the options from just letting the OS at it (ye olde single outline for the entire planet), to making the final font entirely via network (ye new bitmap for a single user), if required, with all the options in between available, if required (ye olde and new combination outline bitmap stoke font for the user with 4 screens on one desk). That's where we were pre-web and I think I can speak for 500 years when I say "We liked it, and it worked."

It still works, as I've proved for numerous high-end screen font-craving clients, if I have all the answers I need, as opposed to lies, silence or being told I have pay for it.

Cheers!

twardoch's picture

David,

but notice that the bulk of the web is switching from the idea of a thick server and thin clients over to distributed computing -- simply because the users' PCs have a massive computing power at their disposal, so they can deal with rasterization, scaling, resolution adjustments etc. -- while if you offload all those tasks to the servers, every content vendor will have to invest in massive server and bandwidth technology, and this technology will become usable for rich content vendors only.

What you're proposing is similar to "soft ripping" in prepress times -- the computer would rasterize a document and send a finite bitmap down to the imagesetter, which would then slavishly render the dots. But the industry chose PostScript/PDF, where it would be the receiving devices that would have an intelligent driver that transforms a common interchange format (PostScript, later PDF) into the rasterized image, while the sending part would take care of generating that common code.

The web works similarly now: the sending part (the server) formats the content into an interchange form (HTML+CSS+PNG/GIF/JPG+(soon)TTF) while the receiver (a browser) is an intelligent "driver" that converts this common language into the user space, taking into account things like the resolution and size of the display, the navigational device at hand and other preferences set down by the user.

I think the best personalization/individualization can happen reasonably only at the user's end.

A.

joeclark's picture

Does dberlow use unparsable syntax and flat-out bad writing to give the impression of deep thought? Because I can’t understand his business at all. That seems to be the intended effect on the reader, come to think of it.


Joe Clark
http://joeclark.org/

dezcom's picture

Tracking.

ChrisL

dberlow's picture

Adam: "...but notice.." "...offload ALL those tasks...", "..EVERY content vendor..", "...send a FINITE bitmap..."
Not that I'm suggesting billions of streaming bitmaps, 'all', 'every', or 'finite', either but nice knee reflex. Fonts, unlike all other forms of web media don't and won't need the magic of networking ever? Think hard, options are diminishing fast.

"I think the best personalization/individualization can happen reasonably only at the user’s end."
You know my business — for whom do I provide personalization/individualization? and for whom is such personalization/individualization now important? Hmmmm?

Then, on request, and from a city in Ilyria: Clark! What pale and soot soiled light from broken window spews? That mischievous son of Polyphemus must you be, to send streaking such plutonium-laden words. Alighting here as like from a squeaking propellor of the plains, spinning never less true from a garden of weeds, they bounce. Here! look upon thine own father in kind, great in bulk and creased of brow with but with one more eye than this son of accessibility.

Should this sweet-speaking silver-tongued son of proud Palatino, friend of all wordsmiths, the one who made that traveling son of Laertes seem lazy, drop his lofty head to the instruction-littered ground like a hound to sniff at frozen-hearted meaning, or like a raven perch upon thine shaking shoulder to peck at thine ears 'til they become like shining pearls in the cold light of Apollo's fair sister? Nahhh.

And, sorry Dez, unless we 'win' you may effectively only use positive tracking in Billimeters.

Cheers!

dezcom's picture

What light on yon window breaks that billimeters but tracking takes. Fire burn and cauldron bubble, let measure unit but end the trouble :-)

ChrisL

twardoch's picture

David,

of course it'll be the client with deep pockets who will come first. Note that even if all the rendering is happening on the user's end after the browser has received the outline font, the content vendor is always free to personalize what he is sending to the user based on receiving such settings as the screen resolution, operating system, the actual browser used and other parameters.

Joe,

yes, David Berlow always writes like Yoda and I think he is on his way to become the most revered Jedi master of typography ever. :)

A.

Dan Gayle's picture

I'm curious about the end effect of hundreds of different fonts, outline or bitmap, being uploaded onto an end user's computer. Do they stay there indefinitely? Since they need to be active, will that collection of fonts start wearing system resources thin?

And if we're uploading hundreds of different proprietary pieces of software onto a person's computer and asking them to be executed, doesn't that lead down the path to all sorts of viruses, malware, hacking schemes, etc. from the unscrupulous?

Miss Tiffany's picture

Could that "cache" be cleared everytime you quit the browser?

dberlow's picture

Dan: I’m curious about the end effect of hundreds of different fonts, [] being uploaded onto an end user’s computer
There's a whole lot-o-cachenation goin' on, maybe now font management will be able to evolve, e.g. to disable all but two or three languages if the user wanted not to be swamped with BS fonts from an unused languages, in the interest of being well-swamped with good reading fonts, e.g. One might complain their far eastern junk mail doesn't look so good, but you have to make sacrifices somewhere. I'm not sure what the problem/question would be though, the MS Reader, e.g. installs fonts secretly from the U, they appear to work pretty well, and even if one likes to read, say, 20 newspapers a day, one would not have time to work on much else any way, so how many fonts does one need?

MT:Could that “cache” be cleared every time you quit the browser?
Absolutely. It's had me wondering for a while now, I mean, it shouldn't even take this long to get fonts kicked out of the Millennium Copyright Act Club.

Cheers!

Si_Daniels's picture

In general the font would not become installed as a system-wide resource. The font would be temporarily enumerated to render the page, and then uninstalled once the user navigates away. That's not to say a rogue font wouldn't cause issues when temporarily installed.

dberlow's picture

Sii: That’s not to say a rogue font wouldn’t cause issues when temporarily installed.
What issues precisely? The dark side of fonts is the contours, alone, attempting to be all type for all people. If I had to map this, I would put a big red arrow pointing to now, that says, "You are here."

...the most revered Jedi master of typography ever. Dee Be One Claptoni, I presume.
Leave you to complete your journey, I will, to Adamkin Skywalker...or Tward Vader. ;)

Cheers!

dberlow's picture

oops. Don't you love mixing typesetting commands right into the text? We live in a world ruled by type baboons.

William Berkson's picture

To close your "em" tag, click the 'edit' button at the bottom of the your first entry today. Unfortunately it will then jump later, out of order...

Si_Daniels's picture

>What issues precisely?

Here's one, a search result on "freetype security"

"Previous versions of the freetype package were vulnerable to an issue whereby a specially crafted ttf file could execute arbitrary code at the permission level of the use running freetype."

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/130661/

aluminum's picture

There's also the question of whether or not people would want the fonts. For us, those that choose type from a refined, trained, educated eye, this seems great. But what about the majority of folks who will pick the typeface randomly based on everything BUT the appropriateness of the typeface. I know within months of 'web fonts' being enabled, I'd likely do everything I can to block them on my own machine. ;0)

But maybe the converse is true. Perhaps people would just stop visiting the ugly sites that are using a combination of 12 fonts on one page. Maybe we'd see a resurgence in type appreciation?

Si_Daniels's picture

David, editing yesterday's posts is completely out of order. Unless you're closing an em, that is.

howcome's picture

I'd like to get on with the discussion of how to extend CSS to better select fonts with OpenType features. Before doing so, however, I want to know if we're on the same page.

Thomas Phinney wrote: I agree emphatically with Joe that referencing fonts in CSS is fundamentally broken.

If something is «fundamentally broken» I assume you want to throw it away instead of trying to fix it. What would you replace it with?

FYI, I've done some studies on how different style sheets languages select fonts. They all take the property/value approach:

http://people.opera.com/howcome/2006/phd/#lot

twardoch's picture

David,

I've encountered OpenType PS (CFF) fonts that caused Windows XP to "blue-screen" and that made Mac OS X 10.3 and 10.4 freeze the app.

A.

Si_Daniels's picture

>that caused Windows XP to “blue-screen”

That should be "unpatched Windows XP".

dberlow's picture

I'm not hearing ANY significant problems with fonts joining the networked generation.

If something is «fundamentally broken» I assume you want to throw it away instead of trying to fix it. What would you replace it with?

You have my take, Completely.

Cheers!

Thomas Phinney's picture

I think the main thing I want to see Howcome respond to is why he's opposed to having EOT as an equal standard. I'm not opposed to the existing proposal, as I think it will solve some problems. But my survey of web designers showed pretty clearly that most of them want something that works (legally) with regular, commercial fonts.

Aluminum writes: So, to go back to the issue of ’web fonts’, we probably are over-thinking the ’outlines’ issue. We probably don’t have to worry too much about the scrapbooking mom using some software crack to extract web based fonts for her 4 year old’s birthday party scrapbook. Or, perhaps we do need to worry, but not on the technology side...but rather on the consumer awareness side.

You're over-thinking the "outlines" issue because that's not the issue at all. Howcome is pushing for simply putting entire fonts on Web servers. If there are to be any protections at all, they are only present if a server admin puts them there. Otherwise, you've simply got the fonts out there.

Now, other proposals, such as EOT, are still not massively secure either, but the general idea is that, as with PDF or other forms of embedding, it doesn't take massive security to keep the average person honest.

Thomas Phinney wrote: I agree emphatically with Joe that referencing fonts in CSS is fundamentally broken.

Howcome replied: If something is «fundamentally broken» I assume you want to throw it away instead of trying to fix it. What would you replace it with?

Actually, I just want a CSS spec that makes it clear, given a font, how one gets the "font-family" property from that font. Now, given that this has been unspecified for so long, maybe we need a new tag to go with the unambiguous spec. But *something* would be good.

Cheers,

T

twardoch's picture

Thomas,

Would you recommend that the W3C CSS recommendation should explicitly reference ISO/IEC 14496-22:2007 (Open Font Format, the ISO variant of OpenType)? I think it'd be a good idea -- of course CSS should remain being somewhat format-agnostic so theoretically it could work with BDF or Type 1. However, CSS might cite particular examples based on ISO 14496-22. I think that would be useful.

Is the OpenType Layout script, language and tag registry a part of ISO 14496-22?

A.

Thomas Phinney's picture

The CSS recommendation needs to explicitly cite processes for *all* major font formats to say how one processes the information inherent in those fonts to get to a CSS "font-family" string. Or sub for "font-family" some new equivalent thing.

Cheers,

T

howcome's picture

Thomas Phinney wrote: I think the main thing I want to see Howcome respond to is why he’s opposed to having EOT as an equal standard.

I'm not. Currently, EOT is on an equal footing with other font formats in the CSS specification in the sense that they are all listed:

http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/REC-CSS2-19980512/fonts.html#referencing

Some people have argued that EOT should be given preferential treatment in CSS. This I'm opposed to as I think TrueType and OpenType also have roles to play on the web. Therefore, I believe CSS should be agnostic wrt. font formats -- they should all be "equal standards", if you will.

So, it seems we're in agreement?

dberlow's picture

Howcome: "So, it seems we’re in agreement?"

If the 'we' you came to 'meet' is folks with no typographic intellectual property of their own, little or none in the companies they represent, and no experience that I'm aware of in improving either tools, technology or type on the web, 'You' are in agreement.

And, if you only 'think' "TrueType and OpenType also have roles to play on the web" and don't 'know', we've not moved much closer to anything but more, (perhaps), of that nice 'free-for-all' display type, e.g. Larabie.

Cheers!

joeclark's picture

OK, Håkon, I think you’re misunderstanding the issue of specifying exactly one font, due perhaps to not being an expert in these sorts of things. (Which is fine! Which is why you’re here! And all I can say for myself is I always have valid CSS.)

The issue is that the font names presented to the computer user are variable, as are the exact filenames (highly variable when you compare PostScript and TrueType fonts, still somewhat variable in OpenType despite the marketing pitch that the same file works everywhere). Thesis is a worst-case scenario, given that there are over 250 variants. If I want exactly one weight, style, and width of Thesis, what exact font-family syntax do I use to specify it for all non-braindead browsers?


Joe Clark
http://joeclark.org/

Thomas Phinney's picture

Lie: Some people have argued that EOT should be given preferential treatment in CSS.

That's a bit misleading.

OpenType and Type 1 are already public standards adopted by the ISO. EOT has heretofore been a proprietary and unpublished spec. In order to be broadly usable, EOT should be adopted and published by a standards body. But which one? As the whole point of EOT is to be a Web standard, the W3C is the obvious answer. I haven't seen anyone suggest that the W3C should endorse EOT *more* than any other format, just that the W3C be willing to be the holder of the EOT format.

Cheers,

T

howcome's picture

I wrote: Some people have argued that EOT should be given preferential treatment in CSS.

Thomas Phinney wrote: That’s a bit misleading.

No, it's not. People have suggested that the CSS WG recommends the use of EOT over other font formats. I was in the meeting.

Thomas Phinney wrote: EOT should be adopted and published by a standards body. But which one?

It would be good to see the EOT specification published. It's always good when closed, proprietary formats are opened up. It's easy enough to do, just put the specification on the web.

I'm not sure the EOT format needs a standards body any more than DOC or PPT do -- those specifications are, apparently, scheduled to be released soon. The people behind EOT are, of course, free to submit them anywhere they want. My only argument has been that work on font formats is outside the scope of CSS.

howcome's picture

Thomas Phinney wrote: The CSS recommendation needs to explicitly cite processes for *all* major font formats to say how one processes the information inherent in those fonts to get to a CSS “font-family” string.

Perhaps.

The interface between specs can sometimes be tricky as specs often are controlled by different people and organizations.

An extra complexity in this case is that CSS implemementations do not, in general, deal with font files directly. Browsers typically use the APIs and font renderers provided by the operating system they are running on, they don't open the font files themselves. As such, it would be more relevant to make demands on the operating systems and the APIs they expose than on the CSS specification.

BTW, the CSS specification briefly discusses the complexities of names here:

http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/REC-CSS2-19980512/fonts.html#aname

I'm open for proposals, though. How would you describe how to map information from (say) OpenType to a font name?

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