Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Embedded OpenType and the W3C

Category: Microsoft, Standards

  1. @font-face {
  2.   font-family: Cambria;
  3.   font-style: normal;
  4.   font-weight: normal;
  5.   src: url(CAMBRIA2.eot);
  6. }

We discussed the new font-face / EOT work yesterday. Ben loves typography, hence him wanting to give Tahoma a rest.

Then we see Microsoft weighing in on the topic, and it made me ponder the politics going on.

Bill Hill has a new post on the IEBlog about Font Embedding on the Web.

The first couple of paragraphs says a lot. First we have the “look at the companies supporting it”:

It’s Bill Hill here again, still fighting the good fight to make typography on the Web as good as we’re used to seeing in print. We made significant progress this week, when one of the USA’s most prestigious font companies announced its support for the Embedded OpenType format for font embedding on the Web, and launched a new website to promote other browsers to support it in addition to Internet Explorer (which has had EOT support built-in since 1996).

And then the fear about font linking ;)

At the same time, Ascender Corporation and its collaborators in the typographic community also warned of the legal dangers of using the Font Linking mechanism currently supported by other browsers.

So, EOT is “in front of the W3C”. What are your thoughts?

You can give Bill Hill’s work a peak and look at the Assender post too.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 8:15 am
10 Comments

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3.7 rating from 19 votes

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The FUD from ascender is silly. So what if you link to TTF and not to EOT? That doesn’t automatically make what you are doing illegal. And having only EOT supported does not actually protect any font rights holder.

Besides, is EOT capable of supporting fonts not tied to a particular hostname? If I have to design my installer so that EOT files are generated for every customer, I will not be a happy camper.

Comment by Joeri — July 23, 2008

Quick! We need to stop embedding images too!!! Cause… you know… they can be copyrighted! And what about text? We need a DRM-enabled format for text as well…

Comment by fuzzy76 — July 23, 2008

The first clue something fishy is going on here is that Microsoft supports something with the word “Open” in the title. What we come to realize very quickly is that “Open” in this case means “Closed”. It means DRM’d fonts. And it means AssEnder and Microshaft can both go take a flying leap off a very tall pile of servers.

We can take this move by Microsoft and Assenders in the same vein OOXML. Unfortunately there are no real open alternatives to combat this load of bull puky so the w3c might fall for it.

Comment by mojave — July 23, 2008

Just give the responsability of breaking the law to the site designers, as it has always have been with images and texts, supporting only EOT is a step backward, theres a lot (but with less quality) free opentype fonts. Why not support both?

Comment by reaktivo — July 23, 2008

Is there a good directory of free fonts?

Comment by Nosredna — July 23, 2008

Boo to the following:
– DRM
– silly renaming of things we don’t like with stuff like “microshaft” and “assender”

Comment by eyelidlessness — July 23, 2008

I am fine with the fonts I have at my disposal. They are functional. But then again, I understand why companies would want their corporate fonts used. Let’s see how this develops.

@fuzzy if you look at some of the licenses of stock companies around, you’d be surprised to see how many of them indeed demand you to prevent downloading of the stock item or linking to it – effectively disabling use of their stock on the web, although they claim you may use it.

Comment by Gordon — July 23, 2008

“Just give the responsibility of breaking the law to the site designers”
Exactly… where is this concern for breaking the law come from anyways…

You know… use of fonts on the web is just not a market that font makers have right now. People use the provided fonts… they are not buying fonts for their websites… logos maybe. What business model are they trying to protect here?

Font is important… just not THAT important. If we have to keep using verdana or then fine by me!

When something open comes along I’ll look into using it.

Comment by JeromeLapointe — July 24, 2008

Also DRMs just incite people to recode files into new ones… making the discovery of illegally use files harder.

Font’s that prevent you from getting embedded will just get dissected and recoded to be completely opened and with slight modifications you won’t have anyways of even saying it’s the same font.

Comment by JeromeLapointe — July 24, 2008

@JeromeLapointe: They are buying fonts to use in images that get used in websites. That’s probably the market they’re concerned about.

Comment by Joeri — July 25, 2008

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