Friday, October 5th, 2007

Webkit joins Opera with @font-face support

Category: WebKit

Apple cares about typography, so it only makes sense that Webkit has joined Opera in supporting @font-face.

The Surfin’ Safari blog said it all:

WebKit now supports CSS @font-face rules. With font face rules you can specify downloadable custom fonts on your Web pages or alias one font to another. This article on A List Apart describes the feature in detail. All of the examples linked to in that article work in WebKit now.

@font-face is on the WebKit feature branch, and a nightly build of that is available. You can try it out here.

Just in time for Leopard ;)

Posted by Dion Almaer at 5:59 pm

3.9 rating from 29 votes


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This is great news! – Have tryed it out but can’t get i to work thoug.. Anybody know of a online demo of this?

Comment by Rasmus L. Knabe — October 5, 2007

This is excellent!

Note though that this is on the “feature branch”, not on the mainline nightlies. Lots of great stuff is happening out there, but with as stable as TOT is getting (and with Apple’s announced Leopard timeframe), I’d be surprised to see work like this landing for Leopard. Would be nice if they’d give us some visibility to that effect, though. Guessing when Apple will give us new features in the browser (and on what OS revs) is only made slightly less painful than waiting on IE because they do (most) of their work in public.

Great that they’re taking this step, though. It really will open up a new dawn for typography on the web most deployed browsers support this.

Comment by Alex Russell — October 6, 2007

…Great to see. Steve Jobs has before expressed his enjoyment of fonts and typefaces from his days taking a calligraphy class at Reed College and how this came back to him when they were creating the first Mac and the multiple fonts they included (which was later copied by Windows). His speech is linked below in text form as well as video form. Nice to see this make its way to the browser finally, and no doubt others will follow suit in time. ……….he tells the font/calligraphy story in his Stanford commencement speech — good opportunity to share some inspiring words, so hope you get a chance to take a look and enjoy:

Comment by Mark Holton — October 6, 2007

Since when has Opera supported @font-face? I’ve been googling about this a bunch and can’t find anything agreeing with it except for the quoted article. Opera’s own website even explicitly says it doesn’t support the construct.

Comment by Jenna Fox — October 8, 2007

For what it’s worth (and to play devil’s advocate for a minute), Apple didn’t come up with smooth font rendering – that was done by the boys at Xerox Parc, among a few other UI things. ;) Nonetheless, it’s still clear Apple have always been quite aware of designers’ desires to have pretty fonts.

I used to create embeddable EOT files for use with IE – MS made a font embedding tool that would export these files, and one interesting aspect of this was the licensing; that is, the font had a bit specified by its creator, controlling whether or not you were allowed to export the font to an EOT for use on the web. When creating the EOT, you could also specify what domain(s) you wanted the EOT file to work on, which was supposed to help further restrict the font’s use. This wasn’t a bad idea, but the “embed” bit was easily editable.

I can see the argument for “DRM” on fonts, but I think it sounds like a limitation or excuse for not implementing support at this point despite being an oft-desired feature (for pretty design, etc.) The same argument could have presumably been made for all sorts of other formats presented in-browser (images, video, MP3s etc.), but I think it was clear that the web would be a much more boring place without those. Yes, copyright may be an issue, but I think the ability to embed fonts is something sorely missing. Just as long as they don’t allow Comic Sans anywhere. ;)

Comment by Scott Schiller — October 8, 2007

now let’s the brave IE and Firefox teams to follow this as well.

Comment by Simon Jia — October 8, 2007

Actually, Opera doesn’t support @font-face, at least in the currently released version 9; perhaps you were referring to a development version?

Comment by Andrew — November 12, 2007

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