web fonts — Broken Links Archive

HTML 5 & web fonts; exciting times

With (standards-compliant) browser innovation firmly back on the agenda, there’s a lot of exciting new technology to get to grips with. This week, Google have thrown their weight firmly behind HTML5, while a new start-up aims to bring web fonts to all.

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An alternative suggestion for web fonts licensing

Following the recent push by Microsoft and Ascender to revive the EOT format for web fonts, debate has raged over the pros and cons of the two main alternatives: embedding and linking. Richard Rutter came up with the idea to license fonts on a monthly payment basis, with the font being served from the supplier’s server (or a trusted alternative).

I think there are a number of potential problems of practicality with that approach, many of which have been raised in the comments. As a contribution to the debate, I would like to offer the following suggestion:

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EOT as a new standard: too late?

Microsoft are trying to get people interested in the old EOT embedded font format by submitting it to the W3C as an open standard. Font foundry Ascender Corporation are behind them. I think this wouldn’t be an issue now if Microsoft had submitted this as an open standard five years ago, but that it may be too late now that their rivals are going down the route of font linking.

Safari 3.1 introduces web fonts for all

Apple have released Safari 3.1 for Windows and OS X (and Linux using Wine) today, and the feature that really stood out for me was the introduction of web fonts. Website makers have been bound to the same core fonts for years now, so suddenly having a huge palette to choose from is going to make an enormous difference!

Using them is pretty easy. First you have to declare the fonts using the @font-face rule — and, importantly, you have to declare each variant (weight, style, etc) individually by linking to the font file involved. You can’t just link to the directory and let the browser work out the variants. To see what I mean, take a look at this example (using Safari 3.1, of course!) and view the source to see the CSS involved.

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