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TECH: Fonts on the Web?

From:Przemys³aw Ziobrowski <pmva@...>
Date:Thursday, October 2, 2008, 9:19
David J. Peterson ta nugatu-r:

> When it comes to webpages, though, it seems like this shouldn't be an > issue, but it is. I mean, think about it: On your webspace, you have a > file called whatever.css that tells the web browser how to deal with all > the HTML elements. You also have tons of file that can take up quite a > large amount of space on your webspace--e.g., files for download, > .jpg's, etc. Fonts, by comparison, are tiny little files, the largest > ones no bigger than a megabyte or two, if that. Why on Earth can't you > have something like CSS that that tells the web browser: "Use the > following font *which is housed on my webspace at the following url*"? > Web browsers already cache images--even versions of a particular web > page. Why can't it cache fonts in *exactly* the same way? The user > wouldn't have to download and install the font: the information on the > webpage would simply use the font that's been uploaded to wherever the > webpage tells the browser to look for it. What prevents this from being > a reality?
Theoretically, it's possible in CSS 3: "Note that we can include within a declaration some instructions for intelligent substitution, downloading, and synthesis, as in the following (hypothetical) example: @font-face { font-family: "Heisei Mincho W3"; unicode-range: U+3000-FA2D, U+FF00-FFEE; src: url("http://not.found.anywhere/heiseiw3.otf" format("opentype"); units-per-em: 2048; panose-: 2 0 5 3 0 0 0 2 0 4; widths: U+3000-FA2D 2048, U+FF00-FF5F 2048, U+FF60-FFEE 1024; bbox: -, -, 2048, 1755; ascent: 1653; descent: -; } In this case, the browser will first try to make an intelligent substitution for the font (and the Panose-1 classification is of crucial importance to that attempt); then it will try to download the font, and if it fails, it will attempt a substitution through "synthesis" using a generic font-provided, yet again, that **the browser is capable of carrying out all these operations, which is not yet the case today**." That's the tiny problem -- it just doesn't work. -- Przemysław Ziobrowski "To jest tak proste, że nie można tego zrozumieć" przysłowie qirańskie