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TECH: Fonts on the Web? (was Re: Kjaginic: 8 points of articulation)

From:David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Date:Thursday, October 2, 2008, 3:05
I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but I read something that
sparked an idea:

There is obviously one place where
this is of paramount desirability, namely on web
pages, as long as there are no mechanism for
embedding fonts or using server-side fonts -- the
latter would obviously be the most desirable!

Way, way back when I first joined the list, I naively put forth
the idea that everyone on Conlang should just download and
install an IPA font so we all could type in it and not have to
resort to SAMPA.  This was really before I was web-literate,
and I really had no idea how many issues are involved, and
why the idea was really preposterous for something like the

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?

"A male love inevivi i'ala'i oku i ue pokulu'ume o heki a."
"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

-Jim Morrison


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Przemys³aw Ziobrowski <pmva@...>TECH: Fonts on the Web?