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  1. #1
    The Mind's I ® silver trophy Dark Tranquility's Avatar
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    Arrow Unleashing the power of real TrueType fonts with CSS!

    CSS is 10 years old now, Håkon Wium Lie, the guy who proposed the CSS concept, is introducing something new! and it is about text display that is suffering nowadays from the lack of fonts you can use.
    a similar concept was first described back in 1998 (CSS 2) but wasn't a success!
    but it is back for good now!

    Thank Mr. Prince!

    and we will probably see this kind of code

    Code CSS:
    @font-face {
      font-family: "FONT_NAME";
    url([url]http://.[/url]..) format("truetype");
    }
    body{ font-family: "FONT_NAME", sans-serif }

    There are still problems like convincing browsers companies to support these web fonts and to fix a final format of the code and validate everything in there...

    What do you think? Is this going to be a success? Is this going to be the next big step for web design?
    Imagine how much control will you have on the look of your pages! and you will not use graphics just because you can't use a given font on your web site!!!

  2. #2
    The CSS Clinic is open silver trophybronze trophy
    Paul O'B's Avatar
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    Interesting article DT although I had to search for it.

    It will only take off if browser manufactures support it but it would be a good idea.

  3. #3
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    all the fonts better be anti-aliased too, but that too is up to the browser creators.

    this would save a lot of time having to use hacks like sIFR and stuff, which have their own drawbacks.
    Steve Davis

  4. #4
    The Mind's I ® silver trophy Dark Tranquility's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul O'B View Post
    Interesting article DT although I had to search for it.

    It will only take off if browser manufactures support it but it would be a good idea.
    Yep sorry but the link was on Håkon's page sorry I forgot to post that link
    And yes I agree! the most difficult thing for this to happen is to make browsers vendors move towards the support of it! may be Opera (after all Håkon works for them!) or Mozilla will lead the move!

  5. #5
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    I saw this earlier (I think it was last week or the week before) and figured that while it is a good idea, it won't take off because the companies that produce the more popular fonts consider them to be private intellectual property. And when you think about it, these are the people who need to make the initial push if you want browser developers to start supporting code like what was proposed.

  6. #6
    The Mind's I ® silver trophy Dark Tranquility's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    I saw this earlier (I think it was last week or the week before) and figured that while it is a good idea, it won't take off because the companies that produce the more popular fonts consider them to be private intellectual property. And when you think about it, these are the people who need to make the initial push if you want browser developers to start supporting code like what was proposed.
    Well there are tons of free fonts... we can at least start with those!
    Also there guys like Ray Larabie and Dieter Steffman who are great font designers and they are producing free fonts and it seems that they somewhat involved in this

  7. #7
    Kiwi Fr00t jylyn's Avatar
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    Great! Ray and Dieter are already my heroes. It would be brilliant to see them and others like them getting more publicity with something like this.

  8. #8
    Put your best practices away. The New Guy's Avatar
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    [quote=CraniumDesigns;3537255]all the fonts better be anti-aliased too, but that too is up to the browser creators./quote]

    No for the love of god no. Anti-aliased on fonts looks like crap. I hate it with a passion. It only looks good on crap monitors which can't render text adequately enough.
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    though i am fine with the currently allowed font list, i believe this is a great idea, and i'd love to see what kind of beautiful sites could be created using an entire set of new fonts.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member floris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul O'B View Post
    Interesting article DT although I had to search for it.

    It will only take off if browser manufactures support it but it would be a good idea.
    Thanks for the link, and yeah. Nice article. I will read through it in detail in a bit.
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  11. #11
    Keep Moving Forward gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Hey, Dark. Long time no see.


    I didn't read the article yet but the concept sounds very very cool.

    Between that and the proposed CSS 3 columned text I'm itching at the possibilities of what I can make.

    I hope they go through with it. And if so I hope browser support is sound and fast !!




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  12. #12
    The Mind's I ® silver trophy Dark Tranquility's Avatar
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    Off Topic:

    Hey Shaun, how are you?


    Yep Shaun!
    It seems we're leading to something nice

  13. #13
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
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    Other big issue is security--fonts are a very deeply embedded bit of the OS. At least on Windows, you need administrator access to install them. And one could make them carry nasty payloads in all likelihood.

    Anyhow, real men use courier.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99 View Post
    Anyhow, real men use courier.
    Nah, real men make their own deliveries.

    I'm all for it!

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast ratan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99 View Post
    Other big issue is security--fonts are a very deeply embedded bit of the OS. At least on Windows, you need administrator access to install them. And one could make them carry nasty payloads in all likelihood.

    Anyhow, real men use courier.

    Im skeptical that browsers will support custom fonts mainly due to security issues but if they do agree to do it, that'll be like utopia, no more images for the sake of a good font!

    The only other issue is that users might be able to download a lot of the commercial fonts for free this way which the commercial bad boys of font manufacturing will definately dispute and won't be too inclined for something like this.

    Nonetheless, I would love to see this come to life, and if someone wants to create a petiton or something for browser manufacturers we might be able to get this sooner!

  16. #16
    padawan silver trophybronze trophy markbrown4's Avatar
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    No doubt it will happen - It's just a question of when.

    Hopefully sooner rather than later.

    Off Topic:


    Is CSS really only 10 years old?

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=The New Guy;3537440]
    Quote Originally Posted by CraniumDesigns View Post
    all the fonts better be anti-aliased too, but that too is up to the browser creators./quote]

    No for the love of god no. Anti-aliased on fonts looks like crap. I hate it with a passion. It only looks good on crap monitors which can't render text adequately enough.
    That depends on the browser really, seeing as each of them have their own anti-aliasing algo.

    I mean, try doing a large Georgia (or was it Garamond?) font on Adobe Illustrator. You'll be surprised to see that the font size/width/etc. matches how Firefox renders it, but when you try to do it on Photoshop, it's off.

    But when you do it in IE or Safari... One looks pixelated like the 80's, and the other is far too blurry.

  18. #18
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    I'm a bit bemused by the repeated mention that as some fonts are commercial, the font designers will lean on browser manufacturers to stop this advance.

    There are many copyrighted images, audio files, documents... The list goes on. but I've certainly never heard any discussion that browsers shouldn't render photos.

    Someone mentioned that the font designers would need to support this idea. How so?

  19. #19
    SitePoint Enthusiast ratan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beowolf View Post

    There are many copyrighted images, audio files, documents... The list goes on. but I've certainly never heard any discussion that browsers shouldn't render photos.
    Im not sure what you mean. Are you saying that font designers shouldn't worry about having their commercial fonts become readily available for download since they are copyright?

    And browsers shouldn't render photos? Why would you not want them to render photos?


    Quote Originally Posted by Beowolf View Post

    Someone mentioned that the font designers would need to support this idea. How so?
    There's no need for font designers to support the idea. Designers that provide fonts for free will actually want it implemented whereas the commercial ones will be against it.

    Browsers can choose to do whatever they want, the font designers will just have to comply with it. The intended message was that commercial font designers will be less likely to support the idea because of their intellectual property becoming easily available to users without paying for it.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
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    Hmm, I suspect that the commercial types would like it--just imagine the licensing fees they could charge for "internet licensed" fonts.

  21. #21
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    I'm not sure it's a great idea. Obviously in the right hands, having nicefonts is a good thing, but...

    1) Font files can be huge -- especially good fonts. Sometimes hundreds of kilobytes, which is awful. You might point out that the alternative is flash or images which is huge as well, and you'd have a point. But this is just another thing for amateurs to pollute the web with.

    2) Fonts could easily be stolen. Someone pointed out that images etc are also available to be stolen, but the nature of that data is different. Images are meant for end users, and we on the web are generally middle men, there to provide those images to qualified users (often those who have paid).

    That's not the case with fonts: they are owed and intended to be used by "we on the web," not really by the end user. The end user benefits if WE own the font, but the end user does not actually buy the font as an end in itself. Despite that difference, the commercial font that we want to use in our site must be downloaded to the client computer, and I can promise you that within days -- maybe hours-- of this feature's release, regardless of any encryption that is done on the client side, there will be programs available to extract encypted fonts to a useable format. All of a sudden that $700 font family is a free font family.

    3) Security is a huge issue. It's already been pointed out that fonts could have malicious code built in, and if you are allowing open source browsers (many major browsers are open source, obviously) to parse and render fonts, then any clever coder could figure out a way to inject code into that parsing that could do any number of nasty things. I bet it would be lucrative to build a keylogger into a font that firefox loads up -- then it can read whatever you type into your browser... banking information, passwords, whatever. Only the most advanced users would be able to detect such a thing, and that's not who the attack would target.

    4) This is a personal note as a designer. Having only a few safe fonts on the web has been a good thing for the most part. The fact is, most people are design morons, and everyone thinks they are the next Picasso -- giving people the chance to pollute the web with fonts is asking for trouble. Maybe we should require TT font users to carry a license 8)
    Bring out our hope and reason, before we pine away.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy linkin99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99 View Post
    Hmm, I suspect that the commercial types would like it--just imagine the licensing fees they could charge for "internet licensed" fonts.
    That's actually an interesting thought. Fonts companies and designers could find another way to make some money. I'd love to see this.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Zealot D.D.S. Polymath's Avatar
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    I remember reading a request put to Mr John Warnock of Adobe Systems by Andrei Michael Herasimchuk to release 'eight to twelve core fonts into the public domain' for the sake of bringing variety and style to web typography, but the recipient seems to have turned a deaf ear to it, which does not surprise me at all. It seems we are to remain stuck with Verdana et al. for quite a long time ahead, with Lucida Grande perhaps being the only contender to introduce some degree of freshness into the matter.
    Be not too sure that none of the old magic endures...

  24. #24
    SitePoint Zealot hephaistion's Avatar
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    Check out the article at 'A List Apart'.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMichaud View Post
    The fact is, most people are design morons, and everyone thinks they are the next Picasso -- giving people the chance to pollute the web with fonts is asking for trouble.
    The same could be said about many web technologies like Flash or AJAX - in the hands of 'design morons' they can be really irritating and unusable but is that any reason not to promote their use?


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