atom feed4 messages in org.w3.www-fontwebfonts
FromSent OnAttachments
Paul HaeberliJan 23, 1996 5:07 pm 
Hakon LieJan 25, 1996 1:14 am 
Bert BosJan 25, 1996 5:35 am 
Bill HillJan 25, 1996 11:33 am 
From:Bert Bos (
Date:Jan 25, 1996 5:35:05 am

Brian Behlendorf writes (on

Paul Haeberli at SGI has a proposal for font propagation and use on the web [1]. While his proposal puts the functionality in yet more HTML tags, I think it would be pretty easy to take his parameters and make them style sheet semantics. Is anyone interested in doing that? It's definitely too much for CSS1, but perhaps by CSS2... anyways, I'll be mentioning this to him, but I thought the opportunity to get input from the font community in the style sheet efforts should be pursued.

(BTW, I couldn't get his java app to work either)

Meanwhile, Hakon Lie writes (on

Paul Haeberli writes:

Is this mail list active?

It's starting up. I count 12 subscribers at this point..

While I have Paul's attention: your WebFonts proposal [1] is interesting. I have one suggestion and one concern.

- wouldn't PNG be a better format to base WebFonts on? First, it's politically more correct. Second, you can hide the metainformation inside the PNG-file.

- providing bitmap fonts is device-dependent. The selected font may have just the right size on the author's screen, but will not scale to the reader's preferred size or any printer. If we aim for consistent presentations, isn't scalable fonts the only option?

Paul Haeberli's proposal for a simple bitmap font format is interesting (I've used the even simpler version in the pbm toolkit), but I feel it is not good enough. The fonts may produce acceptable results on a screen, especially if PNG's ability for alpha channels is used for anti-aliasing, but it is not good enough for printing.

A mature font format should provide for kerning, ligatures, and resolution independency. There must be a standard way to map the glyphs to Unicode characters. And on the Web, it should also be free (at least the decoding software).

Defining a new format is a lot of work. It can be done when needed (as was PNG for bitmap graphics), but maybe there already is a format we can use. I know of Postscript, TrueType, MetaFont, BDF/PCF, and TrueDoc[2]. Before designing a new format, I want to be sure that none of these meet the requirements.


PS. to subscribe to www-font, send the word `subscribe' (minus the quotes) to

PS. There is a nice list of font issues on [3].

[1] [2] [3]