Re: The pointless thread continues

From: John Hudson (
Date: Fri Jul 05 2002 - 10:54:36 EDT

At 06:28 7/5/2002, Michael Everson wrote:

>At 15:04 +0200 2002-07-05, Michael Jansson wrote:
>>and bad fonts can seriously damage any OS.

Actually, this isn't nonsense. A single buggy font is quite capable of
crashing an operating system. Obviously the damage is not permanent,
presuming one is able to get the system started in safe mode and remove the
offending font. I've seen some spectacularly nasty fonts over the years, as
have many of my colleagues (including engineers in the type group at Apple,
so this isn't simply a Windows issue).

Hawaiian is a bad example to use in this 'pointless thread', because pretty
much everyone has at least three OS fonts installed which will support that
language. Further, as Michael Everson seems to be suggesting, if all you
care about is achieving minimally readable online text, any font will do,
and one can usually find one. But there are issues: if I want to read a
website in Hindi on a Win 98 machine, I can do so as long as I have the
latest version of IE because it ships with the appropriate version of
Uniscribe. However, my OS has an expectation that any installed font will
include at least one standard MS 8-bit codepage, and installing
Unicode-only fonts such as the MS Hindi font Mangal can cause a number of
fairly serious problems. So presenting websites in languages that are not
covered by standard 8-bit character sets can be more safely achieved using
embedded fonts.

Otherwise, webfonts are really only important if you care what the text on
your website *looks* like, rather than only caring that it is readable.

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

Language must belong to the Other -- to my linguistic community
as a whole -- before it can belong to me, so that the self comes to its
unique articulation in a medium which is always at some level
indifferent to it. - Terry Eagleton

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