Fonts,glyphs and infinite Unicode

From: Edward H. Trager (
Date: Mon Apr 25 2005 - 10:35:24 CST

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    In response to Arcane Jill, Ed Trager wrote ... :

    > I think this is a *great* idea, as it would provide a standardized way for browsers
    > to download and utilize custom fonts for specific niche or non-niche purposes (I believe
    > Microsoft already has a proprietary technology for doing this, but an open standard like
    > CSS would be much better). However, I believe the more likely syntax should look something
    > like the following which is completely consistent with current CSS standards:
    > .myCSSClass {
    > font-family:url("http://url.of.relevant.font.ttf");
    > }
    > And of course, a set of multiple fonts could also be specified:
    > .myCSSClass {
    > font-family:Vera,Arial,url("http://url.of.relevant.font.otf"),sans-serif;
    > }
    > Who are the right people at W3C to whom this idea should be directed?

    ... but *of course* this idea has already been thought and is already part of CSS 2
    as Jon Hanna has informed us:

    > Out of scope for the Unicode Consortium, but it addresses practical matters with the use
    > of Unicode that I don’t feel are out of
    > scope here. CSS2.0 contains a mechanims for associating a font name with a downloadable file along the lines of:
    > @font-face {
    > font-family: "Robson Celtic";
    > src: url("http://site/fonts/rob-celt")
    > }
    > H1 { font-family: "Robson Celtic", serif }
    > To use the example in the spec. Implementation is a different matter,
    > particularly as it comes to what format the fonts should be
    > downloaded in (look to SVG fonts for progress there I feel). CSS3.0
    > goes further in allowing different font files to be used for
    > different unicode character ranges.
    > Competing proprietory mechanisms have been around since IE4 and NS4,
    > but the competing nature of them led to a wait-and-see approach
    > on the part of most developers (a good thing IMHO, we aren't locked
    > into either as a de facto standard).
    > Regards,
    > Jon Hanna

    ... which shows that (a) Given the number of smart people in the world,
    most good ideas have already been thought of, and (b) Ed needs to do more
    CSS homework before opening his mouth ...

    - ET

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