Re: Font Website Usage Barriers and Monopoly

From: William_J_G Overington (
Date: Fri Jan 07 2011 - 02:50:35 CST

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    Philippe Verdy <> wrote:
    > There are certainly lots of innovation to find there and to implement. For now all font formats are not portable and there's a severe lack of interoperability, usability and cooperation, in the way they are created and distributed today.
    A possible solution would be for experts to produce a font format that could be encoded using some yet-to-be-encoded regular Unicode characters.
    I tried some experiments using a Private Use Area encoding some years ago.
    If that font format were studied and the basic idea used as a starting point and then people changed it somewhat as thought necessary and added all of the features that that font format does not have, then something good might well be produced.
    The result could be a manufacturer-independent portable font format that could be encoded as a sequence of specially encoded regular Unicode characters (perhaps in plane 14): fonts produced using the font format could be sent around the internet as characters in a plain text sequence and stored in databases as unambiguous Unicode plain text.
    The documents are still available on the web.

    The format does not have hinting capability, yet it is contour based and has some chromatic font features.
    Encoding the special characters for a manufacturer-independent portable font format into regular Unicode so that font designs could be embedded into streams of plain text and not need higher-level protocols would be an encoding process that would need much discussion and consideration. Yet such encoding could be of benefit.
    William Overington
    7 January 2011



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