Re: Auto-retrieving Unicode fonts from centralized server in absence of @font-face or built-in support

From: Rick McGowan (
Date: Tue Jan 19 2010 - 13:34:47 CST

  • Next message: Richard Wordingham: "Re: unicode string representation in PL"

    Brett Zamir wrote:
    > allowing one to specify a font on one's website which supports the
    > characters needed by the page, as the browser might not have built-in
    > font support for more obscure characters).

    Also sounds like a substantial potential security risk, so you'd want
    that to be a trusted authority, so I expect most people would want to
    turn that feature off, or at least make it ask and have certificates,
    etc, etc.

    > ... to house a central repository of basic (open-source or otherwise
    > licensed) fonts which can be used by browsers to automatically
    > download the fonts not already supported in the browser

    Aaagh! It'll never work "correctly". By "correctly" I mean downloading
    only once per machine that needs it, a particular font from a particular
    server. Sounds to me like another potential nightmare for people who
    have important websites that lots of people want to refer to and
    download from "automatically" in web pages. See what the W3C says about
    DTD downloading.

    Our experience on has been similar with the DTDs for LDML,
    so we went to use of non-URL-like DTD specs to eliminate that excessive
    traffic. And yet, people *still* download, sometimes several hundred
    times in one day on one machine, old DTDs for previous out-dated LDML specs.

    In my personal opinion, the best way to assure that people everywhere
    have basic fonts that "cover Unicode" is to release systems with at
    least a basic coverage set built into them. And hopefully also allow
    users of prior software/font versions to upgrade them. I think that's
    happening to some extent, and it will improve in the future. As time
    goes on, the problem becomes less acute.


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