Mozilla has joined a growing list of organizations to throw their support behind the Web Open Font Format (WOFF) and will support the embedding of WOFF fonts via @font-face from Firefox 3.6 onwards, or if you’re a developer and want to play around with this now, just download a recent nightly build or beta.
Although the main browsers have now supported @font-face for some time, the lack of a common approach to implementation, with each browser supporting differing font formats, and disagreements over the specification from the font industry, due largely to concerns about font security, has led to a slow uptake from designers.
Whilst the WOFF specification does little to address font security, it does offer font vendors the chance to embed optional metadata alongside their fonts, as well as offering font compression, gaining the format strong support from a number of leading font foundries.
The format has caused a great deal of discussion across the web, with some evening predicting that IE support may not be too far away. Could this finally represent a cross browser solution to font embedding? Fingers crossed, but I won’t be holding my breath just yet.
Font Squirell offers a large selection of free open source fonts licensed for @font-face embedding and available for download in a variety of formats for cross browser interoporability:
The Mozilla Hacks blog offers further detail on the WOFF specification and a number of implementation examples:
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Is there support in WebKit for this?
WOFF is really a specialized wrapper around an OpenType font (possibly other font formats as well) that can allow subsetting (only using a subset of the characters), attach metadata, and allows for compression. It appeals to font foundries because they can attach additional metadata to their fonts and it also adds a technical hurdle to casually misusing a WOFF font as a standard system font. I think it is an excellent solution that doesn’t use DRM and will provide font creators a non-threatening and easy way to sell licenses of their fonts for web use.
Max Design - standards based web design, development and training » Some links for light reading (3/11/09) says:Comment » November 3rd, 2009 at 10:28 pm
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