W3C WebFonts Working Group to meet at ATypI in Reykjavík
Posted by Mark Barratt on Aug 06, 2011
About the W3C WebFonts working group
The mission of the Web Fonts Working Group, part of the Fonts Activity, is to develop specifications that allow the interoperable deployment of downloadable fonts on the Web. Existing specifications (CSS3 Fonts, SVG) explain how to describe and link to fonts, so the main focus will be the standardisation of font formats suited to the task, and a specification defining conformance (for fonts, authoring tools, viewers ...) covering all the technology required for WebFonts.
As the relevant specifications are all implemented, and either standardised (OpenType by ISO/IEC 14496-22:2009, SVG by the SVG 1.1 Recommendation) or mature (WOFF, EOT, CSS3 Fonts) the group would be chartered to only make the minimal changes needed for interoperability and standardisation. In addition, the provision of interoperable font formats would allow the testing of CSS3 Fonts, speeding it to Recommendation status.
About Web Open Font Format (WOFF)
The WOFF font packaging format. This format was designed to provide lightweight, easy-to-implement compression of font data, suitable for use with CSS @font-face rules. Any properly licensed TrueType/OpenType/Open Font Format file can be packaged in WOFF format for Web use. User agents decode the WOFF file to restore the font data such that it will display identically to the input font.
The WOFF format also allows additional metadata to be attached to the file; this can be used by font designers or vendors to include licensing or other information, beyond that present in the original font. Such metadata does not affect the rendering of the font in any way, but may be displayed to the user on request.
The WOFF format is not intended to replace other formats such as TrueType/OpenType/Open Font Format or SVG fonts, but provides an alternative solution for use cases where these formats may be less optimal, or where licensing considerations make their use less acceptable.