[webkit-dev] EOT Support in WebKit

Nicholas Shanks contact at nickshanks.com
Tue Nov 4 02:43:20 PST 2008

Hi list.
I recently emailed a few indie font developers to get their opinions  
on EOT and @font-face. Here's the first response worth reading on the  
matter. Ray has given permission for his comments to be distributed to  
any interested browser developers.

— Nicholas Shanks.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Ray Larabie"
> Date: 3 November 2008
> Hi Nicholas,
> Here's what I use to determine a good web font embedding system:
> Can the font be downloaded directly, thereby easily circumventing my  
> license agreement?
> If yes, then I am against it.
> Can the format be easily hacked to extract the font?
> To me it doesn't matter. Nothing's easier than downloading a torrent  
> so preventing this type of piracy is irrelevant. I'd prefer a  
> moderate form of encryption at least to prevent direct downloading  
> sans license. If you want me to explain further, I can.
> Can the font be restricted to a certain domain?
> It doesn't matter to me at all. If people want to pirate, people  
> will pirate. I prefer no domain restrictions.
> What I don't like about EOT is that it was sloppily executed, at  
> least the original release. I must admit that haven't tried it since  
> 1999. I once generated an EOT that would corrupt the Windows font  
> rasterizer so all text in Windows would go blank, so I don't know if  
> it was thoroughly tested. The domain restriction was pointless (to  
> me) and the conversion tools were less than robust. Perhaps I don't  
> understand the concept. Is that to prevent remote linking to the  
> fonts from other sites? I didn't have a problem with the concept of  
> a proprietary web font format. The security was good enough - easy  
> to crack but that doesn't matter. How difficult something is to  
> crack is irrelevant. It just means the cracking tool is easier/ 
> harder to write which means it will take crackers a few more days to  
> write the tool. If the domain restrictions were taken out of EOT, I  
> could sell my own preconverted EOTs.
> All the best,
> -- 
> Ray Larabie
> www.typodermic.com

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