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css support - current state of play

Anyone know a good, current reference ?
I found Meyer's table (now moved to
http://www.ddj.com/webreview/style/c...stergrid.shtml ) and
it's 5 years since the last update.
Most other reference stuff elsewhere seems to be similarly geriatric,
talking mostly about generation 3,4, and 5 browsers, and Windows 95/98/NT.

The specific question I'm trying to answer is support for the src tag in
css (font downloading). As far as I can see, current IE does support it,
Firefox doesn't.

Thanks
Chris
Jan 17 '06 #1
5 1447
Chris Sharman wrote:
Anyone know a good, current reference ?
I found Meyer's table (now moved to
http://www.ddj.com/webreview/style/c...stergrid.shtml ) and
it's 5 years since the last update.
Most other reference stuff elsewhere seems to be similarly geriatric,
talking mostly about generation 3,4, and 5 browsers, and Windows 95/98/NT.

The specific question I'm trying to answer is support for the src tag in
css (font downloading). As far as I can see, current IE does support it,
Firefox doesn't.


Just to avoid getting bogged down in the merits of font choice, the
appplication is the sale of personalised goods, and I'm trying to offer
a preview of the final product, personalised with the correct font. In
this instance, allowing the customer any font choice (deliberate or
accidental) would obviously provide a misleading product preview.
I'm leaning towards using an image, rather than serving the font, but
previewing text could be a lot faster, and easier on the server, than
creating preview images on the fly.

Chris
Jan 17 '06 #2
On Tue, 17 Jan 2006, Chris Sharman wrote:
The specific question I'm trying to answer is support for the src
tag in css
Pardon? "src tag"? - in CSS??
(font downloading).
Are you referring to the CSS/2.0 @font-face construct? Which
disappears in CSS/2.1 and re-appears in a CSS3 proposal...
As far as I can see, current IE does support it, Firefox doesn't.


If that's what you're on about, then, to the best of my knowledge,
support is confined to Win MSIE (which uses MS's proprietary WEFT
format), and Netscape 4.* using a proprietary font format from
Bitstream (but NS4 should by now be regarded as obsolete for other
reasons anyway).

However, a web search has just produced the following rather
surprising page:
http://www.csscreator.com/attributes...ies/@font-face

which claims it's supported in recent versions of Mozilla, Firefox and
NN6+. Strange - the Mozilla bugzilla still has an open bug asking for
this to be supported - it would be strange to learn that the support
has already been there for a while, apparently un-advertised. But the
above URL also claims no support in NN4, which I'm sure is wrong.

Anyone know more about this?

Anyway, you'll notice that it was taken out in the CSS/2.1 draft,
which is a signal that browser support is considered too poor for
general deployment - at least until the CSS3 proposals firm up, and
implementations of that appear.
Jan 17 '06 #3
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
On Tue, 17 Jan 2006, Chris Sharman wrote:
The specific question I'm trying to answer is support for the src
tag in css
(font downloading).
Are you referring to the CSS/2.0 @font-face construct? Which
disappears in CSS/2.1 and re-appears in a CSS3 proposal...


Yes, that's the one.
As far as I can see, current IE does support it, Firefox doesn't.


If that's what you're on about, then, to the best of my knowledge,
support is confined to Win MSIE (which uses MS's proprietary WEFT
format), and Netscape 4.* using a proprietary font format from
Bitstream (but NS4 should by now be regarded as obsolete for other
reasons anyway).

However, a web search has just produced the following rather
surprising page:
http://www.csscreator.com/attributes...ies/@font-face


Missed that - looks like a more up-to-date resource than all the ones I
found - thanks.
which claims it's supported in recent versions of Mozilla, Firefox and
NN6+. Strange - the Mozilla bugzilla still has an open bug asking for
this to be supported - it would be strange to learn that the support
has already been there for a while, apparently un-advertised. But the
above URL also claims no support in NN4, which I'm sure is wrong.
.... perhaps suspect then.
Anyone know more about this?

Anyway, you'll notice that it was taken out in the CSS/2.1 draft,
which is a signal that browser support is considered too poor for
general deployment - at least until the CSS3 proposals firm up, and
implementations of that appear.


Thanks - flakey and uncertain support kills it for a commercial site, as
far as I'm concerned.

Chris
Jan 17 '06 #4

On Tue, 17 Jan 2006, Chris Sharman wrote:

[about @font-face]
Thanks - flakey and uncertain support kills it for a commercial
site, as far as I'm concerned.


The best that can be said is that it'll be harmlessly ignored on those
browsers which don't support it. At least, that's the theory, and I
don't know a browser that's upset by it in practice.

I doubt that's the answer that you wanted for a "commercial site",
though.

By the way, a better keyword to search for than "@font-face" (which
seems to produce far too many false hits) seems to be "webfonts",
since this is the name of the new CSS3 module for it.
I was meaning to pass a comment on the Mozilla FAQ:
http://www.mozilla.org/docs/web-deve...nloadablefonts

This is evidently worded on the assumption that the only reason for
anyone to use downloadable fonts would be to present fake-Latin fonts
(I include these under "symbol-type fonts in the broad sense", in my
discussion cited below).

I would certainly join them on the barricades if that was the *only*
reason to do it. But there are at least two honourable reasons to do
it: typography, and i18n.

On my page http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/...i18n-weft.html
I have some comments about these three possible areas on interest,
although I only go into any detail about i18n.

hope that's of interest. I'm always open to comments, of course
(preferably constructive).
Jan 17 '06 #5
Chris Sharman wrote:
Anyone know a good, current reference ?
I found Meyer's table (now moved to
http://www.ddj.com/webreview/style/c...stergrid.shtml ) and
it's 5 years since the last update.
Most other reference stuff elsewhere seems to be similarly geriatric,
talking mostly about generation 3,4, and 5 browsers, and Windows 95/98/NT.

The specific question I'm trying to answer is support for the src tag in
css (font downloading). As far as I can see, current IE does support it,
Firefox doesn't.


If you want your Web pages to comply with the W3C specifications -- if
you want to reach the broadest possible audience -- you will have to
wait at least two years. The feature you want (Webfonts) is not
scheduled for final, official publication until 2008 as part of CSS3.
Although this capability existed under a different name in CSS2, it was
yanked from CSS2.1, which itself is not expected to be officially
published until later this year.

Actually, you may have to wait even longer. There has been no
development activity of the Webfonts specification since 2 August 2002.
Further work appears quite behind schedule. Since the specification
might change before official publication, browser developers may be
reluctant to implement this capability. After all, not all of CSS2.1
has been implemented in the various Mozilla products and very little (if
any) in IE. Why, then, jump ahead to CSS3?

--

David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Concerned about someone (e.g., Pres. Bush) snooping
into your E-mail? Use PGP.
See my <http://www.rossde.com/PGP/>
Jan 19 '06 #6

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