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Fonts and

P: n/a
Hi all

Have a customer that wants a specific font included in her web page
design; Comic Sans MS. This is one of the MS core fonts. The problem
I have is that some of the *nix browsers do NOT include these fonts by
default.

http://www.diamondvet.com/test renders those fonts correctly using an
XP box. After I installed those fonts on my machine, firefox and
mozilla both rendered them correctly. So here is the question:

How do I get whatever surfer to download the proper font file? Sure,
it can be an option given to the surfer, but how can I find out what
fonts are available, then show the surfer a message or something? Is
this an automagic thing? Am I going about this all wrong?

Thanks in advance.

todh

Jun 16 '06 #1
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12 Replies


P: n/a
ctclibby wrote:
Hi all

Have a customer that wants a specific font included in her web page
design; Comic Sans MS. This is one of the MS core fonts. The problem
I have is that some of the *nix browsers do NOT include these fonts by
default.

http://www.diamondvet.com/test renders those fonts correctly using an
XP box. After I installed those fonts on my machine, firefox and
mozilla both rendered them correctly. So here is the question:

How do I get whatever surfer to download the proper font file? Sure,
it can be an option given to the surfer, but how can I find out what
fonts are available, then show the surfer a message or something? Is
this an automagic thing? Am I going about this all wrong?

Thanks in advance.

todh


Not really a PHP question, but in the interest of avoiding a MAC truck...

You want to support a font-family. This tells the browser to look at an
ordered set of fonts and to use the first one it finds for the page.

You'll often see something like:
sans-serif: Comic Sans MS, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica

which says 'look for Comic Sans MS, then Tahoma, then Verdana, then
Arial, and finally Helvetica'.

A introduction to CSS will discuss this in more detail.

Some people put a tag line near the bottom of the page saying something
like "This page looks best when rendered using Comic Sans MS. Get it
here" but that is no guarantee that they will do that.

If you absolutely have to use Comic Sans MS, you will probably have to
send pre-rendered images of the text (ugly!).

-david-

Jun 16 '06 #2

P: n/a
Hi,

CSS supports specifying the font location url from which the font file
will be downloaded.
Consider this:
<STYLE TYPE="text/css" MEDIA="screen, print">
@font-face {
font-family: "Robson Celtic";
src: url("http://site/fonts/rob-celt")
}
H1 { font-family: "Robson Celtic", serif }
</STYLE>
from
http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/fonts.html

This is not a commonly used practice and web designers are avoiding it.
Please use it only when there are very strong reasons.

Sincerely,
Alexander

David Haynes wrote:
ctclibby wrote:
Hi all

Have a customer that wants a specific font included in her web page
design; Comic Sans MS. This is one of the MS core fonts. The problem
I have is that some of the *nix browsers do NOT include these fonts by
default.

http://www.diamondvet.com/test renders those fonts correctly using an
XP box. After I installed those fonts on my machine, firefox and
mozilla both rendered them correctly. So here is the question:

How do I get whatever surfer to download the proper font file? Sure,
it can be an option given to the surfer, but how can I find out what
fonts are available, then show the surfer a message or something? Is
this an automagic thing? Am I going about this all wrong?

Thanks in advance.

todh


Not really a PHP question, but in the interest of avoiding a MAC truck...

You want to support a font-family. This tells the browser to look at an
ordered set of fonts and to use the first one it finds for the page.

You'll often see something like:
sans-serif: Comic Sans MS, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica

which says 'look for Comic Sans MS, then Tahoma, then Verdana, then
Arial, and finally Helvetica'.

A introduction to CSS will discuss this in more detail.

Some people put a tag line near the bottom of the page saying something
like "This page looks best when rendered using Comic Sans MS. Get it
here" but that is no guarantee that they will do that.

If you absolutely have to use Comic Sans MS, you will probably have to
send pre-rendered images of the text (ugly!).

-david-


Jun 16 '06 #3

P: n/a
AlexVN schrieb:
CSS supports specifying the font location url from which the font file
will be downloaded.


Keep in mind that you can only do this with fonts you designed yourself,
or that have a license that allows free distribution. If you provide
copyright-protected fonts for download you could run into trouble.

If the client requires the page to look absolutely the same on every
computer in the world, there is no solution in HTML and CSS. You will
have to use Flash, PDF or whatever (or distribute the site printed on
paper - SCNR...). Anyway it is a better way to educate the client about
the web and it's limitations (and advantages). Defining a font family
the way David suggested will actually satisfy your client's needs on a
huge majority of browsers. If this is not enough, use GIFs for titles.

--
Markus
Jun 16 '06 #4

P: n/a
>Have a customer that wants a specific font included in her web page
design; Comic Sans MS. This is one of the MS core fonts. The problem
I have is that some of the *nix browsers do NOT include these fonts by
default.

http://www.diamondvet.com/test renders those fonts correctly using an
XP box. After I installed those fonts on my machine, firefox and
mozilla both rendered them correctly.
And did you violate copyright laws by doing so?
So here is the question:

How do I get whatever surfer to download the proper font file? Sure,
Death threats? Making sure they can't use the site without it?
That tends to drive away customers. Sending them a virus to install
it? Probably works well on XP; harder on other systems.
it can be an option given to the surfer, but how can I find out what
fonts are available, then show the surfer a message or something? Is
this an automagic thing? Am I going about this all wrong?


Keep in mind that asking users to fiddle with their software just
to use your site SCREAMS a number of things you don't really want
attributed to your site:

VIRUS!!

SPYWARE!!

MALWARE!!

Insecure!! and someplace I really don't want to trust with my credit
card number.

There's no point in even trying since it won't work on my system anyway,
so I'll buy elsewhere.

Gordon L. Burditt
Jun 16 '06 #5

P: n/a
>
And did you violate copyright laws by doing so?
Let's see from the microsoft site:
http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/perm...fault.mspx#EUE

Fonts

Microsoft licenses existing fonts from various font vendors, but also
commissions original fonts. If you are looking to license a particular
font, you should contact the vendor directly. The vendor will be listed
in the font's copyright or trademark entry. Use our free Font
properties extension to access this information.

Until recently most fonts that include a Microsoft copyright or
trademark notice have only been available as part of Microsoft
products. Although some fonts remain Microsoft-exclusive a number of
Microsoft fonts are now available to end users, ISVs, and OEMs under
license from Ascender Corporation. These include Verdana, Georgia,
Comic Sans MS, Microsoft Sans Serif, Nina, Tahoma, Wingdings, Webdings,
and Trebuchet MS.
There's no point in even trying since it won't work on my system anyway,
so I'll buy elsewhere.


I hate MS software, but I understand the simple fact that 90% of the
worlds computers have it running in some form or another and as a
designer I need to deal with that. I can't seem to make my customers
come to the real world of open source OS's no matter how hard I try.
Given time, maybe...

Are you as pure as you think you are?

Gordon L. Burditt

Jun 16 '06 #6

P: n/a
>> And did you violate copyright laws by doing so?

Let's see from the microsoft site:
http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/perm...fault.mspx#EUE

Fonts

Microsoft licenses existing fonts from various font vendors, but also
commissions original fonts. If you are looking to license a particular
font, you should contact the vendor directly. The vendor will be listed
in the font's copyright or trademark entry. Use our free Font
properties extension to access this information.

Until recently most fonts that include a Microsoft copyright or
trademark notice have only been available as part of Microsoft
products. Although some fonts remain Microsoft-exclusive a number of
Microsoft fonts are now available to end users, ISVs, and OEMs under
license from Ascender Corporation. These include Verdana, Georgia,
Comic Sans MS, Microsoft Sans Serif, Nina, Tahoma, Wingdings, Webdings,
and Trebuchet MS.
So how does Microsoft define "end user"? (Does it include someone
who's never used a Microsoft OS or EULA in his life? Or is it
someone who's agreed to a Microsoft End User License Agreement?)
And what are the terms of the license from Ascender Corporation?
Even if it's free, do I legally HAVE to get the fonts directly from
them and not be allowed to redistribute them? This sounds like a
heck of a lot of trouble just to view a web site.

In short: how would I legally get the fonts, and if you are referring
to a URL on your site, can you legally redistribute them?

There's no point in even trying since it won't work on my system anyway,
so I'll buy elsewhere.


This is the attitude of a *USER* (of a minority browser) I was
talking about, not that of a *DEVELOPER*. And you're not going to
be able to change it. If I (as a user) start seeing prompts from
my browser asking me to download plugins (e.g. for Flash), I know
darn well there aren't any for my system (based on trying and failing
many times), so I'll just give up on the site, or at least that
part of it.
I hate MS software, but I understand the simple fact that 90% of the
worlds computers have it running in some form or another and as a
designer I need to deal with that.
You're not trying to tell me that the *only* font MS browsers
have is Comic Sans, are you? I didn't think so. Even Microsoft
isn't that stupid.

But you aren't talking here about how doing something the correct
way breaks in IE 27.932, so ignoring 90% of the market is not an
issue. The issue is whether you ignore the other 10%.

That test page you included a link to rendered *SOMETHING* on my
Firefox. I don't know whether it was in Comic Sans or not. I doubt
it. All 9 lines looked like they were in the same font, with
different color backgrounds. But it was at least *readable*. And
it looked a lot better than the "Kidnap" or "Random" fonts. Making
sure the page is unreadable if they don't have Comic Sans is going
in the wrong direction.
I can't seem to make my customers
come to the real world of open source OS's no matter how hard I try.
Given time, maybe...
You shouldn't have to force people to one or the other. Going out
of the way to generate nasty prompts, and break the site if they
don't bend to your will is not a good thing for either the users
or the site owner.
Are you as pure as you think you are?

Gordon L. Burditt


Gordon L. Burditt
Jun 16 '06 #7

P: n/a
Gordon Burditt wrote:
And did you violate copyright laws by doing so?

Let's see from the microsoft site:
http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/perm...fault.mspx#EUE


Comic Sans MS falls into the class of fonts known collectively as
"Microsoft's TrueType core fonts". These are available for installation
on various Linux and Solaris systems via rpm, apt-get or other
distributions.

These distributions may be found at
http://sourceforge.net/projects/corefonts/

There seems to be some legal conditions around these fonts since the RPM
spec makes reference to taking special pains not to be seen as
redistributing the fonts.

Running the font shell extension tool on Comic Sans MS does not reveal
any Licensing information and the web page for the core TrueType fonts
pack simply says that Microsoft is no longer distributing the package.

A little digging reveals this gem:
Until recently, most fonts that include a Microsoft copyright or
trademark notice have only been available as part of Microsoft products.
Although some fonts remain Microsoft-exclusive, a number of Microsoft
fonts are now available to end users, ISVs and OEMs under license from
Ascender Corporation. These include 'Verdana', 'Georgia', 'Comic Sans
MS', 'Microsoft Sans Serif', 'Nina', 'Tahoma', 'Wingdings', 'Webdings'
and 'Trebuchet MS'.

Checking on the Ascender web site indicates that these fonts are
available for license but does not supply any details.

Bottom line. It is probably OK for an individual to download these fonts
for use in Linux/Solaris environments. It is probably *not* OK to
redistribute these fonts without a license.

-david-

Jun 16 '06 #8

P: n/a
> On 16 Jun 2006 12:00:35 -0700, "AlexVN"
<al*****************@gmail.com> top posted like an ignorant fucking
moron and wrote:

Doesn't matter what you wrote. I'm SO sick of top posters.


Pardon me, I really did not know what is "top posting".
I've read http://lipas.uwasa.fi/~ts/http/quote.html and now I'm
informed.

Thanks,
Alex

Jun 16 '06 #9

P: n/a
ctclibby wrote:
How do I get whatever surfer to download the proper font file? Sure,
it can be an option given to the surfer, but how can I find out what
fonts are available, then show the surfer a message or something? Is
this an automagic thing? Am I going about this all wrong?


As far as I know there is no direct way to check if a font is install
on a user's computer. What you can do is create an element that
specifies the use of the font, then check its width to see if it comes
out. Something like:

var width;
var el = document.createElement('SPAN');
el.style.fontFamily = 'Comic Sans MS; Sans serif';
el.style.fontSize = '100px';
el.style.visibility = 'hidden';
el.innerHTML = 'III';
document.body.appendChild(el);
width = el.offsetWidth;
document.body.removeChild(el);
Since the capital I in Comic San Serif has a top and bottom bar where
as it would not a regular sans serif font, if the width isn't above a
certain number then the font isn't there.

The lack of font embedding is a major bummer with Mozilla.

Jun 17 '06 #10

P: n/a

That test page you included a link to rendered *SOMETHING* on my
Firefox. I don't know whether it was in Comic Sans or not. I doubt
it. All 9 lines looked like they were in the same font, with


Yup, that was Firefox that doesn't know about the Comic font.
Konqueror, Mozilla and Opra ( oops, forgot the spelling ) for linux on
FC5 all don't know about it. I have since talked with my customer and
after I explained the problem(s) with fonts, she didn't have a issue as
long as another font came up. She being an accountant type thought
that any font would work anywhere. The fonts on the test page should
have been Comic, Verdana and serif; with the proper package loaded.

Reading through the Ascender Corp's license ( quickly ) I found that I
as an end user can download the font for my use for free. I had a
question about web users and am waiting for their answer.

You are also right about other fonts that *look* like Comic, but the
question was posed, so I went and found out.

todh

Jun 17 '06 #11

P: n/a
Chung Leong schrieb:
[...]

Since the capital I in Comic San Serif has a top and bottom bar where
as it would not a regular sans serif font, if the width isn't above a
certain number then the font isn't there.


Verdana has the serif capital I, too - you will have to make sure
Verdana is not used for subtitution. This will require some research
about the common default font sets on common operating systems, and if
you do this, you will also know what Comic-Sans-like fonts are available.

So making a CSS font set like "Comic Sans, Comic Sans MS, [Mac Comic
Font], [Linux Comic Font] ..." will be easier, if you have to do this
research anyway. An overview of the commonly available font sets for
various OS versions would actually be a nice and useful resource for web
developers... Maybe sometime I will find some time to initiate something
like that.

--
Markus
Jun 19 '06 #12

P: n/a
ctclibby schrieb:
[...]
I hate MS software


Sure - but in the field of screen typography MS has done really great
work. The MS core fonts are still among the typefaces with the best
screen rendering qualities available, and microsoft.com/typography has
been a very useful resource for type designers for years. (This is not
about pro/contra MS - It's just important to appreciate good work, even
if it's done by somebody you don't like...)

--
Markus
Jun 19 '06 #13

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