[mpeg-OTspec] RE: font media types [1 Attachment] -- WOFF?

Levantovsky, Vladimir vladimir.levantovsky at monotypeimaging.com
Tue Apr 26 21:35:01 CEST 2011

On Monday, April 18, 2011 1:10 PM David Singer wrote:
> Levantovsky, Vladimir wrote:
> >
> > I brought Bob's question to the attention of the WebFonts WG, and the
> result of the discussion that followed is summarized below:
> >
> > WebFonts WG realizes that there are many devices with different
> capabilities. The media type "application/font-woff" was registered
> specifically for use with WOFF resources - according to the WOFF spec,
> the primary purpose of the WOFF as a resource type is to be used for
> Web documents where fonts are linked by means of CSS @font-face rule.
> Since CSS has its own mechanism to signal format hints, they believe
> that no additional optional parameters are needed for 'font-woff', even
> though the WG acknowledged the fact that other applications may benefit
> from having different media types and, possibly, additional optional
> parameters defined for fonts.
> >
> Then, if I understand it right, the WOFF format will have one MIME type
> that doesn't indicate the sub-type of outlines enclosed.  I would have
> thought that MPEG should match.  If either or both need more
> specificity, perhaps an optional MIME parameter?

WOFF is intended to be used explicitly with web documents using CSS. WebFonts WG believed that no additional optional parameters were necessary because CSS itself has a mechanism to identify the meaning of the resource, and it doesn't really use MIME types.

However, I don't think that the same approach would automatically apply to other environments where CSS is not used, and where applications rely primarily on MIME types to identify a resource. We could use a single MIME type to define a font, and rely on a set of optional parameters to provide more specificity but, like it was mentioned earlier, we have at least two orthogonal issues that need to be addressed - type of outlines within a font and supported text layout mechanism(s). Currently, the suggested set of different MIME types differentiates font resources by format and various types of outlines, and leaves text layout machinery to be defined using optional parameters. 

My personal opinion that this approach is reasonable and practical but I am open to other ideas, and would very much like to hear the opinion of those who brought this very subject of defining media types for fonts to the attention of this AHG.

Thank you,

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