Re: [apps-discuss] font/*

John C Klensin <> Mon, 07 November 2011 23:32 UTC

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Date: Mon, 07 Nov 2011 18:32:42 -0500
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Peter Saint-Andre <>,
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Subject: Re: [apps-discuss] font/*
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--On Monday, November 07, 2011 15:49 -0700 Peter Saint-Andre
<> wrote:

> In talking with folks at the W3C meeting last week, I heard
> yet again of interest in defining a Content Type for fonts.
> Would anyone active in the IETF Applications Area want to work
> on such a spec? And do folks here think a new top-level
> content type is needed for fonts?

Well, I think that a top-level would be in order -- these are
really different from the existing types.  Things may have
changed, but my recollection from when I had some exposure to
them in the early 90s is that there are a bunch of font
definition languages out there.  Unless all but one has
atrophied or one could pick one to go with the top-level type,
there is going to be a messy problem in which one either needs
to have 
  font/DefinitionLanguage fonttype=Foo
or another round of
I'd hope we could avoid the latter, especially since some of
those languages and definitional methods don't scale over a very
broad range, s.t. one might actually need a tuple of Definition
Language, Typeface, Style, and applicable range of sizes.

Happy to try to help with this, but there better be some real
typographic experts involved.  We do not want to create a
top-level type only to find ourselves locked into one particular
kind of solution (even if it is open source rather than
vendor-specific).  I might still be able to carry on a useful
conversation with such an expert, but it has been a very long
time since I've had to do that, things have changed, and I've
forgotten a lot of what I once knew.