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Bruce Hooke
07-19-2009, 09:27 PM
If you like fonts (I do) this website is pretty cool: http://www.dafont.com -- it is a place for people to post fonts they have developed, for the rest of us to download for free (some are for non-commercial use only).

I've just started exploring it but my general impression is that while you are not going to find really top notch "standard"* font sets here, there is lots of interesting and quirky stuff and some pretty decent stuff all things considered.

*n.b., What I mean by "standard" font sets is the kind of fonts you would be likely to use for the body of a document. To me these are usually the subtlest of fonts since they have to be easy to read but still convey the right feeling with very subtle details.

David G
07-20-2009, 12:22 AM
Bruce,

Thanks. I am tweaking my new website, and am not happy with some of the more prominent fonts. I think I see some stuff here that'd be better.

Cheers,

elf
07-20-2009, 06:03 AM
David, just remember that when you specify a font on your site computers will default to Ariel or Times if they aren't equipped with the font you specify.

David G
07-20-2009, 11:07 AM
elf - thanks for the warning, I didn't know that.

elf
07-20-2009, 11:09 AM
Sadly, it's true. I had a long conversation about it on the Webweaver list last week. The fonts have to be resident on the computer that's viewing the page to be useful to the browser, although someone has devised a way to stash fonts on the page's server and call them up. I'll look about for the reference. It was above my level so I may not have kept it.

Bruce Hooke
07-20-2009, 11:23 AM
Yes, baring pretty specialized techniques (or turning the text into pictures, which is not a good idea on a widespread basis for lots of reasons) you should basically restrict website fonts to a handful of very standard fonts and if you can you should also use CSS to specify alternates if the preferred font is not available. I usually limit my fonts on websites to roughly Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Georgia, Verdana, Geneva and Courier and I almost always spec fonts using something like this (on a css style sheet):

font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;

This says use Arial if it is available, otherwise use Helvetica, otherwise use the default sans-serif font on that computer.

If you do start looking into ways to "push" a font out to the receiving computer, make sure you test the website in multiple browsers and operating systems to make sure the whole thing does not run into trouble if, say, someone tries to view the site on an older version of Internet Explorer or a current version of Safari running on a Mac or ...

Kaa
07-20-2009, 12:44 PM
HTML by design leaves a lot of leeway for the rendering browser, in particular it can easily ignore the font specified and substitute something available at hand.

As to downloading and using a specialized font along with the webpage, I think there is an option for both IE and Firefox which specifies whether the browser should accept an offered font. I think it's on by default, but I'm not sure. And with older browsers all bets are off :-)

Kaa

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-20-2009, 01:06 PM
......
If you do start looking into ways to "push" a font out to the receiving computer, make sure you test the website in multiple browsers and operating systems to make sure the whole thing does not run into trouble if, say, someone tries to view the site on an older version of Internet Explorer or a current version of Safari running on a Mac or ...

Don't do it, I have and it's way, way, more trouble than its worth.

Vince Brennan
07-20-2009, 01:45 PM
I have a website which uses a specific font to render bowing and inflection marks in a music notation programme... to solve this I have the font on the site and a caveat that if the reader sees "funny marks" on the staff, they should install the necessary font (Boxmarks.ttf) and provide them a link to do so.

Seems to be working out quite well for me and my visitors!

Bruce Hooke
07-20-2009, 02:34 PM
I have a website which uses a specific font to render bowing and inflection marks in a music notation programme... to solve this I have the font on the site and a caveat that if the reader sees "funny marks" on the staff, they should install the necessary font (Boxmarks.ttf) and provide them a link to do so.

Seems to be working out quite well for me and my visitors!

That's the kind of special case where I'd say using a "non-standard" font is called for.

I do hope that boxmarks.ttf is a free font because otherwise you are probably violating copyright laws.

Kaa
07-20-2009, 02:37 PM
I do hope that boxmarks.ttf is a free font because otherwise you are probably violating copyright laws.

Probably not.

Providing a link to copyrighted material is perfectly legal. Hosting on one's own server is a different thing, but we don't know whether Vince does that.

Kaa

Bruce Hooke
07-20-2009, 02:39 PM
Probably not.

Providing a link to copyrighted material is perfectly legal. Hosting on one's own server is a different thing, but we don't know whether Vince does that.

Kaa

Good point. If he is simply linking to a site where someone can buy the font then of course there is no issue. For that matter, I suppose if he is just linking to another website where someone else is illegally making the font available for free that Vince would not be doing anything wrong. I misread his post and thought he was making the font available on his website. Based on what he wrote it is, in fact, not clear where the font file is located.

Kaa
07-20-2009, 02:51 PM
Good point. If he is simply linking to a site where someone can buy the font then of course there is no issue. For that matter, I suppose if he is just linking to another website where someone else is illegally making the font available for free that Vince would not be doing anything wrong.

He would also not be doing anything wrong if the font is actually free to use :-) which seems to be the case for BoxMarks.

Kaa

Bruce Hooke
07-20-2009, 02:55 PM
He would also not be doing anything wrong if the font is actually free to use :-) which seems to be the case for BoxMarks.

Kaa

Which is why I said "I do hope that boxmarks.ttf is a free font..." way back at the start of this little side discussion. So, hopefully we can now let this rest.