Firefox 3.6 Learns WOFF

Oct 23, 2009

Mozilla has made itself into the draft horse for a new font format for the Web that some of its developers and independent font designers are currently hatching. Firefox 3.6 should be the first to support the new Web Open Font Format (WOFF).

The new Web Open Font Format (.woff) should repackage the existing TrueType (.ttf) and OpenType (.otf) font formats. Two things benefit from it: compatibility with the existing formats and metadata whereby a font designer can communicate to the world about the font's usage. A few font designers have already announced that they're jumping aboard WOFF. A discussion participant already lists Adobe among the supporting foundries, although Mozilla itself does not yet include the font veteran on their list.

The proposal for the new format came from font designers Erik van Blokland and Tal Leming beginning of July on their w3.org mailing list. Mozilla developers have since chimed in. Together with the aforementioned, Jonathan Kew drafted the first WOFF design specification and John Daggett describes the new format in a Mozilla hacks blog.

Kew and Daggett also present the realm of possibilities due in Firefox 3.7 for the new font format.

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