This post is mostly for my own future reference on how to deal with web-fonts
This is a 'guest' post by your same regular author. If you're using Firefox 3.5, it should look slightly different. It's using a font Un Dinaru which you probably don't have installed on your machine, but which as a web-font hosted on my server you could still see it.
That is, given a browser that supports web-fonts. Even IE does, but I'd have to do something slightly special to support IE which I haven't yet. Opera and Chrome should, but I don't know about Safari. Firefox 3.5 is what I'm using anyway. This paragraph is in LetsTrace
Two problems that I've encountered so far include
- font size. Un Dinaru is normally a 1MB-big font. That's as large as many high-resolution photos! That's a big file for people to have download (and for my server to serve) and that could get expensive in time and bandwidth. Thankfully, http://fonts.philip.html5.org/ exists, which offers a bunch of fonts for which it will generate a trimmed down version including only the characters you care about. Un Dinaru wasn't one of them, so I had to download the service's source code and generate a trimmed-down version for myself. The page lets you click on an example of the font you want to use, type the characters (or all the text) you want to use in that font, and lets you download the resulting trimmed down file, which you'd have to host yourself on your own server. It also gives you the HTML and CSS code you'd want to use to actually use the font.
- cross-domain access. Mentioned briefly above, browsers won't load a font-file from a domain that is not your own. I'm having issues with a blogspot blog in trying to use webfonts hosted here at kosmokaryote, since one is blogspot.com and the other is kosmokaryote.org. Grr. It makes sense, preventing people from leeching off larger fonts hosted on your server. (It doesn't really help prevent copyright violations, since you still need to be able to download the font via your browser (just in the background) to see it anyway, so you can keep it around and abuse it if you like, though you should not like!) There is at least one good way around it, which is to allow specific domains to access things on your server side. Sadly, I can't easily do that on kosmokaryote.org right now, but I've contacted the hosting provider to see if he can enable the module I need :) More details at: http://openfontlibrary.org/wiki/Web_Font_linking_and_Cross-Origin_Resource_Sharing
Really, I wish Mozilla would have offered some error message or warning that it couldn't load the fonts; it took me a long while to discover why I couldn't see fonts hosted at kosmokaryote.org on blogspot.com. Ah well.