The Ugly Truth About the Web
May 19, 2009, 21:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Martin Streicher)
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"And, alas, due to technical and legal complications,
the Web is likely to remain a typographically monotonous place for
the foreseeable future. It's a catch-22. While CSS2 supports Web
fonts, the feature remains largely untested because foundries,
designers, developers, and operators have yet to find an equitable
licensing scheme for typefaces.(Like other creative works, a
typeface is protected by copyright. To use a typeface within a
page, a site must have the right to publish it, making it available
to all consumers.) Meanwhile, there's little incentive to break the
legal stalemate because applicable standards aren't widely
implemented, even years after ratification.
"Moreover, and as type designer David Berlow mentions in his
recent interview with A List Apart, existing standards are
unimaginative, akin to "...a fourth-grader's crayoning abilities:
no shadows, in-lines, outlines, fill variety, twisting,
perspective, set on a bouncing line, or opaque over another object,
much less [motion.]"
"Certainly, the dilemma is frustrating and explains why many
turn to bitmaps and Flash to create compelling, exclusive, and
signature site content.
"For example, the Zen Garden replaces the text of headings with
background images to achieve much of its eye candy. Other sites are
implemented as Flash movies, and a very few employ a Flash variant
named Scalable Inman Flash Replacement, or sIFR."