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Web Open Font Format backed by Mozilla, type foundries

Efforts to bring advanced typography to the web have reached an important milestone. Type designers Tal Leming and Erik van Blokland, who had been working to developing the .webfont format, combined forces with Mozilla's Jonathan Kew, who had been working independently on a similar format. The result of the collaboration is called Web Open Font Format (WOFF), and it has the backing of a wide array of type designers and type foundries. Mozilla will also include support for it in Firefox 3.6.

WOFF combines the work that Leming and Blokland on embedding a variety of useful font metadata with the font resource compression that Kew had developed. The end result is a format that includes optimized compression that reduces the download time needed to load font resources while incorporating information about the font's origin and licensing. The format doesn't include any encryption or DRM, so it should be universally accepted by browser vendors—this should also qualify it for adoption by the W3C.

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