Conceived by Mozilla’s own Jonathan Kew and font-designer/programmers Erik van Blokland and Tal Leming, WOFF addresses the concerns about unlicensed distribution expressed by many font-designers and, at the same time, holds the promise of a web-friendly, interoperable font format for the future.
There is a strong assumption among those closely following the issue that Microsoft will follow suit in the next version of Internet Explorer, making WOFF – regardless of its adoption as a standard by the W3C – the defacto web-font standard going forward.
Designed, in part, to be an improved successor to Internet Explorer’s Embedded Open Type (EOT), Mozilla’s documentation sums up the advantages of WOFF as these:
1. The font data is compressed, so sites using WOFF will use less bandwidth and will load faster than if they used equivalent uncompressed TrueType or OpenType files.
2. Many font vendors that are unwilling to license their TrueType or OpenType format fonts for use on the web will license WOFF format fonts. This improves availability of fonts to site designers.
3. Both proprietary and free-software browser vendors like the WOFF format, so it has the potential of becoming a truly universal, interoperable font format for the web, unlike other current font formats.
For the technical, the specification for WOFF is here.
Update: Kernest Web Font Service Now Serving WOFF
Ain’t no flies on Kernest’s Garrick Van Buren. As was announced on
WOFF is a compressed font format meaning a better @font-face experience in Firefox through faster font transfers and shorter FOUT times.
Now if you’re browsing with one of the Firefox (3.6) Nightly Builds on a site using fonts from Kernest – you’ll receive a WOFF instead of a TTF or OTF.
Kernest is not only a free service, but it’s an invaluable online viewer and source of information for free fonts of all kinds. We should have added a “Linkworthy” link to Kernest here on Readable Web a long time ago.
As of today, we have.