The Web, ever more sophisticated, is feeble as a publication medium when it's compared to what can be done with layout software such as Adobe Systems' InDesign. But that's beginning to change.
The change is significant: digital publishing is moving to the Web, but the array of new devices such as iPads and Kindles pose a challenge. Should those overseeing the designs create native applications for those devices or Web pages that will work on just about any device? For the latter to be a competitive option, the Web has to match up better.
A foundation for change was built with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), a standard for Web page formatting that's now growing in significance and power. One big element here is support for the @font-face technology and the related Web Open Font Format, which together are letting Web developers specify downloadable fonts and use online font repositories such as TypeKit for a more polished, customized look.
A new phase is under way now, though. Firefox browser developer Mozilla has begun work on CSS features to permit higher-end font controls, Mozilla developer John Daggett said yesterday in a blog post.
Among the controls are the following:
Ligatures, which can replace combinations of letters with fancier or more readable replacements, a classic example being a specific glyph for "fi" to keep the top of the f from bumping into the dot of the i. … Read more