[meta] Support OpenType Font Variations (Variable fonts)




3 years ago
4 months ago


(Reporter: nicolas, Unassigned)


(Depends on: 5 bugs, Blocks: 1 bug, {DevAdvocacy, feature, meta})

DevAdvocacy, feature, meta
Dependency tree / graph
Bug Flags:
behind-pref +
qe-verify ?

Firefox Tracking Flags

(relnote-firefox 62+)


(Whiteboard: [behind pref "layout.css.font-variations.enabled"])



3 years ago
User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:48.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/48.0
Build ID: 20160823121617

Expected results:

OpenType 1.8 introduces Font Variations, a parametric type design system.

* https://medium.com/@tiro/12ba6cd2369
* http://blog.typekit.com/2016/09/14/variable-fonts-a-new-kind-of-font-for-flexible-design/
* https://opensource.googleblog.com/2016/09/introducing-opentype-font-variations.html
* https://www.microsoft.com/typography/otspec180/otvaroverview.htm

Is this possible to implement support for these new features in Gecko?
It'll be dependent on support in the font rasterizer we use, which varies depending on the platform. So this may become possible at different times on Linux/Android (depending on Freetype support), Mac OS (CoreGraphics) and Windows (DirectWrite).

There's also the issue of the CSS support for font variations (currently under discussion).

We should probably consider this an overall meta-bug for variation-font support, and file dependent bugs for the individual work items that will be needed: probably one for each platform/rasterizer backend, and one (or more) for the CSS side.
Ever confirmed: true
Keywords: meta
Blocks: 1323743
Priority: -- → P3
Variation Fonts are getting a lot of attention from web designers, typographers, and font companies. They are all very excited about it, especially the performance implications.  

Chrome is already all over this: https://twitter.com/typo_labs/status/850728396099383297

And imo, this is one that will gather steam quickly, and yet, developers won't use it until it's in most browsers — putting extra attention and pressure on any browser that doesn't support it.
QA Whiteboard: [DevRel:P1]
Keywords: DevAdvocacy
Summary: Support OpenType Font Variations → [meta] Support OpenType Font Variations
Summary: [meta] Support OpenType Font Variations → [meta] Support OpenType Font Variations (Variable fonts)
Any news on when we plan to implement Variable Font support?

Comment 4

a year ago
When these flags are set, variable fonts seem to work quite well. I realize there must be more to the story; it would be good to know if there is any way to help/find more support for getting this out from behind the flags.

Set layout.css.font-variations.enabled = true.
Set gfx.downloadable_fonts.keep_variation_tables = true.
Set gfx.downloadable_fonts.otl_validation = false.
Currently, they're only implemented on macOS. We're working on adding support on other platforms, but it's some way off yet.
Keywords: dev-doc-needed
See Also: → bug 1438546
Depends on: 1451266
Depends on: 1451327
Depends on: 1451345
Depends on: 1455555
Depends on: 1455638
Flags: qe-verify?
Flags: behind-pref+
Depends on: 1459858
Depends on: 1460543
Depends on: 1462287
Keywords: feature
Depends on: 1464094
Added this to 62 nightly + beta release notes and it sounds like we are on track to ship this in 62.
relnote-firefox: --- → 62+
Depends on: 1478716
Depends on: 1478720
Depends on: 1481780

Comment 7

7 months ago
You might want to change the release notes to indicate that variable fonts do not (yet?) work on Windows 7, as this is still the dominant desktop operating system for Firefox users, according to https://data.firefox.com. The current wording will raise expectations and will leave people disappointed. (Especially since variable fonts do actually work in Chrome on Windows 7.)
Depends on: 1492220
Depends on: 1492786
Depends on: 1492789
Keywords: dev-doc-needed
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