Firefox, i18n and downloadable fonts

pretty-font-link
Firefox 3.5 will be launching this summer (betas available now!) and will include support for downloading and using regular TrueType and OpenType fonts referenced from a style sheet.
This is also supported in Safari 3.1 and later, and apparently by the latest Opera betas as well.
It might be helpful for some language wikis to link in a free font this way, when standard fonts supporting their script are often unavailable. Right now on such sites there tends to be a little English link at the top such as ‘font help’ leading to a page like this telling you how to download and install a suitable font.
Internet Explorer afaik still only supports converted embedded (EOT) font files, which would require that we can either get our hands on an existing .eot version of each free font, or be able to generate one ourselves.
Note there’s an old feature request with an .eot copy of a Tamil font, but we never had authorship info on the font or cross-browser support, since .eot is only supported by IE.

Archive notice: This is an archived post from blog.wikimedia.org, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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MediaWiki doesn’t currently allow sysops to upload font files, so the English Wikipedia resorted to embedding the entire font in a CSS file using a data: URI. While that approach works for a gadget, specifying Web fonts in a default stylesheet would mean an additional 400 kB download for users who may never need to use the font. Not a huge deal, I suppose, but base64-encoding a font within a stylesheet looks like an unfortunate kludge.