Just a quick question.

Does Google Fonts just make use of the technology of CSS3?

(Which means they just host fonts in their servers, instead of ours. And let us load their fonts, with some of their provided scripts. Is it basically depends on the backbone of CSS3?)

I have this guess because I found Google Fonts compatibility is quite similar to the CSS3 browser support.

If it is not the case, I concern about if Google Fonts would have better compatibility than our reinvent-the-wheel CSS3 Web Fonts.

  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is about an implementation issue rather than an end-user issue with a specific web application – jonsca Sep 19 '14 at 18:10

It depends on what you mean by “Google Fonts”. As fonts, they do not depend on CSS3, or CSS at all; you can download them and install them and use them. As a technique of using “web fonts” or “downloadable fonts”, they use the @font-face declaration defined in CSS Fonts Module Level 3, which is commonly regarded as part of CSS3, which is as such just a vague collective name for various CSS specifications and drafts (more of a slogan than a technical term). This applies whether you use them as hosted by Google servers or on your own server (after having downloaded and processed the font files) or as shipped as part of an application.

Thus, the use of Google Fonts as hosted by Google versus the use of fonts (those from Google or any other fonts) on your own server or as part of an application package is not a matter of choosing between CSS3 and something else. There is no “something else” in this case.

  • Thanks for very good answer. Yup by "Google Fonts" I mean utilising it to enable using some special fonts (which are absent in client pc) in the webpage. So you mean, for those special fonts, "Google Fonts" does depends on @font-face. And @font-face is a non-standard specification in CSS3. Is it correct? And why would you say @font-face specification is vague? – midnite Sep 19 '14 at 5:53
  • 1
    Any use of fonts that are not installed on user’s system depends on @font-face, which is defined in CSS Fonts Module Level 3, which is a W3C Candidate Recommendation (CR). There are no standards on CSS, but some W3C documents on CSS are commonly regarded as “standard”, primarily those with Recommendation status (REC), but in practice also those with CR status. The @font-face specification is not particularly vague, but “CSS3” is a vague collective names for specs and drafts. – Jukka K. Korpela Sep 19 '14 at 6:02

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