Web Fonts Working Group Charter

The mission of the Web Fonts Working Group, part of the Fonts Activity, is to develop specifications that allow the interoperable deployment of downloadable fonts on the Web. Existing specifications (CSS3 Fonts, SVG) explain how to describe and link to fonts, so the main focus will be the standardisation of font formats suited to the task, and a specification defining conformance (for fonts, authoring tools, viewers ...) covering all the technology required for WebFonts.

As the relevant specifications are all implemented, and either standardised (OpenType by ISO/IEC 14496-22:2009, SVG by the SVG 1.1 Recommendation) or mature (WOFF, EOT, CSS3 Fonts) the group would be chartered to only make the minimal changes needed for interoperability and standardisation. In addition, the provision of interoperable font formats would allow the testing of CSS3 Fonts, speeding it to Recommendation status.

Join the Web Fonts Working Group.

End date 31 March 2012, extended to 30 September 2012.
Confidentiality Proceedings are public
Initial Chairs Vladimir Levantovsky (Monotype Imaging)
Initial Team Contacts
(FTE %: 40)
Chris Lilley
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Weekly
Face-to-face: Twice Annually


The Fonts WG will develop Recommendation-track specifications as listed under deliverables; track emerging implementations, and maintain communications with the typography, Web design and implementor communities.

Success Criteria

Existence of:

The Working group should encourage implementations, and engage in dialogue with implementors, but is not expected to be the sole source of implementations.

Out of Scope

Creation of new font formats, and significant, implementation-breaking changes to existing ones, are out of scope.

Creation of new font linking mechanisms is out of scope.


Recommendation-track Deliverables

WOFF specification
WOFF format, by Jonathan Kew (Mozilla Corporation), Tal Leming (Type Supply), and Erik van Blokland (LettError), emerged as a strong favourite for the medium and longer term.
WebFont conformance specification
This specification will reference the font formats in existing use (OpenType, WOFF, SVG, and EOT), the font referencing and linking specifications (in both CSS and XML serialisations), access policies such as same-origin and CORS, and define which linking mechanisms, policies and formats are required for compliance. WOFF will be the required format for compliance, the others being optional. The Working Group will decide whether to make the formats and linking mechanisms normative references or, on the other hand, produce a document citable by other specifications (CSS3 Fonts, XSL, SVG) when claiming conformance.

Other Deliverables

The group may also produce outreach and tutorial material, notes, demos and tools as it deems appropriate.


Note: The group will document significant changes from this initial schedule on the group home page.
Specification FPWD LC CR PR Rec
WOFF May 2010 Jul 2010 Oct 2010 Mar 2011 May 2011
WebFonts Conformance Jun 2010 Sep 2010 Dec 2010 Dec 2011 Mar 2012

Dependencies and Liaisons


CSS Working Group
The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group maintains CSS3 Fonts, which defines the CSS serialisation of the WebFont linking mechanism.
SVG Working Group
The Scalable Vector graphics (SVG) Working Group defined the XML serialisation of the WebFont lnking mechanism, and also an SVG font format.


WAI Protocols and Formats Working Group
Accessibililty review of deliverables
Internationalization Activity
Internationalisation review of deliverables. Note that, for formats which repackage OpenType fonts, the I18N capabilities are the same as the original font.
Hypertext Coordination group
The WebFonts WG will coordinate with other relevant groups by participating in the Hypertext CG

External Groups

The WebFonts WG will, if needed, coordinate with SC29/WG11 regarding the Open Font Format (OpenType) specification. Changes to Open Font Format (OpenType) are out of scope of the WebFonts WG, although requirements may be communicated to SC29/WG11 if needed via the existing Class C liaison between W3C and SC29.


To be successful, the Web Fonts Working Group is expected to have six or more active participants for its duration. Effective participation to Web Fonts Working Group is expected to consume one work day per week for each participant; two days per week for chairs and editors. The Web Fonts Working Group will allocate also the necessary resources for building Test Suites for each specification.

Participants are reminded of the Good Standing requirements of the W3C Process.


This group primarily conducts its work on the public mailing list public-webfonts-wg@w3.org (archive).

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the Web Fonts Working Group home page.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on.

This charter is written in accordance with Section 3.4, Votes of the W3C Process Document and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Web Fonts Working Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

On 30 May 2012 the charter was extended to 30 September 2012.

Chris Lilley, chris@w3.org

$Date: 2012/05/30 12:26:14 $