In addition to new features such as support for HTML 5, geo-location, and a noticeably faster engine, Firefox 3.5 added a new CSS rule that makes Web typography much more attractive.
You'll note that news sites such as CNET News and NYTimes.com are optimized to make Web type more readable and as stylish as possible, but there are many design possibilities via additional downloadable typefaces. (As with any linked asset, there is some level of security risk if a hacker gets their hands on the font file.) Mozilla's John Daggett
explains: Within a stylesheet, each @font-face rule defines a family name to be used, the font resource to be loaded, and the style characteristics of a given face such as whether it's bold or italic. Firefox 3.5 only downloads the fonts as needed, so a stylesheet can list a whole set of fonts of which only a select few will actually be used.
This function is something I would have expected to be commonplace by now (Safari began supporting it in Version 3.1 and Opera in Version 10) but neither have the market share to drive usage the way Firefox and Internet Explorer do. (Note: this function doesn't work in IE.)
Generally speaking, the Web browser has done a terrible job with type. We've been stuck with old standbys such as Helvetica or Times New Roman, and don't forget the oft-loathed Comic-Sans and other delightful Microsoft fonts that are often easy to read but lack any real style (Verdana, for example.) … Read more