But not for just the reasons given in the link.
At best, you are trading some bandwidth savings for allowing a third-party to analyze your traffic patterns and users in return - maybe that sounds like a good trade to you.
But at worst, your are allowing a third-party (or the people that buy that third-party years from now) to break your site (removing images, etc) at any time, completely outside your control. That is not even considering malicious intent. Google is probably OK right now, but who knows?
TL/DR : Host everything yourself
2. Subresource integrity takes care that at least the file cannot be modified freely without you knowing.
So there is only the case that the file either is there as you expect, or it is not available. Does that leave room for malicious intent?
The site for searching for fonts (fonts.google.com) doesn't appear to work, but that's not relevant to the self-hosting discussion.
If you also live in China, please try to load https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Rozha+One (ideally without VPN, and using your ISP's DNS server).
* Hosting on decently fast machines is a lot cheaper.
* Overall bandwidth is increasing
* HTTP2 makes serving up resources cheaper and faster even without other changes. Before a page might request 100 resources and the browser would download them 8 at a time due to having a maximum number of connections to a server.
* Browsers are getting smarter about loading resources in general
The only resources that I think might still be worth offloading to a specialized third-party would be video files, which are still too large to be easily hosted.
Also, caching and fat pipes are just two benefits of CDNs. They also handle the multi-region issue.
If you are actually paying a CDN to host your stuff you can expect better service. Here we are talking about using resources from third-parties for "free".
Whether or not these factors make a difference to you is completely dependent on the details of your site.
Practically all relevant news headlines for the past 2 years suggests otherwise.
There's also OWA if that's more to your taste
I still keep Awstats on some sites for this reason, and the difference between the Awstats numbers and the Google Analytics or Piwik ones is growing and picking up speed.
Both threads have way too much "you're all horrible people because I dislike your change" and not enough constructive conversation. I'm sure a broken layout resulting from an upstream font change would be pretty frustrating, but with all the name calling, it's hard for me to take the author seriously.
I am sure whatever it costs to go back and fix those sites, it is far less than what it would cost to license a commercial font.
If I were a popular font designer, I would change my metrics every once in a while on purpose, just to spite those people.
So, if you want to use a Google hosted font, you're stuck with bleeding edge. If that doesn't work for you, you have to find an alternative host.
Bleeding edge means things like fairly drastic weight changes.
you can download and host it yourself
It's not new knowledge that "Cool URIs don't change" , and I sympathize with the desire to not get your rug pulled from under you like that, but the anger
> I can't even breathe
> completely broke out design
... the more they stay the same
I guess self-hosting is probably the best solution if you want to more 'control' over what's happening.
Typography is crucial to the appearance of a brand and to the voice of their communication, so having a font in a cdn change all it's weights that drastically _is_ a major problem for designs using it.
That said, as a programmer I can't disagree more with how the issue is raised and the tone towards the maintainers - and absolutely agree with them.
If you want to be sure that your assets will stay the same, point to a definite version of it that you have control of! If you do work for a client and CI compliance is important, license (!) and host those fonts.
Complaining to the author for changing his product is really far off when you've been using a free offer in the first place.
And if its not an abuse of fonts to use them as icon packs, its an abuse of the users who wants to use their bandwidth for better things (e.g. cat gifs). I have them disabled and my day is full of fun: What this "f" means? What happens when I click "ff" or "p" or what not? And some are kind enough to provide alt texts, which is soooo helpful: https://imgur.com/cHdSxcO
In practice I don't consider it an anti-pattern to include icons in fonts. Fonts are designed in such a way that they're pretty convenient to use for icons.
There are of course other approaches now available, and they should probably be used preferentially. But it's much like complaining here that you have blocked images, and therefore can't see any images. It's your choice, and I'm glad you have it, but…
Why would you do that to yourself? What's the benefit? A couple KB?
"Letters are things, not pictures of things." -- Eric Gill
Github did a great writeup on the perils of using fonts for icons. One reason was the one mentioned here, users overriding them with their own preferred fonts.
SVG icons are better than icon fonts in pretty much every way. The only example I can think of where an SVG could be considered worse is if the icon is particularly complex. Even then, the only thing that is worse is file size. At that point, a PNG is probably better, anyway.
The amount of optimization that went into font technology and algorithms, all the way from the binary file to the graphics card, can never compare with an XML-based file format.
though referer header is directly tied to their monetization. the font thing is just a good to have to collect some data.
I recently had to help a person with a broken wordpress theme. The reason: The theme used a font from a thirdparty host and that host was gone. The fix: Simple, get the font from the Internet Archive and host a copy locally.
When you include assets on your webpage from third parties you always have to expect that they change. Avoid it if you can.
It's an inconvenience for sure, but claims about "drastic changes" and "websites looking completely different" are essentially nit picking.
Also, if a slight change in font weight breaks your website, your design / HTML / CSS is wrong. The web is elastic.
Break out the tiny violins!
(Not my creation, but I've been using it for every website I have a say on.)
Obviously everyone is free to block fonts, just like you can block all images or use a text-only browser etc. But to categorically deny even the possibility that well-chosen fonts can enhance the experience for some people seems disingenuous.
Maybe it is just me, but I believe that for other users speed is also matters.
… if you are downloading Google fonts.
- Bandwidth: I don't want to download your fonts. I already have the ones I like on my computer and I've configured which ones I want to use (basically DejaVu everywhere).
- Crappy type: Your thin type with low-contrast colours hurt my eyes. Or slabs with huge contrasts. Or exaggerated serifs.
(BTW "you" here is purely rhetorical, not the commenter I'm responding to.)
But serving the fonts directly from google fonts instead of downloading the fonts and serving them yourself has in my opinion always been a bad idea. In any case it's not a licencing problem anymore, fonts published on google fonts have clearly displayed licenses that usually allow a broad range of uses.
That would solve the whole font service problem.
My guess is their only real experience with the web is a few years in college.
Aside from that, hell yeah! CDN is penny-wise and pound-foolish for so many reasons. That, and if people had to go back to using their own bandwidth, perhaps websites would go back to being slightly less bloated.
That's a pretty basic design ask.
People just want best practices to be used, nothing more. Versioning is one of those. They released what amounts to a whole new font in the namespace of an existing font; they even called it a "major" update and a "complete redesign". On one of their most used fonts.
All people are asking for is that the Montserrat font be reverted back and the new one released as Montserrat v2. They've done it before with major changes to a font, it's not a hard thing to do and there's clearly already policy in place.
Luckily Google is too big to fail now so it'll be rescued by taxpayers should the shit hit the fan.
And I didn’t see anything unreasonable in his comment. He pointed out the Google policy of only making available the latest version and also suggested that if the user wanted more control including hosting an older version they should self host (which aligns with everyone else’s suggestions).
From a privacy perspective, I'd love to know what the "caching reasons" are.
Purely speaking in terms of big data, I think being able to track users across domains by font requests, even those with ad-blockers, would be in Google's best interest.
I don't think saving money on bandwidth is Google's primary concern at this point.
Their interest in caching is not to save their own bandwidth costs, but to lower costs and load times for users. Google's efforts in the web performance space are well documented (see lighthouse as one example).
The reasoning for "only the latest version" also happens to be the only one that makes sense: having multiple versions of each font drastically reduces the ability of browsers and CDNs to cache, quite obviously.
The motive you ascribe to google, namely user tracking, has absolutely no logical connection to the "latest version only" practice: Google's ability to track users would actually be enhanced by versioning, because their servers are only ever contacted for uncached resources.
I'm betting it's about the client having the font already cached for greater performance, not particularly about bandwidth cost to Google.