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Firstly, I'm not asking about typesetting URLs. What I am talking about is font resolution via a URL reference. My limited experience is in using XeLaTeX so I'll couch the question accordingly. If you consider the following line:

\setmainfont[Numbers=OldStyle,Ligatures=Historic,Mapping=tex-text]{EB Garamond}

Obviously this works as designed and I'm quite happy with it. That said, I'm looking ahead to TeX in the Cloud. It seems clear to me that the issue of fonts is going to be significant. I've thought about various ideas, but they all seem to hinge on an extension that allows font access via a URL---something like:

{https://My Pile of Fonts/EB Garamond}

It seems to me (I admit I'm biased) to be a significant advance in TeXnology. So I suppose the question is, has this been addressed (i.e. existing style or class) as yet? BTW, I'm not suggesting that this is a simple problem. I am suggesting that this may well be a necessary problem.

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Use some form of hashtag as to the fonts required and pass onto server for parsing. Use other technologies such as AJAX to fetch the fonts. – Yiannis Lazarides Feb 12 '13 at 20:42
ConTeXt MkIV can probably load fronts from web URLs. – Khaled Hosny Feb 12 '13 at 21:44
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Loading non-local fonts is always a risk as you are not in control of the exact version. Indeed, even loading system fonts can potentially break portability of TeX code between systems. As such, not everyone is entirely keen on the idea of using fonts outside of those 'managed' by a TeX system, let alone loading them remotely.

Remote fetching using LuaTeX would be possible as it contains build-in scripting support. However, XeTeX doesn't and is unlikely to be extended in this way. It's worth noting that there are security issues with any scripting system.

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