Would this extension be suitable for wiki that has many languages on one page? Wiktionary, for example, would on many pages require dozens of fonts.
Topic on Extension talk:WebFonts
Wikis with many languages on one page
Yes, The extension can load any number of fonts for one page. The only requirement is the words or sentences should be marked with the language. Example usage: translatewiki:User:Amire80/All WebFonts languages
Has adding an option for unifont been considered as an alternative to loading a different font for every language? Unifont's not pretty but it sure supports a lot (full support for unicode 5.1 apparently). Might be useful for highly multilingual users (stewards for example). I think its developer should be contacted and possibly requested to come out with a pretty version of it (maybe using glyphs from the currently used fonts since they've already been tested).
Even though the coverage is big, the issue is it make the font size big. The TTF file for this font is 16 MB size. We cannot deliver this much big file along with pages.
Yes, its 15.5MB. But it still might be useful. Visiting http://sa.wikipedia.org with the chrome console open, the fonts tab in Network shows me at the bottom:
18 / 98 requests ❘ 840.93KB / 1.22MB transferred
Above this I see a list of 18 font files that were downloaded (atleast tried to be downloaded). Apparently, I don't have 98 fonts for correct display of the interwiki links.
One, it is absurd if people have to download fonts to view correctly what they aren't even interested in (e.g, someone viewing a featured article at en-wp doesn't necessarily want to know what the name of the subject is in ta or zh or ja). So its useless (to me atleast) to have to download font only for viewing an interwiki correctly. I'd rather prefer an option to enable it only when the font is present in the content, not just as an interwiki link.
Two, if that (detecting if the font's to be used in an interwiki or in the main content) isn't possible, wouldn't it just be better to bunch the requests into a single request instead of a hundred different requests? (That was the intention in proposing unifont).
Three, I see 1.22MB transferred for 18 requests. Assuming this is the average font size, multiplying by 5.5, this becomes 6.71MB for 99 requests. This isn't a very small size either. Neither of the documentations gives the information for what the total font download size will be assuming user has nothing but an english font. This is crucial information and should be provided, especially if the size is anywhere around my guess.
Don't forget that the fonts are cached locally on your computer. Concatenating them would negate that. The sizes of the fonts are in the svn repository, but transport compression may apply, and there are multiple fonts for languages (not all of them are downloaded) and some fonts support multiple languages. I don't know any system which would only have font covering the basic English alphabet.