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RE: Minutes, 16 February 2011 WebFonts WG telcon

From: Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 04:09:06 +0000
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: "Levantovsky, Vladimir" <Vladimir.Levantovsky@MonotypeImaging.com>, Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>, "public-webfonts-wg@w3.org" <public-webfonts-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <045A765940533D4CA4933A4A7E32597E2AB629D2@TK5EX14MBXC120.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
> This argument (and Vladimir's similar one) assumes that today's popular
> forms of commercial font licenses are not only the common case today, but
> will be the common case for as long as the Web exists. I don't have
> evidence that this assumption wrong. But what's our level of confidence in
> this assumption? 90%? 99%? I think it would take a high degree of
> confidence to rebut the default assumption of consistency.

I can't make predictions for 'as long as the Web exists' and I very much 
doubt anyone here can. But I'm extremely confident that it's much easier 
to relax a restrictive default in the future without harming anyone than 
it would be to go the other way. 

I also have no more interest in predicting font licensing models or telling 
font vendors how to license their work than I have in enforcing said licenses. 
I'm only trying to help authors get more fonts and make it as easy as possible
to use them. As a browser vendor, I'm also attempting to achieve interoperability 
(more on this below).

> In fairness, Mozilla's argument isn't based on such an assumption, rather,
> Robert O'Callahan and others argue that default-denying embedding is a
> better model for resource access than default-allowing it, and should be
> changed for "all future resource types" (currently fonts are the only
> known or projected example). 

I am inclined to agree. Incidentally, doesn't the From-Origin proposal at 
least suggest that the web wants to be inconsistent with the default often 
enough that we want a well-defined mechanism to allow it ? Once this feature 
is supported across browsers, what prevents sites from setting From-Origin:same 
on everything they serve ? Opera's proposal gives the web the means to turn off 
this consistency at will. Not just for fonts; for everything. Compared to this, 
I'm not sure why the default for @font-face is so worrisome.

> Mozilla folks seem to feel that applying the better model to a subset of 
> types is more valuable than a consistent, but slightly suboptimal model. 
> I think that is a reasonable argument, but I disagree about the balance 
> of tradeoffs.

Fair enough. But see above: I think a new resource type can easily be 
restricted to same-origin now and maybe relaxed in the future if/when 
the conditions allow it. This would not break anything. Going the other 
way would necessarily break something.

I'll be honest: from an implementation standpoint, I don't like it either.
But if that is all it takes for beautiful, accessible, searchable typography
on the web, I'm willing to go along. I think the inconsistency is worth the
benefit. I understand if others disagree. But as things stand, the inconsistency
is already in place in one major implementation, very soon two. I'd rather
have an interoperable inconsistency; one that can be removed without breaking 
any web site down the road.

> Regards,
> Maciej
Received on Sunday, 20 February 2011 04:09:42 UTC

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