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RE: Fonts WG Charter feedback

From: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2009 20:13:07 +0000
To: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>
CC: Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>, "www-font@w3.org" <www-font@w3.org>
Message-ID: <61027177C88032458A7862054B3C625805978B@TK5EX14MBXW652.wingroup.windeploy.ntdev.microsoft.com>
Håkon Wium Lie [mailto:howcome@opera.com] wrote:
>User Agent implementors are here. Web Designers are here. And we
>seemed to find common ground on the original proposal from Ascender, a
>font vendor.

Really?  Because I haven't seen you endorse any solution that explicitly REPLACES the use of TTF/OTF linking, I've only heard you say you'll go along with some other new format as long as TTF/OTF linking is explicitly required, too.  Ascender's original proposal[1] explicitly states "We propose that raw .TTF and .OTF fonts, and .EOT fonts be replaced by a new web-specific font format (termed '.OTW') for use with websites."  Are you saying you're happy with their original proposal, with no requirement of implementing TTF/OTF linking in addition?

>Now, it appears that Ascender have changed their mind; to "use
>commercial fonts today", they revised their proposal. Their argument
>[1] is only about timing, so one must presume they're still
>comfortable with their original proposal.

I would expect them to speak for themselves, rather than having such presumptions made; I don't honestly know.  I expect they saw that the proposal they were making could be grafted into EOT, and that would shorten the time-to-market for web font usage by around 5 years or so, and they figured that was a good thing for font vendors and web designers.  I don't know.

>Therefore, it seems that all stakeholders that you mention are
>comfortable with Ascender's original proposal. Still, you dismiss it.
>Are there other reasons why you cannot support the outlined
>compromise?

I'm sorry, where did I dismiss Ascender's original proposal?  I do not believe I did.  All that I have explicitly disagreed with is YOUR ADDITION to Ascender's original proposal, which is "AND you need to implement TTF/OTF linking too."

>Also, could you share with us the communication between MS and
>Ascender between their first and second proposal?

I expect you are trying to insinuate something here.  Good for me that I don't have anything to hide.  Unfortunate that you still treat me with that amount of respect

I've had one meeting with Ascender folks in the past few weeks - on June 16th, I believe, 1-2PM PST.  I recall discussing their original proposal (which had been published the previous week), which I congratulated them on (I did not, to my recollection, have any idea they were going to be making that proposal); I asked them a few questions about how it would work, we shared our collective frustration at the other vendors not seeming to care about enabling commercial-quality fonts, and that was about it.  Sylvain may have a different, or expanded recollection of that meeting, or Simon Daniels may; personal issues have distracted me somewhat lately and I don't recall the meeting that particularly well.  However, on two points I am fairly certain; Ascender did not suggest they were going to issue another proposal (compatible with EOT or not), and the Microsoft representatives present (myself, Sylvain, and Simon Daniels) did not ask them to or discuss such a possibility.  In fact, I seem to recall recognizing aloud during that meeting that the discussion on EOT had clearly passed beyond the boundary of the Law of Fail (http://dashes.com/anil/2009/06/the-end-of-fail.html), much to my dismay.

I do not believe I have had any further discussion with Ascender prior to their public announcement of their second proposal, including any prior notice that they planned to propose such a thing.  I was a bit surprised, though encouraged that someone had been paying attention to the challenge of adoption curves and was trying to be creative about utilizing IE's EOT as a springboard.  It's possible I mentioned the adoption curve problem at the previous meeting - it's been part of several recent presentations I've given, including the one I gave last week at @media2009.

Obviously, I am not privy to any communication that Ascender might have had to any of the other 80000+ Microsoft employees, including Sylvain and Simon, but I likewise do not know of any such communication concerning the second proposal.  Was that sufficient, or did you have a more specific statement or question?

-Chris
Received on Thursday, 2 July 2009 20:13:52 GMT

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