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Re: EOT and EOT-based proposals - Sounds good to this DINOSAUR

From: Christine Bloomquist <kaprqn4203@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2009 10:22:16 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <887409.78471.qm@web80016.mail.sp1.yahoo.com>
To: www-font@w3.org
Cc: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
This statement makes a lot of logical sense!  As a "DINOSAUR" (mainframe retiree), I suggest that you keep history in mind.  

Back in the days when "Big Blue"(IBM), software and hardware went together most of the time.  Because hardware was changing to rapidly (sound familiar?), it became unreasonable for application programs to use machine language code (MLC because it was too complicated and too time consuming (expensive) to maintain.  When my company got its first IBM 360 the main 'programming languages' were FORTRAN (scientific work), COBOL (business work), and ASM (Assembler).  ASM was used for operating systems and general utilities, plus some business applications also used it for processing efficiency.  FORTRAN and COBOL were very different.  The company"s old programs written in IBM 7080 Autocoder could not be run on the IBM 360.  There were 2 options: (1) pay for an emulator, or (2) rewrite all the old programs into a language that would be supported by IBM for years to come.  The company did both.

IBM decided it would be a good idea to combine FORTRAN and COBOL into a new language they called PL-1.  Since IBM developed PL-! and business competition was increasing the use of PL-! required a License.  Shortly thereafter AMDAHL computers came out (hardware only) that cloned the IBM-360 features for a much reduced price.  Big Blue (IBM) then restricted the use of PL-1 to IBM computers.  BIG BLUE SHOT ITSELF IN THE FOOT!!!  Companies decided not to use PL-1 (in spite of it's many positive features) because they did not want to lock themselves into the use of ONE computer vendor!!

Hve you folks ever heard of PL-1?  It died on the vine (though I did have to review and modify 1 PL-1 program in my three years of Y2K work.  I had to modify 1 ASM program.  All the others were COBOL.

There are MANY hardware and software providers today.  I would like to suggest that all of them and all other techs remember that today's markets are really driven by the users - not the techs.

I used Netscape as a browser for a long time and much preferred it over IE (2.5 and 3 then).  I'm not particularly fond of IE - because of cost and frequent updates requiring either 'hard' updates (floppy, CD, etc) or terribly long online downloads.  I recently started using Mozilla Firefox and am pleased so far.  It certainly downloaded and installed MUCH FASTER than I had anticipated.  Why do I tend to avoid IE?  Because in August,2003, about 90 (of 300) IT staff where I was working spent about 15 straight hours validating and updating PC's on the network that was hit byt the "Blaster Outbreak".  Needless to say the company network staff implemented an entire network wide automatic update of the security firewall.   Ironically, I could not use a firewall on my personal computer when I connected into the company mainframe to make fixes and updates from home - because the company firewall would not allow outside firewalls to be active.

You folks lsould like you are making progress and I APPLAUD YOU!  Yes it is a big pain in the you know what to have to coordinate with individuals and companies - particularly as many as there are out there now.  But I can say that the KISS principle, if used by all, will keep the millions of web users happy as long as their PCs work well (whether maintained or not).  I'm still using XP and have absolutely no desire on intention to use VISTA.  Remember ME too.  I don't envy you folks one bit.  I can say since I am experienced in the IT area, I at least tolerate slowdowns even in my 'older years'.  I have been tolerating my e-mail center making upgrades this week.  YAHOO has a new mail option that I have not been able to use, even though I've tried.  But it's obviously been slowing the processing time using the old mail system, too.  I have a Blackberry 8310, too that sends all receives all inbox e-mails to me.  However, I have found that the
 BB browser does not support all of the web pages used by my Credit Union (bank).  I have to use the phone inquiry or get to my desktop.  I haven't decided where to submit a complaint -- ATT (provider), Blackberry,  the credit union, or all of them!

To the U.S. folks - have a great July 4th.  I'll keep all of you (US or not) in my thoughts over the weekend while I enjoy? the 100+ heat by spending a lot of time in the family above ground pool (with only 90 degree water temp) here in SE Texas.   

(Helen) Christine Bloomquist
--- On Thu, 7/2/09, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Subject: EOT and EOT-based proposals
To: www-font@w3.org
Date: Thursday, July 2, 2009, 11:31 PM

Over the course of the discussions, I've been convinced that there's
some definite benefits in supporting EOT or some compatible variant as
an interoperable format.

It's clear that, no matter what we do, IE will be the browser that
holds us authors back the most.  Or, to be precise, IE *users* will
hold us back for a long time.  Chris Wilson (from MS, mind you)
estimated that any proposal that requires new work in IE will take, at
minimum, 5-7 years for us authors to be able to reasonably write off
legacy browsers as irrelevant and use the new format confidently.
There's nothing that the IE team can do about this - it's a property
of the simple fact that IE has the highest concentration of
unsophisticated users, who historically are very slow at updating.
IE8, 7, and even 6 will be with us site authors for some time, even if
IE9 implements a consensus proposal with all the other browsers.

So, if it is possible to widely implement EOT or some variant (even as
an interim format while developing an even better format for the
future) we authors get an immediate huge bonus.

So, let's talk details.

First, are there any legal issues preventing any of the other browsers
(particularly Firefox with its GPL obligations) from implementing EOT?
 I don't believe there is any, but I want to make absolutely sure.

Second, according to some remarks by Chris Wilson, an EOT font with no
rootstring should work fine in legacy IEs.  A no-rootstring EOT seems
to be a very basic obfuscation proposal, which is at least somewhat
accepted among the current players.  Is this true?

Third, can we add same-origin restrictions to EOT?  These obviously
wouldn't do anything with legacy IE versions, but it *would* be
interoperable with all new versions of all browsers.

Received on Friday, 3 July 2009 17:22:57 UTC

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