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Re: A way forward

From: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 10:35:35 +0200
Message-ID: <19049.29271.993091.552184@opera.com>
To: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>
Cc: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Also sprach John Daggett:

 > Beyond the problem of loading CFF fonts, Jonathan Kew's July 3 post
 > is a much better critique of the problems with EOT-Lite or
 > "rootless EOT":
 > 
 > http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-font/2009JulSep/0185.html

Indeed. Supporting EOTx has many problems, and I'm not sure the people
arguing for "backwards compatibility" realize the extent of the
problems that implementors and designers will run into. 

The EOT format is just one aspect of this, another is the bugs and
quirks in IE's @font-face. For example, consider this page:

  http://www.princexml.com/howcome/2007/tests/include-fonts.html

It's a simple one-liner that includes a library of fonts, of which
only one font is used. All the fonts are labelled as "truetype", a
format which IE has chosen not to support. However, IE downloads /all/
the 400+ TrueType files when it displays this document. The test was
written in June 2007 and Microsoft was notified of the problem at the
time, but it hasn't been fixed; even IE8 exhibits this behavior. I'm
sure there are many such issues if you start digging.

As a browser vendor, we spend significant amount of resources
debugging IE and replicating its bugs and quirks. These resources
would have been better spent improving support for standards. If we
start supporting EOTx for backwards compatibility reasons, people will
also expect us to replicate all the bugs and quirks in this part of IE
because some page somewhere depend on it. If we don't, people will
consider /our/ browser to be buggy. 

Bowing to IE will also limit web designers; perfectly valid CSS code
cannot be used due to limitations in IE.

Therefore, and for all the other reasons mentioned in the thread, I do
not feel like replicating IE and its EOT format. It's not a trivial
job and it will cause browser vendors and web designers much pain.

Cheers,

-h&kon
              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome@opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome
Received on Friday, 24 July 2009 08:36:21 GMT

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