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Re: cutting to the chase

From: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Date: Sun, 02 Aug 2009 23:04:00 -0700
To: Thomas Phinney <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu>
Cc: www-font@w3.org
Message-Id: <1249279440.6784.131.camel@dell-desktop.example.com>
Mr. Phinney,

This is an interesting question that you raise.

Please join me in this thought experiment:

Suppose that tomorrow a bolt of lightning from
the sky conveys upon us a universally agreed upon
"new format".  Perhaps it is an EOTL variant.  Perhaps
it is a wrapper variant.  Whatever the case, everybody
is happy with it.  As a bonus, the same lightening strike
gave us implementations of it for all major browsers.

Whom do you think will object to a Recommendation for
BOTH TTF/OTF and this new format?  I understand that the
list is likely to not be empty.  I think I understand
that MSFT has made clear that they would Object.  But,
what is that list?  Who, exactly, would object to *that*?
And at least as importantly, what would the expressed 
basis of the Objection be?

I think the list of who would Object is small compared to 
the list of stakeholders in support and that no good basis
for excluding TTF/OTF is forthcoming - there is no Objection
that will stand the "reasonable person" test.

If you disagree, at least in cursory terms, could you
please explain why?

Now, obviously that bolt of lightening is not to be
expected.  Would you be terribly surprised if it took
a good 5 years for a new format to become a Recommendation
given the discussion so far?

On the other hand, we can sanctify a TTF/OTF (w/ or w/o 
same-origin+CORS) in under a year, with all but a
distinctly small minority of UA implementations conforming.
And, with that small minority of non-conforming 
implementations having a technologically
and legally trivial path to coming in to conformance,
it is difficult to image the basis of any legitimate 

And a further thought experiment:

Imagining your worst nightmare (in this narrow domain)
in which a WG is quickly formed and quickly says
that TTF/OTF is required (again, perhaps w/ or w/o CORS,
yadda yadda).

Who do you think will Object and on what basis do you
suppose they will Object?  How do you expect that
Objection to be handled within the W3C process?


On Sun, 2009-08-02 at 22:27 -0700, Thomas Phinney wrote:
> > After several hundred mail messages that
> > discussion has failed to find consensus on
> > even the most basic principles.
> Actually, there seems to be increasing consensus on a lot of things.
> It is very reassuring.
> > "most professional font makers" is both in
> > dispute
> Only by you, as far as I can tell. I'd be curious as to what evidence
> you would be basing your contrary opinion on.
> I've been involved in active discussions with dozens of professional
> font makers, including (but not limited to) many of the largest as
> well as most of the best-known smaller vendors. The consensus is a
> heck of a lot stronger than "most" — it's nearly universal.
> > and not obviously relevant in the absence
> > of ANY proposal that they agree with
> Actually, most professional font makers are happy with EITHER .webfont
> or EOT Light, and many have said so. The problem is not finding a
> proposal they agree with. It's that they aren't quite able to form an
> organized group and decide on a single proposal to push. Probably most
> of them would be fine with ZOT as well....
> > and around
> > which the potential for consensus is clear.
> I can't tell what you base that judgment on, but my assessment is
> quite different.
> > No, it's not laughable.  No alternative is
> > emerging and if their only remaining objection
> > is "we won't play", well, that's not much of an
> > objection in the long view.
> Sure it is. Their reasons for "not playing" are that they don't see
> that they can continue to have a business in that universe.
> > The procedural question is whether or not you
> > will raise formal Objection to a potential WG's
> > recommendation to require TTF/OTF (perhaps with
> > or perhaps without same-origin+cors), and if so
> > what the content of that Objection will be.
> I will bet you dinner at a very nice restaurant that if it gets that
> far, Adobe, Monotype and Microsoft will all Object.
> I would expect that if non-members are allowed to raise objections,
> you will have literally dozens, probably scores of type foundries
> joining in Objection.
> Whether or not those objections will all be of a nature that will
> matter to the W3C is another matter, of course. I imagine the major
> players will be savvy enough to do it properly.
> Cheers,
> T
Received on Monday, 3 August 2009 06:04:46 UTC

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