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Re: Rumours of the death of "new, professionally designed typefaces" are perhaps exaggerated?

From: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Date: Thu, 06 Aug 2009 13:27:15 -0700
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: François REMY <fremycompany_pub@yahoo.fr>, Chris Fynn <cfynn@gmx.net>, www-font <www-font@w3.org>, John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>, Ben Weiner <ben@readingtype.org.uk>
Message-Id: <1249590435.6082.49.camel@dell-desktop.example.com>
On Thu, 2009-08-06 at 14:26 -0500, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> > None of the other browser makers want to implement
> > the protection features of that proposal.  If
> > people who currently have restricted license fonts
> > in the wild in EOT were to assert that other browsers
> > should go ahead and implement EOT but without any
> > kind of enforcement, some other browser implementers
> > would likely still object but the case in favor would
> > at least be a lot stronger.
> 
> Do you have any reason to believe that authors in the wild would ask
> for that?  Or is this just part of your charming hypothetical?

Not exactly either.  Rather:

The discussion around EOTL has become highly 
polarized.  

On one side, some browser-maker opponents have 
clearly stated their unwillingness to consider 
EOTL.  They've clearly articulated a few reasons.
Among those reasons:

One reason is fear of pressure from the market
to emulate the "quirks" of IE<=8.  Another reason
is fear of the legal hazards of implementing EOT
sans protections.   Those two reasons are deeply
complementary (each makes the other worse).

On the other side, two browser makers and some
others are pushing ahead on EOTL as if consensus
on EOTL remains possible, perhaps even likely.

If that were all there were to it then all manner
of compromises might be possible - a variety of
concessions from either side might do the trick.
Alas:

The further problem is that the legal worries
of the opponents are substantial enough, and
of such a nature, that they rise to the level
of a W3C policy concern.  A draft Recommendation
which did not relieve those concerns would likely
just escalate the fight to the Director level.

It is hard to imagine any other outcome, should 
that happen, then a decision that "no consensus
has been reached" - hence no Recommendation.

It is noteworthy that there is precedent for such
an outcome in the recent dropping of certain 
media format goals by the HTML5 WG.

The *suggestion* that relevant stakeholders
declare that they would expect some conforming
UAs to support EOT without enforcement
is meant both to concisely illustrate that impasse
and to point out the one way I can see of getting
past it.   

Taking the suggestion would not guarantee
the passage of an EOTL Recommendation - concerns
about the "IE quirks issue" would still exist - but
it would give an EOTL Recommendation a chance 
at approval.

I admire the enthusiasm going into the EOTL work
As things stand, though, it appears highly unlikely
the EOTL work can go through, no matter how
enthusiastically one side in the polarized debate
embraces it.  

-t
Received on Thursday, 6 August 2009 20:27:58 GMT

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