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Re: Last call comments on WOFF (1)

From: Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 13:18:16 +0100
Message-Id: <68BBB6CD-0EDA-4927-9CE0-43141F19C08B@w3.org>
To: www-font@w3.org
On Feb 9, 2011, at 15:52, Chris Lilley wrote:

> On Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 4:16:26 PM, Bert wrote:
> BB> 1) I'd like to say one more time that letting a URL carry information
> BB> about the meaning of a resource is counter to W3C's common  
> BB> architecture for the Web and simply a bad idea. 
> Could you please
> a) state which URL in the WOFF specification you are referring to. For example, there is a url attribute on the vendor element, and one on the description element.

The URL I'm referring to is the URL of the font itself, called "origin" in section 1.

> b) cite the section in AWWW to which you are referring.

2.5 URI Opacity

> c) Clarify how a) contradicts b)

WOFF section 1 says that a font file downloaded from, e.g., http://example.com/font can be used, while exactly the same file downloaded from ftp://example.org/font cannot be used (or vice versa, as the case may be). The two resources may be byte for byte the same, it is only the URL that makes a difference. But AWWW says that UAs "SHOULD NOT" infer properties of resources from their URLs.

> BB> If I move a file to a
> BB> different server (and hopefully leave a redirect behind), the file  
> BB> still means the same thing. If I distribute it over p2p, on a CD, or  
> BB> coin a URN for it, it is still the same file and should not act any  
> BB> differently. Going against this architecture *will* lead to problems.
> It is not clear how what you state about moving resource representations to different resources relates to the WOFF specification, or how it contradicts AWWW. Again, specific citations would help understand your intent here.
> BB> And it's not like we don't know how to do it right. The way to encode
> BB> usage metadata for fonts, in a protocol-independent and machine  
> BB> readable way, was invented by Microsoft for EOT more than ten years  
> BB> ago. The exact syntax doesn't matter, but the data has to be at the  
> BB> application level, not in the URL and not in the protocol.
> That part is also not clear. EOT uses an embedded URL to indicate with which website it can be used. But you seem to indicate that using a URI for this is a bad idea. Also, EOT doesn't have such URIs. So, the relevance of that comment to WOFF is also unclear.

When you download an EOT file and lose its URL, or get it on a USB stick, or get it from archive.org instead of its original server, you still know whether it applies to a particular Web document or not, because that information is included in the EOT file itself, not in its URL.

If you do the same with a WOFF file, it changes meaning.

E.g., if I have a document at http://example.org/mydoc that refers to a WOFF font at http://example.com/font, the font won't work. But if I change the document to refer to a the WOFF font as ./font instead and add "RewriteRule font http://example.com/font" in the configuration of the server, it works. I haven't changed the font file, not even copied it, only called it by a different URL.

  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C ) http://www.w3.org/
  http://www.w3.org/people/bos                               W3C/ERCIM
  bert@w3.org                             2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 (0)4 92 38 76 92            06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Saturday, 26 March 2011 12:18:45 UTC

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