W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > June 2009

Re: New work on fonts at W3C

From: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 22:56:07 -0700 (PDT)
To: Vladimir Levantovsky <Vladimir.Levantovsky@MonotypeImaging.com>, www-style@w3.org
Cc: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
Message-ID: <17676019.292261245909367846.JavaMail.root@cm-mail01.mozilla.org>
> I promised to work with Mozilla to come up with the GPL-compatible
> license, and if I say something - I mean it. Rob, Zack and John have
> been loud and clear on the importance of Monotype Imaging agreeing to
> such license; now that the agreement is in place - their silence is
> deafening!
> Our offer is contingent upon the adoption of the technology. I am
> reluctant to spend company money for legal counsel to draft a patent
> license until I hear that MTX compression is going to be part of the
> future web font solution.

I appreciate your efforts to clear up the licensing problem.  You've
asked me in the past directly whether Mozilla was interested in
supporting MTX and I tried to be respond directly.  Below is from my
mail to you on June 10. I repeated pretty much the same thing during the
conference call with Philippe from W3C about MTX:

> There's not a lot of enthusiasm for MTX [at Mozilla].  The license
> concerns are naturally a blocking issue but in general the feeling
> seems to be that having a specialized compression scheme just for one
> type of font data doesn't seem like a big win for the web (since MTX
> only applies to TrueType/OpenType TT fonts, not to OpenType PS fonts).
> And we wouldn't support this without the support of Apple and Opera
> and both have explicitly stated their disinterest in MTX.
> Some of our folks working on mobile expressed interest in having a
> standardized font compression scheme that would work well on mobile
> platforms, especially in CJK environments.  But as I recall, MTX is
> not so well suited to this situation since it requires the entire
> glyph table to be compressed and decompressed, not just selected
> chunks of it (as with AC3).

In summary, I think our disinterest is based on the technical merits of
this proposal, not just on the licensing issues; having a compression
scheme just for one type of font (MTX does not compress Postscript CFF
glyph data) that adds significant complexity to the implementation does
not add a huge benefit over gzip compression that is already supported
in user agents.


John Daggett
Mozilla Japan
Received on Thursday, 25 June 2009 05:56:49 UTC

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