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RE: New work on fonts at W3C

From: Levantovsky, Vladimir <Vladimir.Levantovsky@MonotypeImaging.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 10:46:55 -0400
Message-ID: <E955AA200CF46842B46F49B0BBB83FF2924E5D@wil-email-01.agfamonotype.org>
To: "John Daggett" <jdaggett@mozilla.com>, <www-style@w3.org>
Cc: "Philippe Le Hegaret" <plh@w3.org>

Thank you for coming out and disclosing you position publicly. As you may recall, I replied to you directly with the message that pointed out specific issues in your position:

> A couple of points that I would like to make are:
> 1) like I mentioned on more than one occasion, you are right that the
> original MTX compression was designed for TrueType fonts (it was
> introduced before the OpenType days). However, because the nature of
> MTX compression is to split font data into separate data blocks
> (generic tables and metric data in the first block and TTF glyph data
> and hints in second and third blocks) it can be easily modified to
> introduce the forth block of data that would contain compressed CFF
> outlines (so that for OpenType CFF fonts MTX file header would only
> have valid offsets to first and forth blocks, and NULL as an offset to
> second and third blocks). This can be easily done as part of the WG
> work to support all OT/TTF font flavors.
> 2) you bring up very good points for discussion - it is in fact
> feasible that in some cases a different type compressor (such as AC3
> that provides ability for selective compression/decompression) may be
> beneficial. I can see some reasons for and against doing this, mainly
> because the ability to selectively decompress data from a compressed
> data stream does introduce some additional burden. We can discuss the
> technical details at a later time.
> Again I agree with you that both scenarios (MTX and AC3) could be
> considered, these two approaches have their own advantages, and this is
> exactly the type of discussions that would belong to the Fonts WG.

So, it appears to me that your position can be summarized as follows:

1) Mozilla attempted to block the discussion of the technical merits of the proposed technology bringing patent licensing issues as an argument. You made a big deal out of "field of use restriction" painting it as a severe blocking issue and a "show-stopper", although Mozilla is known to support and implement other technologies (such as CSS, http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/Disclosures) where there are known patents licensed with the field of use restriction.

2) When the patent licensing issues have been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of all interested parties involved and to the best interests of the open source community - Mozilla makes an attempt to reject the technology in question based on the technical merits that have never been discussed in the first place! 
I would like to remind you that it was Mozilla (and not Microsoft) who repeatedly blocked the attempts to form a working group at W3C where technical merits of the future web font solution could have been discussed.

What is your next excuse?

With kind regards,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Daggett [mailto:jdaggett@mozilla.com]
> Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 1:56 AM
> To: Levantovsky, Vladimir; www-style@w3.org
> Cc: Philippe Le Hegaret
> Subject: Re: New work on fonts at W3C
> > 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.
> Regards,
> John Daggett
> Mozilla Japan

Received on Thursday, 25 June 2009 14:47:29 UTC

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