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

Re: font proposal bogosities

From: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 16:55:49 -0400
Message-ID: <7c2a12e20906261355j4fe5ae1bn9deaed8224910d74@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: Thomas Phinney <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu>, Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 4:39 PM, Tab Atkins Jr.<jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
> Can you come up with a roughly equivalent scenario where the
> "non-compliant" (scare quotes used just because there's nothing to be
> non-compliant to yet) browser offers a worse user experience than the
> "compliant" one?

Sure.  An author writes a page, and specifies some @font-face rules.
They then deliberately use that font to style a web page.  The author
certainly makes sure that the font displays correctly on their dev
machine.  Then things get moved to a production server or whatever,
and the dev checks and the font still works in his browser, because
his browser ignores root strings.  But his users don't see the
intended rendering, because his users' browsers respect root strings,
so their experience is degraded (and they probably won't even notice,
so they won't complain).

The only fully interoperable solution is for all browsers to do the
exact same thing.  That's what interoperability *means*.  If all
browsers respect root strings, we have interoperability.  If all
browsers ignore root strings, we have exactly the same level of
interoperability.  The only interoperability problem is if some do,
and some don't.  The same applies to same-origin restrictions, or any
other feature in the universe.  As long as every browser supports the
same features, interoperability is a nonissue.

But the issue here is that not all browser vendors are *willing* to
support fonts without something like root strings or same-origin
restrictions.  Any format that does not support something like that
will therefore not achieve interoperability, period.  IE will not
support it, whatever the standards say.  And nor will Firefox support
fonts without same-origin restrictions, for that matter.

So I really don't understand how anyone can claim that a format with
no root strings or same-origin restrictions or similar measures will
be *more* interoperable.  The facts on the ground clearly indicate the
opposite.  Such a format will not be universally supported in the
foreseeable future, and therefore will not achieve interoperability.
Received on Friday, 26 June 2009 20:56:29 UTC

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