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Re: [csswg-drafts] [css-fonts] limit local fonts to those selected by users in browser settings (or other browser chrome) (#4497)

From: Florian Rivoal via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2019 07:43:44 +0000
To: public-css-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-564889389-1576136622-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
> the proposal would not affect [...] pre-installed fonts. The proposal would only affect the user-installed fonts

Even though it is a conceptually useful distinction when discussing things and can inform some degree of best practices, I am not convinced there is actually a clear enough distinction between user-installed fonts and pre-installed fonts in a way that can be used in normative text. How sharp or fuzzy that boundary is varies per OS.

I suspect that on macOS, iOS, and Android, it's pretty clear. The OSes have one set of built-in fonts (which does vary per version though), and anything else is user-installed.

On Windows 10, the OS has a core set of fonts that are always installed. But there are also various international fonts which are installed by default only if you install windows in a particular language. If you installed Windows in a locale where they're not included by default, they can be added by the user by requesting optional Windows components. And so, is "Yu Mincho" to be considered pre-installed on Windows 10 or not? No, because it's optional and some users lack it? Yes, because they're components of Windows, not third party software, and is share by all Japanese installs, and is needed to display Japanese properly? Yes on Japanese windows but no on English Windows? How about on my English language account in a Japanese version of Windows, or the other way around?

Also, many/most Windows computers are sold come with some version of MS Office, and the user took no step in putting it on the device. Are fonts bundled with Office pre-installed or user-installed?

And then you have Linux, where it completely falls apart:
- There are hundreds or thousands of different linux distributions, all of which ship different sets of fonts by default. With no API to ask what's pre-installed and what's not, browsers would have to maintain their own per distribution list, which isn't scalable.
- Many distributions do not even distinguish between the OS itself and user installed software: everything is installed through the same package manager, pre-installed things can be removed the same way additional software can be added, and there isn't even always such a thing as pre-installed software. If you look at Debian, which is one of the most influential distributions, a bare-bones installation doesn't even have a graphical environment, and how much of a grapical environment you want is a user's decision. So arguably any present in the system is a user-installed font. (And Debian isn't unique in that).

All in all, I feel that this something that some user agents on their own initiative could do on some platforms, based on their own definition of what should be auto-exposed and what should be opt-in, but I don't think this is something we can specify or mandate with any degree of interoperability.

GitHub Notification of comment by frivoal
Please view or discuss this issue at https://github.com/w3c/csswg-drafts/issues/4497#issuecomment-564889389 using your GitHub account
Received on Thursday, 12 December 2019 07:43:45 UTC

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