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Liaison statement from the WebFonts WG

From: Levantovsky, Vladimir <Vladimir.Levantovsky@MonotypeImaging.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2011 10:52:31 -0400
To: "w3c-css-wg@w3.org" <w3c-css-wg@w3.org>
CC: "public-webfonts-wg@w3.org" <public-webfonts-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <7534F85A589E654EB1E44E5CFDC19E3D0BE7CF9C02@wob-email-01.agfamonotype.org>
Dear CSS WG members,

WebFonts WG would like to thank the CSS WG for allocating the time for a detailed discussion of same-origin restriction during the most recent CSS WG meeting (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2011Jun/0329.html).

WebFonts WG has been working hard to finalize the text of the WOFF 1.0 specification, where the requirement for same-origin restriction was originally placed according to the group charter. The WG has agreed that same-origin restriction is a very useful feature that plays an important role in advancing the state of the art typography on the web, and that it also facilitates the use of high quality fonts by helping authors to comply with most typical web font license conditions without any additional overhead. As part of the original WOFF specification work, the same-origin restriction is also believed to be a significant factor that influenced a wide-spread offering of commercial fonts for web use.

Even though the WG reached a consensus on same origin restriction and the use of CORS[2] as a way to relax it, the discussion continued as new proposals (such as "From-Origin" proposal from Anne van Kesteren [3]) and other considerations [4] were brought up. As a result, we strongly believe that these features are indeed useful and necessary but will be best addressed in the CSS3 Font module. We believe that same-origin restriction would be easier to implement if it is defined as a use-based (or link-specific) restriction by way of applying it to any resource that is linked via @font-face (as opposed to it being either format or media type specific), and this is actually the way the existing implementations support it today. The WG also believes that "From-Origin" header proposal is a better, more generic way to control resource sharing.

The WebFonts WG asks the CSS WG to support the changes introduced in the most recent version of the Editor's draft of the CSS3 Fonts module and include a normative requirement for same-origin restriction be applied for resources linked via @font-face. The WG believes that this solution would be most beneficial for the majority of authors by providing them with a way to use web fonts with no additional work, especially in those circumstances where the server configuration headers cannot be modified by authors, or where other solutions (e.g. referrer checking) would be required to comply with font licenses.

On behalf of the WebFonts WG,
Vladimir Levantovsky, WebFonts WG chair


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2011Jun/0329.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/cors/
[3] http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/from-origin/raw-file/tip/Overview.html
[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webfonts-wg/2011Feb/0048.html
Received on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 14:53:08 UTC

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