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RE: Fonts WG Charter feedback

From: Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2009 02:16:31 +0000
To: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>
CC: "www-font@w3.org" <www-font@w3.org>
Message-ID: <045A765940533D4CA4933A4A7E32597E020BD0F5@TK5EX14MBXC111.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
>From: Håkon Wium Lie [mailto:howcome@opera.com]

>Also sprach Sylvain Galineau:
> > I would think that shipping implementations that do not
> > interoperate with 3/4 of the browsers out there is disruptive as
> > well
>If Microsoft wanted other browsers to interoperate, why did you keep
>your format secret for a decade? Why didn't you consult with others
>along the way? Why did you add root strings to the format -- you must
>have understood that this would be contentious?
The format has been publicly documented. Rootstrings are optional. And I'd expect you
to know why they existed by now :) As to whether it was contentious back when it was
invented, I honestly don't know. (I do remember Wired magazine arguing that standards
were just too damn slow a process to be bothered with back then...).

I also hear that by default Firefox 3.5 executes a same-origin policy check on
font files, which is no different than what EOT rootstrings
are used for in practice albeit at lower cost to web authors.

Lastly, Ascender's new proposal does not include rootstrings.

>Asking for a WG at this stage, after other browsers have chosen to
>support another open, standardized, and universally supported format,
>is too disruptive for the emerging, interoperable webfont
>implemetations. Also, it's too late. Or, too early.

If raw TTF font linking were universally supported, we would not be having these conversations.
I don't see how this new WG can make the current situation any more painful for web authors than
it already is. Or is implementers' comfort more important than authors' ?

>EOT had 9 years of between shipping and until someone challenged it.
>I'm asking for 5 years; if webfonts (as in linking to TT/OT) are not
>successfull 5 years from now, I'm happy to see a new WG chartered.

You are, according to your previous message, probably asking for twice that.
If we wait 5 years to start a working group then it may take 7, 10 or more to
achieve interop.

Also, you're leaving success undefined. A situation where every other site on the web serves fonts in two
Different incompatible encodings based on the UA string cannot constitute success.

> > By releasing an alternative to the only existing format that was
> > widely deployed, browser vendors have already fragmented the
> > market, Hakon.
>There was no market to fragment; EOT has seen little or no use outside
>of India (where a handful of web sites continue to use it).

That it has not seen much use does not change anything to the fact that it is deployed in a majority of web
browsers today and will remain so for some time to come, forcing most authors to either deal with two
encoding formats or even give up if the font they want can be licensed for both encodings.

Even if a large majority of web clients for a site or a region were interoperable implementations, the desired font(s) may still remain unavailable.

In such a situation, many authors are likely to wait and see. Apparently, they should wait 5 years and then wait some more.
Received on Tuesday, 30 June 2009 02:17:12 UTC

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