the discussion is over, resistance time

The discussion is heated to the point of a
melt-down.  Let those of us who care about
the web step back and take a look at the
bigger picture.

Chris Wilson of Microsoft has stated an
apparently authoritative Microsoft position
on this matter.  He says that no proposal
is acceptable to Microsoft which includes a
requirement of supporting raw TT and OT

This is significant because TT and OT are 
very widely supported and so they are the most
natural formats to support.

Offers have been made to require TT and OT
along with some third format, whether Ascender's
or my wrapper.  Microsoft has said "no" even
though these counter proposals satisfy all
stated concerns of the font vendors representing 
themselves here.

It would be a simple matter for any third party
to publicly offer a patch to IE to support 
OT and TT except that IE has a restricted 
license that forbids that kind of thing. 

In that way, Microsoft is claiming power over
its users and here leveraging that power 
to, pardon me but, f- with the serious work
of an international standards organization.
I don't think it is too much of an exaggeration
to say that Microsoft is attempting to treat
IE users as a form of hostages who act as
a bargaining chip.

So, Microsoft has said "no," we are given
to understand.  In that case...

We owe it to the users of IE not to leave them
at the mercy of such bad, anti-competitive
behavior from Microsoft.

Instead, we should use this opportunity to encourage
those users to switch away from IE.

I propose the formation of a political resistance
committee: the Committee for Web Font Sanity.
I invite the CC list to help form the committee 
or others who might have something to contribute.
I invite the larger community to participate and
help to support the committee's work.

The Web Font Sanity committee will, if formed,
and if joined by supporters, attempt to encourage
multiple, highly popular web services to begin to 
make significant use of TT and OT web fonts in ways
that users really appreciate yet can't experience
when using IE.  We can target blog hosts and bloggers,
social networking sites, news sites, and so forth.
We can ask those sites include statements about
why IE is not preferred for viewing those sites.

Simultaneously we can begin an educational campaign
to inform the public of Microsoft's intransigence on
this issue and the impact of it on the "user experience".

Above all, in combination with that message, we can
begin to instruct the IE-using public on how easily 
they can migrate to a free software browser and how
that can benefit their web experience.

A committee can begin to draw press attention to the
issue, in various ways.

The users of IE are, in my opinion, effectively being
held hostage in an extortion attempt by Microsoft, 
at least if we understand Chris Wilson's statements
to be definitive.

Just as an honorable passer by would not leave a man
trapped under a burning car if there was any choice
on the matter, we owe it to those IE users to free them.


p.s.: credit where credit is due:

Håkon suggested that W3C itself should start using TT
and/or OT fonts on and that was where I got
the inspiration.  I'm just extending that idea.

Received on Thursday, 2 July 2009 00:33:25 UTC