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Re: Fonts WG Charter feedback

From: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Jul 2009 12:52:26 +0200
Message-ID: <19023.13418.805787.205925@opera.com>
To: Tal Leming <tal@typesupply.com>
Cc: (wrong string) åkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>, Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>, "www-font@w3.org" <www-font@w3.org>
Also sprach Tal Leming:

 > >> There is a lot of talk to the effect that concerns TTF/OTF support
 > >> will lead to "accidental piracy" are the main motivation for
 > >> resistance to TTF/OTF. I am beginning to believe that that is not
 > >> really the motivation but, rather, exclusion by incumbents against
 > >> potential competitors is the driver.
 > >
 > > I support your analysis.
 > Could you please elaborate on what you believe is happening?

It seems quite clear that font piracy, even the accidental kind, isn't
the main motivation for Microsoft not to support TTF/OTF. If that had
been the case, they would not have continued to support this in

There's a bunch of other reasons that possibly could factor in:

 - fundamentally, open standards don't benefit the dominant players in
   a market as they lower the barrier for competition (this is true
   for all markets, not just software)

 - MS still believes EOT can be resurrected; TTF/OTF would obviously
   be a threat for any EOT-derived solution

 - usage of TTF/OTF on the web, while on the rise, hasn't exploded yet
   and they probably haven't had too many complaints. Once more
   implementations ship and usage grows, they can always change their

   (Acid2 taught us that complaints, as measured in Slashdot postings
   or other units, have to be consistently loud over a period in order
   to get attention.)

 - reverse-engineering other browser implementations and implementing
   their quirks isn't that exciting. It's more fun when the others
   have to follow you.

I also believe there are hard-working people inside Microsoft who
honestly believe in the goodness of the web and her standards. So, I'm
not making any kinds of personal judgements in this message, I'm just
listing factors that, in their generic form, would be considered by
any big software company trying to decide if they should support a new
format or not.

This is slightly outside the scope of www-font so we may not want to
continue this for long.


              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome@opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome
Received on Saturday, 4 July 2009 10:53:33 UTC

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