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Re: .webfont Proposal

From: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Date: Thu, 09 Jul 2009 11:06:44 -0700
To: Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>
Cc: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1247162804.6773.16.camel@dell-desktop.example.com>

All well said.  A nit, though:

On Thu, 2009-07-09 at 15:39 +0200, Bert Bos wrote:

> A different subject is the behavior of implementations. That is largely 
> independent of the chosen format, and I'm not sure what I want yet.

> A mismatched EOT is supposed to be ignored by typical document viewers, 
> possibly with an unobtrusive message somewhere for users who want to 
> know what resources where actually downloaded. A mismatched webfont, on 
> the other hand, should apparently result in a warning message to the 
> reader, but the font would be used anyway. As a reader, I think I'd 
> prefer EOT's behavior. I don't think I'd want to be confronted with the 
> errors of the author, unless I have a special interest. Thus, I'd 
> probably prefer it if the viewer just fixed the error for me, i.e., 
> ignores the incorrect webfont, and maybe offer an Info command in the 
> View menu, where I can find an analysis of the document and its 
> constituents...

It's a bit esoteric but *you* shouldn't have trouble
understanding me when I claim that:

I think there is really a design principle that says
no Recommendation CAN (is capable of) saying how to 
compute automated detection of presumptively unauthorized
use.   The problems are that "unauthorized" is a jurisdiction
specific concept and, within jurisdictions where it applies,
it's a juridical concept not reducible to an algorithm.

So, any proposal to "detect and warn" about unauthorized
uses should be regarded as a non-starter.  No such
algorithm can possibly exist. This doesn't 
mean that the people asking for such need to go away 

Instead, I would argue, Recommendations should say 
that UAs SHOULD present certain meta-data upon the occaision
of the user taking various actions.   Some examples,
all prefixed by an implicit "perhaps":  UAs SHOULD, like 
the ccREL model, display a little "click on this" button
that gives the "about" information for a font;  UAs 
which offer a UI to "download the font used here"
SHOULD, if the user clicks that, display some meta-data
from the font that is explicitly there to inform the 
user upon the occasion of making a copy.  That kind
of thing.

That not only gets you out of exposing users to the 
errors or authors, it spares you having to write a Recommendation
that attempts (and necessarily fails) to compute the 
"lawfulness" of a given user action or page.

It ought to, I think, satisfy the font vendors because,
as Ben Weiner puts it, it's a way to use Recommendations 
to encourage users to be educated about the legal landscape
and to make thoughtful decisions on their own.

Received on Thursday, 9 July 2009 18:07:24 UTC

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