Re: The unmentionable

On Tue, 2009-07-28 at 18:18 -0700, John Hudson wrote:

> An attempt to interpret the clearly stated position of the browser 
> makers to imply that *any* kind of protection at all is anathema and 
> 'will not fly', is unsupportable. 

I make no representation about the browser
makers opinions whatsoever.

> The browser makers have already 
> indicated what kinds of protections they would be willing to accept in a 
> web font format. 

If I understand, some makers have indicated
a willingness to adopt a new format and/or 
to support CORS rules for font linking and/or
to support new meta-data in font files.

None of those "protections".  The rationales
for possible new formats include the willingness
of some font makers to publish in those formats
but not others and downward compatibility with IE.
The rationals for CORS include the protection of
users from malicious fonts and the protection of
servers from some forms of bandwidth-consumption
attack.  The rationale for new meta-data will
depend on exactly how UAs are expected to process
that data and on how the new meta-data manages
to be useful and non-discriminatory.

> There is no fantasy 'architectural board' that dictates 
> what will and will not be permitted on abstract principles. 

In theory, there is actually.  Well, sort of.

It is the Director who has theoretical dictatorial
power in the face of Formal Objections that escalate
that far.   One would expect that if the basis of
an objection regards the technical architecture of 
a proposal, and if the matter warrants analysis,
then it is something the Technical Architecture Group
and Advisory Board would take it up.

> There are 
> parties with stakes in the game who need to negotiate consensual 
> solutions. Which is what we are gradually doing.

The eventual consensus must not be only among
a majority of a hypothetical font working group.
It must also include those in charge
of the overall architecture of the web.

That is why, after a Font WG drafts a recommendation,
it enters a review period where it is considered
by the Advisory Board and during which time the Director
takes up any Objections which the Font WG chair did
not answer to the objector's satisfaction.

It is during that review period that I expect
careful scrutiny will be given to questions such
as what precedents the proposed Recommendation
would set in terms of access restrictions, the 
consonance of new meta-data designs with overall
web architecture, and so forth.


> John Hudson

Received on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 18:39:12 UTC