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Fwd: [OpenFontLibrary] Fwd: www-font: WebOTF Proposal

From: Dave Crossland <dave@lab6.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 12:29:46 +0100
Message-ID: <2285a9d20908070429l18af6812sd05383e91a0e1c4f@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Feel free to mail the OP directly, I'm just forwarding this so that
www-font people see the responses from the libre community which may
be of interest)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Nicolas Spalinger <nicolas_spalinger@sil.org>
Date: 2009/8/7
Subject: Re: [OpenFontLibrary] Fwd: www-font: WebOTF Proposal
To: Open Font Library <openfontlibrary@lists.freedesktop.org>

Ben Weiner wrote:
> Hi there,
> With Nicolas Spalinger's comments about font metadata (13:00 BST today)
> fresh in my mind, I want to ask what the open font community thinks
> about this proposal. As I understand it, this proposal is intended to
> *replace* OTF/TTF font linking. Unlike another proposal, it does not
> allow any kind of backward compatibility with any version of 'EOT',
> Microsoft's system for font linking in Internet Explorer from version 4
> upwards.

At a quick glance this seems like a very nice proposal with a lot more
consensus from the various stakeholders. Thanks to the authors for their
efforts. A rather good sign that the debate is maturing, IMHO. (Probably
not intended as a replacement to direct TTF/OTF usage in UAs already
implementing that, though).

My concern would be that some key extended metadata fields which are
encouraged to be treated by the UA as the primary source of information
about the font remain optional:
- MAY have license text and/or URL to licensing info.
- MAY have copyright text.
- MAY have trademark text.
These should really be switched to "MUST". I don't see why you would
want to distribute a font where this information is not present. If
fallback on the TTF/OTF name table entries is then used, why not make
sure to populate the extended metadata fields in the first place?

Whatever licensing model you choose, then declare it clearly!
The days of simply saying "please review the license agreement you
received with this font software" of similar vague blanket statement are
over. I think users and designers who remix want to know.

Some of the extra metadata fields could map nicely with what we already
have in the FONTLOGs. Presumably the font design toolkit will include
utilities to compare/sync between fields in ttf NAME table/extended

Putting all the fine technical details aside: an approach were clear
metadata is easily filled in by authors and nicely exposed in the DOM
and somewhere non-intrusive in the UI of the browsers is the way
forward. Everybody benefits.

> If you need the 'history' of this proposal and others, it is all on the
> w3c's www-font list.
> Ben


Nicolas Spalinger, NRSI volunteer
Debian/Ubuntu font teams / OpenFontLibrary
Received on Friday, 7 August 2009 11:30:48 UTC

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