Re: css3-fonts: should not dictate usage policy with respect to origin

First, I must correct the term I had previously used. Speaking more
precisely, it is forward compatibility, and not backward compatibility that
is the issue. Clearly, a newer implementation with same-origin will not
apply restrictions in the absence of an Origin header, so, sensu stricto,
there isn't a backward compatibility issue for new same-origin based

However, from a forward compatibility perspective, the introduction of
mandatory same origin presents a problem for fielded implementations with
respect to claims of conformance. While prior implementations could have
claimed conformance on the basic features of css3-fonts, they no longer can
claim conformance for css3-fonts+mandatory-same-origin without retrofitting.

If css3-fonts had been published in a more reasonable period of time,
instead of dragging on for ten years, then it is likely there would be an
existing spec that did not have same origin restrictions, since this was
added only recently. In such a case, those earlier implementations might
continue to claim conformance with such a hypothetical (pre-same-origin)
spec. However, this will not be possible with a
css3-fonts+mandatory-same-origin spec.

In our view, the published spec needs to serve multiple purposes that span a
significant amount of time. One purpose, and I would argue the primary
purpose of css3-fonts is: to advance the state of affairs from what was
defined in CSS2 in 1998. The other purpose, which has been introduced of
late, is to introduce same origin. I expect css3-fonts to treat both of
these cases and do so without necessarily introducing requirements from the
second purpose into the primary purpose.

I would also note that none of the other CSS specs that entails referencing
of resources, e.g., via @import, image references, replaced content
references, etc., require or even make reference to same-origin semantics.
Having css3-fonts be an exception is not consistent with existing CSS specs
practice, particularly when css3-fonts is intended to reference more than
just WOFF fonts.

As to the comment below, yes, I wish to allow for new browsers that do not
require same origin. I would note, however, that as presently defined, HTML5
does require same-origin on web font resource access along with other
resource types. We are fine with that position, and we continue to argue
that placing a same-origin restriction in css3-fonts or WOFF is
architecturally unsound and inconsistent with existing CSS specs.

At this point, I've repeated my same arguments over and over about three or
more times, so I'm becoming rather tired of restating the same points. I
will just conclude that Samsung will continue to maintain a formal objection
to the current language in css3-fonts and WOFF drafts. We believe the
correct course for both of these specs is to NOT specify *any* mandatory
requirements related to access control, and to leave that up to the definers
of UA specs, such as HTML5. However, in the interest of compromise, we are
willing to drop the objection if the language is changed to require
same-origin only in the case that the UA already requires it (due to other


On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 3:18 PM, John Hudson <> wrote:

> Glenn wrote:
>  This is why I offered alternative language that would permit those
>> existing implementations to remain conformant while requiring new
>> implementations (e.g. HTML5 UAs which otherwise require same origin) to
>> implement same origin to be conformant.
> As I understand your suggestion, Glenn, it does more than permit existing
> implementations to remain conformant. It seems to leave open the door to new
> implementations not supporting same origin for webfonts if they do not
> support same origin for other purposes.
> JH

Received on Monday, 27 June 2011 23:59:22 UTC