Re: New work on fonts at W3C

On Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 11:46 PM, Dave Crossland <> wrote:

> 2009/6/20 Robert O'Callahan <>:
> > On Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 4:32 AM, Dave Crossland <> wrote:
> >>
> >> Isn't that lack of control what made the web not become yet another
> failed
> >> hyperetext system a la xanadu?
> >
> > are you arguing that cross-origin image loads made it successful? I think
> > not,
> I first saw the web in 1997, so wasn't there, but from my reading of
> history, I understand that a general principle of the web was a lack
> of control over copying and linking - academia was paying for
> everyone's bandwidth, so there was no reason to build controls into
> the technology. Cross origin image linking is one application of that
> general principle.

This isn't really the place, but...

The main differences were simplicity and open source. Competing hypertext
systems were bogged down trying to do too much at once: microtransactions
for viewing copyrighted content, consistency guarantees for references,
fine-grained access control, robustness against individual server downtime,
etc. HTTP/HTML were far simpler and easier to deploy and use. Also, it was
possible for anyone to download, modify and deploy Web clients and servers
for free.

Same-origin checks for <img> loads in clients are very simple compared to
what Xanadu, Hyper-G, etc were trying to do. I think they just weren't
considered, since the painful implications of cross-origin image loads ---
router profiling, for example --- were unforseeable at the time.

Besides, characteristics that made the Web successful in the beginning (such
as a near-total lack of concern for security) are not necessarily
appropriate today.

"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are
healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his
own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." [Isaiah

Received on Sunday, 21 June 2009 21:59:52 UTC