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Re: F2F agenda topic: Fonts Task Force

From: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2013 18:07:01 -0700 (PDT)
To: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1649797988.6987927.1378429621071.JavaMail.zimbra@mozilla.com>
Hi Dirk,

>> On the planning page for the Paris F2F [1] there's an item listed:
>> # Discuss creation of a Fonts Task Force
>> I won't be able to make the Paris F2F so I'm wondering who is proposing
>> this and what the idea is behind this?
>> If possible, I think it would help to discuss this a bit on the list
>> before the F2F.
> I added this agenda item as a follow up to the decision to create
> one during the CSS F2F in Hamburg.

I don't recall any decision like this nor do I see anything in the
minutes that reflects this.  Can you point at a specific discussion
that occurred at some point?  The only thing I see during the Hamburg
F2F is a mention of the use of task force groups to aid with the
integration of XSL features into CSS.

> Maybe it is just an organization issue, but we spend several weeks
> on discussions about font issues. A TF on the other hand would be
> structured around fonts and font experts with more focus. I would
> even suggest to give the TF the right to make decisions and just
> leave a veto right to the CSS WG (discussions remain on the TF
> though).

Well, we've dealt with Fonts issues recently because we are in the LC
phase for CSS3 Fonts and that raises the priority of otherwise
not-so-important issues. :P

I also think what you're labeling as "fonts" issues are a mixture of
issues related to text layout in general and the issues surrounding
vertical text layout in particular. Fonts are just one aspect involved
with text layout.

For the most part I think detailed discussions are best left to the
mailing list and not to the group discussions, especially telcons
which aren't the best place for discussions involving complex features
known only to a small subgroup of members of the WG.  Like other
technical discussions, we make progress when the issues are clear, the
behavior well understood, and the details are well-researched. Without
any one of these we need to struggle through to work out a solution.
Untested assertions, poor assumptions and over-designed solutions are
a constant problem here.  What's really needed is more rigor on the
part of participants and a guiding hand to force progress in the

To some degree, the underlying problem here I think is that the
mission of the CSS WG covers a wide swath of functionality, from
low-level parsing and syntax issues, to issues related to graphics,
compositing and complex text layout (including fonts).  In many cases,
the general knowledge and interest in a particular subject is very
shallow within the WG. What is really needed is more participation by
members *outside* of the WG.  With regards to text presentation, John
Hudson's contributions have been invaluable because they provide
knowledge and understanding that the WG lacks.  It would be useful to
have the equivalent of John Hudson for vertical text issues.  The lack
of a resource like this has severely hampered many of our discussions.

For the most part, I think once the Writing Modes and Text specs go to
rec we will have have fewer discussions related to text layout.  I
think grid and other complex layout issues as they relate to text
layout will be much more important.


John Daggett
Received on Friday, 6 September 2013 01:07:28 UTC

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