[Fedora-packaging] Web Assets/JavaScript guideline drafts

Nicolas Mailhot nicolas.mailhot at laposte.net
Fri Jul 12 13:08:59 UTC 2013

Le Ven 12 juillet 2013 14:36, T.C. Hollingsworth a écrit :
> On 7/12/13, Nicolas Mailhot <nicolas.mailhot at laposte.net> wrote:
>> In practical terms every recent browser supports opentype natively. The
>> only exception are old IE versions but they will choke on an the HTML5
>> tricks webapps authors are fond of anyway.
>> http://caniuse.com/ttf
> Those old IE versions include all those that work on Windows XP.  I'm
> extremely hesitant to say "you can't support webfonts in IE on XP in
> Fedora"; that's still a huge userbase for webapp developers to ignore.

Apps that target IE < 9 do not use web fonts. There are so many things
that do not work in IE < 9 anyway web fonts are the least of your worries.
Even if pre-opentype ie web font support sort of looks like the same thing
with a different format, it has been out there for a decade with *nobody*
*using* *it*.

There are *no* serious web apps written for IE < 9 and special font
formats. Webapp authors started using web fonts when the support got
available in firefox and chrome, and at that time it was already
opentype-only (woff was added later; by the time woff-compatible browsers
got widespread opentype was already supported ie-side too)

Remember, even without @font-face the web app is not broken, the browser
will just use a local font instead

> Even if you want to leave out WOFF there's also the matter of SVG
> fonts, which cannot be replaced by TTF/OTF in some instances.

The svg font format is incomplete, you can not display text cleanly with
it (svg fonts are shapes without hinting instructions). It is so bad it
was not considered one minute when woff was defined, even though the
people defining woff all came from free software/browser communities with
strong pro-svg biases.

Any svg file with non-trivial text strings will use some other font
format. I doubt anything that uses "svg fonts" will use external shareable
wide-encoding files instead of embedding a dozen glyphs in a private svg

svg is a good vector image format. That does not mean it's a good font
format. Likewise, just because some exotic font format has been designed
for the web does not mean the design succeeded in producing anything worth
replacing opentype with.

>> Pushing a gazillon different formats as webfonts is pure cargo culting
>> nowadays (the exception being non-free fonts but we don't ship those
>> anyway)
> I don't want "a gazillion different formats", just those specifically
> permitted by the W3C.

Just because it is permitted does not mean it's a good idea. Fedora does
not implement every spec out there just because it's permitted, it
implements specs that make sense for its users. Explicitly allowing every
possible web font format without any actual proven need will just lead to
more cargo culting by webapp authors and webapp packagers since it's just
easier to dump every possible font format on the repository than analyse
whether it serves any actual purpose.


Nicolas Mailhot

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