[MPEG-OTSPEC] Specification and "implementors' notes"

Simon Cozens simon at simon-cozens.org
Mon Jul 27 23:09:41 CEST 2020

Thanks to all who were at the shaping meeting today, and thanks 
particularly to Vlad who suggested we bring our discussions of shaping 
documentation to this list for the time being.

I know we will be discussing an organisational structure for 
shaping-related documentation, but I want to follow up on something Vlad 
suggested: that the ISO working group can also host implementors' notes 
on the current Open Font Format specification.

I have a collection of notes so far and would be happy to begin to 
formalize and contribute them, but in a way I feel like this is a bit 
premature. The reason is that the OFF spec (because of its undefined 
audience) *already* combines formal technical specification and less 
formal implementors' notes. We're now introducing a distinction that 
hasn't existed before this point.

In fact, one of the things I have had to do when making my own notes is 
to separate out what is "really" part of the specification from what is 
commentary and implementation detail. For example, in section 
(cmap format 8), the text from "A few notes here" to the end of the 
section is clearly not formal specification, but implementation commentary.

If we're going to put new commentary into a separate set of 
"implementors notes" documents as Vlad suggests, wouldn't it make sense 
to move all the *existing* commentary out of the specification and into 
an "implementors notes" first?


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