[MPEG-OTSPEC] near-term OT spec work

Levantovsky, Vladimir Vladimir.Levantovsky at monotype.com
Wed Oct 7 06:23:59 CEST 2020

From: mpeg-otspec <mpeg-otspec-bounces at lists.aau.at> On Behalf Of
On Tuesday, October 6, 2020 10:27 PM fantasai wrote”

CSSWG conducts its technical work in the public. Both our official and
unofficial drafts are public, and the discussions leading to many of the
proposals (though not all) and certainly the discussions following up on such
proposals are also public. You yourself have participated in the CSSWG, I'm
not sure why you consider that "spec progress is inconceivable without work
first being done internally".

Yes, I agree that CSS WG is unique in a way, and the public nature of the WG work is rooted in the very nature of W3C organization, which is much different from ISO and many other organizations I’ve been involved in in the past. However, even in W3C where most of the work is conducted in public, the core proposals for a new activity often come as a result of individual members contributions. This has certainly been the case throughout the history of WebFonts WG, where the original concept for WOFF format was developed as an amalgamation of two separate individual proposals (ZOT format from Mozilla and .webfont from Type Supply); WOFF2 was born out of initial discussions about Monotype MTX submission<https://www.w3.org/Submission/MTX/> further reworked and improved by Google<https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-font/2012JanMar/0002.html>, and the most recent work on Progressive Font Enrichment (now being conducted in WebFonts WG in public) was initially based on an internal work by Google that materialized as a proof of concept<https://fonts.gstatic.com/experimental/incxfer_demo>, before even the new WebFonts WG charter<https://www.w3.org/Fonts/WG/webfonts-2018.html> was approved. In all three cases, the initial internal developments gave start to public work, and provided a solid foundation for WG charter approvals.

I think the biggest problem here is that there is no public draft that you can
all work together on. All you have is Peter's work on the MSOT spec. If you
had a public working draft of OFF, it would allow others to review and draft
text and have a shared understanding of the current state of the AHG's
proposed updates to the OFF specification.

In the absence of such a shared draft, the best this community can do is work
off Peter's MSOT draft. I don't think this is an ideal solution, but until
there is a public working draft of OFF, it is the best one you have.

While I agree that we do not have a _shared_ public working draft of OFF available for ongoing development (the way the work is done in W3C), I do not agree that it precludes us from having a shared understanding of the current state of proposed updates. The current, most recent text of the OFF standard is publicly available free of charge<https://github.com/MPEGGroup/OpenFontFormat>, and anyone in the community (not just Peter) can do the work using current OFF text as a base – this is really not much different than Peter doing his work off MSOT draft. It may not be as nice and convenient as having the shared public draft available {and it’s definitely not much fun), but it is doable.

Also, ISO mode operandi is very different – the working drafts only exists for a limited period of time when the work item is in its conception stage. Once it becomes an official draft standard (and there are multiple stages the draft standard goes through) – there is _very_ rigid process for making changes, where every step is documented.


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