[MPEG-OTSPEC] Proposal to discontinue the AdHoc Group

Levantovsky, Vladimir Vladimir.Levantovsky at monotype.com
Wed Oct 7 07:44:31 CEST 2020

Thank you Adam,

I will definitely recommend that the newly established GitHub repo https://github.com/MPEGGroup/OpenFontFormat be considered for inclusion as already established, additional AHG communication channel, but it would be reckless on my part to promise that everything can change overnight when a new AHG mandate is established. Most likely, both the AHG email list and the new GitHub Repo will co-exist, and it will be truly up to us to use them both to the best of our abilities while respecting the limitations of ISO process and navigating through many rules and procedures defined by the ISO Directives and by JTC1 supplement.

As AHG, we do have a voice, but it is the WG and the Subcommittee who make decisions related to AHGs, and they have to comply with both documents I just mentioned. Sometimes, patience is a virtue (or, paraphrasing Neil Armstrong, “one small step for AHG, …)


From: mpeg-otspec <mpeg-otspec-bounces at lists.aau.at> On Behalf Of Adam Twardoch (Lists)
On Wednesday, October 7, 2020 12:56 AM Adam Twardoch wrote:
To: Dave Crossland <dcrossland at google.com>
Cc: mpeg-otspec <mpeg-otspec at lists.aau.at>
Subject: Re: [MPEG-OTSPEC] Proposal to discontinue the AdHoc Group

In https://lists.aau.at/pipermail/mpeg-otspec/2016-February/000674.html<https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/43RXCKr2BLhq4BPWIMCGBX>

> [Opentype-layout] DRAFT 1.1 : Proposal to redefine OpenType Layout joining features

Vlad wrote:

> And, as far as the choice of email lists are concerned, I believe the mpeg-OTspec list offers a spectacular choice of features (that I outlined in the beginning of this email) but if you believe that there is another worthy alternative that is far superior to what we have and ought to be considered as a new industry-wide forum, I would be more than happy to consider moving the ISO ad-hoc group communications to a new medium. The reality of today is that none of the lists we are all subscribed to offer the same set of rich features that Yahoo Group does. Active participation of all interested parties is all it takes to make it as good of the industry forum as it can possibly be. And, when it comes to list / group status - this is OUR forum where every member can be heard, every voice counted and where people can join the discussions and speak up without list moderator's approval.

The key part being:

> if you believe that there is another worthy alternative that is far superior to what we have and ought to be considered as a new industry-wide forum, I would be more than happy to consider moving the ISO ad-hoc group communications to a new medium

To me this reads that in 2016, the AHG chair did not exclude the possibility to replace the Yahoo-hosted or Australian University hosted e-mail list by another *medium*.

To me this also reads that, for example, a Github issues system could be seen as such medium. Several AHG members now explained how, 4 years after that exchange, Github has developed into a platform where technical discussions happen.

The Github issues system can effectively replace e-mail threads, with formatting being better preserved than in e-mail (I really have difficulties sometimes to pick who said what in a long e-mail thread because the quoting styles are so inconsistent).

The Github repo itself can act as a versionable file repository, much more effectively than e-mail attachments. The underlying Git system takes care of the version tracking.

If the AHG mandate is up for renewal soon, I'd like to suggest that the AHG adopts the Github repo as the "reflector", with this e-mail list only being used as a supplementary medium for non-technical communication such as organizational announcements etc.


On Thu, 24 Sep 2020 at 05:13, Dave Crossland <dcrossland at google.com<mailto:dcrossland at google.com>> wrote:

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 1:23 PM John Hudson <john at tiro.ca<mailto:john at tiro.ca>> wrote:
[a] [authoring proposals for OFF] needs to be entirely separate and self-governing, with its own procedures and tools for communication, collaborative editing, versioning, etc.,

[b] and only after it has completed its work on specific issues should it submit, through national standards bodies, proposals to OFF.

To the first part, I am optimistic that soon enough, https://github.com/MPEGGroup/OpenFontFormat<https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/DaDRCL92DvfPQmV9Cqe3BQ> can work as a place better than https://github.com/commontype<https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/o5EPCM82gJs5zRD3uJSXhL> or https://github.com/opentype<https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/UuUpCNk2jYtNjEJ3sRB47N> or https://github.com/googlefonts/colr-gradients-spec<https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/IoIFCOY2kPUAv0lxIPkT6n> or github.com/font-text<https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/iIFlCW6lvQhjDPZqTBuYx4> or github.com/microsoft/typography-issues<https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/FQsFCXD0wrhnOqjKSxdm-1> or $many_other_examples, for this kind of authoring of proposals.

To the second part, I think submitting the proposals directly through national standards bodies is a terrible idea, and the AHG has been working really well as a buffy to take proposals from the dispersed expert community and "buffer" them from the ISO processes.

I think the process documentation that I've proposed at https://github.com/MPEGGroup/OpenFontFormat/pull/5/files?short_path=04c6e90#diff-04c6e90faac2675aa89e2176d2eec7d8<https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/UDSQCR60nPhr5RoWS0bZZt> and Vlad has collaboratively edited with contributioins from Caleb is demonstrating that this MPEG repo can work. I said the other day it would be nice to move whole-hog from this mailing list to that repo, but I accept that for now there is a 2 step process for the expert community, where proposals are authored "elsewhere" in the first step, and secondly submitted here to this email list. I think ideally the bulk of discussion can (rather, will continue to) happen 'elsewhere' and this 2nd step on this list will hopefully not involve much discussion, and rather the traffic on this list will subside and become focused on voicing approvals or objections to proposals.

I also am happy that by having that MPEGGroup repo, it is much easier to track what happens in all the other Github repos, if they continue, from a central place.

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