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Re: [tdf-discuss] Re: Font Embedding in ODF (was RE: ANN: ODF 1.2 Candidate OASIS Standard Enters 60-Day Public Review)


Le Sun, 26 Jun 2011 09:41:07 -0700 (PDT),
plino <pedlino@gmail.com> a écrit :


Charles-H. Schulz wrote:

Now, as for humility, claiming in an assured and definitive way
that ODF will lose if it
does not embed fonts is not exactly humble either.

I didn't say that. I said that IF OASIS insists on refusing to embed
fonts in ODF (which is what you also peremptorily affirmed, even
though Dennis Hammilton in the ODF TC says it's not so) it is not the
right file format for LibreOffice.


Why? Note: I'm not saying it's a bad idea to embed fonts, I'm saying
(me, who's also part of that ODF TC) it's very unlikely. I think there
will be problems of many kinds, some of them being of legal nature
(esp. related to the use and distribution of fonts). But let me ask it
again: why should it not be the right file format for LibreOffice?
Fonts embedding cannot be the only one feature that will help us break
the dominant vendor's monopoly, can it?


ODF doesn't loose any value as an open universal file format if it
decides not to embed fonts. It just isn't right for an office suite.

In any case, it's my opinion. It doesn't lack humility.


Okay... So let's get very practical here. You mentioned the case of
Impress presentations, and I think it's fair to say that what you have
described is something many of us has faced in the past, with .odp
files or .ppt files. Now here are two cases that would advocate for not
embedding fonts. What I'm trying to show here is that font embedding is
not the magical feature that's going to solve all of our problems, not
that embedding fonts is a bad idea in every case. 

Case A: User Joe wants to use some super-duper fonts (called, font A)
for his presentation and embeds fonts within his sales pitch
presentation in .odp . Fonts A has been designed by designer Bob, who
specifically licensed them for non commercial usage. User Joe is
sending his presentation to customer Ike, his boss, Peter, and his
colleague, Ed. His presentation embeds fonts that are not eligible for
commercial use (per Designer Bob's terms). By using these fonts in his
presentation, User Joe has infringed the license 3 times. But it gets
worse. Customer Ike sends the presentation to his boss, Mary. 4 times.
Mary sends it to her head of accounting for validation. 5 times... And
so on. Do you get the point?

Case B: ODF is designed to be stable and -possibly- readable on a
variety of devices, even primary ones. Basically, you should be able to
extract and read information in a simpler mode from ODF documents. Let
me give you a practical example. I have a Mac, and Macs are actually
ODF capable. True, iWork (Apple office suite) does not provide ODF
support but Mac OS X does. If you open the nifty little text editor
inside Mac OS X called TextEdit, you can actually open and read ODF
documents (text, mostly). It does the job well, but it's a text editor.
So let's say  a friend of mine is organizing a Medieval style costumed
party. He sends invitations to me, and guess what, he also uses
LibreOffice or Calligra,  so all he has to do is picking one of
the gothic/medieval fonts on his system and write his invitation letter,
then sends it to me and others. In your view, let's say ODF can embed
fonts here, and so these fonts are embedded automatically.

But let's say I don't have LibreOffice on my mac. Let's say for a
moment I don't know LibreOffice. All I get in my Mail client is the
file, and when I open it on my Mac Text Edit pops up. What would
happen? Well, let's say ODF could embed fonts. Text Edit still would
not be able to display them. Why? It only uses a set of specific fonts;
it's a text editor, a "Word Pad" if you will, not an office suite. So
even if you embed it, you still lose their layout anyway. 

My point is to show that embedding fonts is not going to be the end of
all problems. It will be a feature, and it might get problematic. I
think that for the sake of interoperability and usage, not embedding
fonts for an office file format is easier and avoids specific issues.
If you want absolute layout fidelity use PDF. That's the reason it's
been designed, not ODF.



Again, that is not what I said. I was suggesting that if LO or OASIS
want to consider embedding fonts there is an Open Source model you
can use instead of starting from zero.


Do you have any idea what it takes to spread the use of a format?

Best,
Charles.




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