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Re: Embedding Goodies in the ODF Package (was RE: [tdf-discuss] Re: ANN: ODF 1.2 Candidate OASIS Standard ... )



On 27 Jun 2011, at 04:47, Marc Paré wrote:

The problem with this is that now someone has to fish the fonts out of there and install them 
where they are actually recognized for presenting the document.  If LibreOffice is updated to 
automate the capture of fonts and their extraction again, aren't we back to the 
previously-unsolved problem?

I don't know. Is this what has happened to the .pdf files? Why could not ODF use some form of 
embedded fonts as Adobe Acrobat does now? There doesn't seem to be a problem with this.

As I understand it, PDF files don't usually embed the whole font; they just embed the parts needed 
to make the document in question render correctly in the case where the document is being 
represented as text (since PDF is actually able to encapsulate many different ways to represent a 
document). When it's used, the font is included in the rendering computation of the reader program, 
and is never installed on any target system. Not that it could be since the font will be incomplete 
anyway.

For ODF, since the format is intended to be editable, the font that was embedded would need to be 
complete and capable of being installed on any platform where that editing might take place so that 
any text can be edited. To my eyes that poses substantial problems, such as:
* Installing fonts dynamically on any platform, seamlessly on document-load
* Removing those fonts dynamically, including knowing when to do so
* Managing the licensing for fonts so that ODF does not promote copyright infringement

While it might be possible to devise kludgey solutions, each of those issues is a substantial 
bear-trap and the first two in particular would favour implementations that have no interest in 
being platform-independent.

While it would indeed be lovely if a miracle happened, it seems to me entirely reasonable that a 
truly open, cross-platform standard would choose not to attempt to devise solutions for these 
challenges.

S.



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