A New Year, a New Leaf

Seriously, I know I’m awful at consistently blogging.  A lot of that is because it requires me to be in “public filter” mode, which is very time-consuming and stressful.  But if you want to see consistent updates, then you should be following me on twitter.

But I’m going to take a stab at blogging again, anyway.  I thought I’d lead in with my goals for a new year – I hate the term “resolution”.

  1. Get in a happy place work-wise.  It’s been no real secret that I’ve not been happy professionally for a while; I’m working on addressing why that is.  I can’t (obviously) say a whole lot more about it right now – but if you see me next year, and I’m still bitching about the same things, smack me.  🙂 
  2. Dive more.  It’s been hard for me to get out diving consistently ever since my main dive buddy Don had to stop diving for health reasons – he and I made such a great buddy team that my bar for a good buddy is very high.  I’m rarely happier than when I’m diving, though; so I really need to make it happen.  Unfortunately I caught a cold and had to bail out on last weekend’s dive boat, but I’m kicking that into gear with a trip to my favorite site on January 24th.
  3. Take more pictures.  I love photography, and I especially love that feeling I get when I am happy with a picture I took.  Other people may think it’s crap, of course.  Maybe I should call this one “take more creative risks.”
  4. Be more open.  This is hard (see above), but it can be easy to forget that those outside Microsoft have to (and do) make up their own stories (about actions and motivations) if those inside don’t share.  I’m going to try to do better at this; for starters, I have a goal of writing a blog post here at least once every other week.  (I’m hoping to do a lot better than that, but we’ll see.)
  5. Lose weight.  You knew I’d have to throw in a standard NY Resolution sooner or later.  Seriously, though – my weight is tied to my stress level, so this in some ways is a symptom rather than a cause.

Overall, I’m not writing this (publicly) because I like the attention – I’m writing it to reflect on it myself, and more importantly, to have it to look back on next year.  A few weeks ago, I ran across a post I made back in May of 2006 (http://blogs.msdn.com/cwilso/archive/2006/05/11/595536.aspx), and it helped a few things click; I’d like to set myself up for another of those.  So this is really functioning as my diary.

Hey!  Stop reading my diary!


Fonts: embedding vs. linking

I wanted to chime in with a few important points in response to the comments on Bill Hill’s post over on the IEBlog.

There are a few people who are fundamentally missing the point: for example, user kL who comments: “Please, don’t push this crappy format. XORing of files is not a legal solution.” Actually, kL, EOT is a legal solution – the EOT format was specifically on the table when the “embedding” bit in OpenType was designed, and font foundries know what it does and how. And by-and-large, they’re happy with it, or they turn off the embedding bit, and then EOT will not work for that font.

kL goes on to say “We can already break law/leech bandwidth by (hot)linking copyrighted images, copyrighted MP3s, etc. Fonts are no different and DRM won’t help here a bit.” You’re quite right, kL, that this will not prevent lawbreaking. However, it DOES give a way to LEGALLY use commercial fonts (those that allow embedding, anyway); directly posting the .TTF or .OTF file on your web server will violate your license for commercial fonts (okay, perhaps there are some fonts out there somewhere that allow this in their EULA, but I’ve never found one.) Linking to raw .TTF/.OTF files WILL, in fact, encourage font piracy, as vastly more commercial fonts will be placed (unadorned) online, where they can be easily pilfered.

Perhaps I should ask Apple how happy they are if I post their fonts on a web server?

[A side note to the inimitable Joe Clark: I’m not actually the head of the browser team. Just some guy with a perverse passion for doing this. And it wasn’t just “clean this up and make this validate” – it was more like “Bill, you can’t ship this crap that Publisher spit out. Let me show you how you’re SUPPOSED to code…” followed by one late night, and then I had to drop it to focus on something else. I’m still hoping to finish the clean recode this week.]

By the way, I don’t particularly care that Acid3 uses direct linking to TTF files; that just goes to show that it is duplicitous to make a “standards test” that tests things that are only Working Drafts of low priority to the working group (as per the CSS WG’s table of priorities). Trying to circumvent the standards process by throwing whatever test you want into a so-called standards test won’t make us implement anything faster.

I’ve been clear on this to the CSS WG, so I suppose I should be here too – we (Microsoft) should NOT support direct TTF/OTF embedding, unless 1) there is some check that the font intended that use to be allowed, which I don’t think there currently is (as it needs to refer to the license agreement), AND 2) other browsers also implement a system that actually ENABLES commercial fonts – those that are allowed to be embedded, but cannot be legally placed directly on a server – to be used.As I also stated to the WG – I don’t personally even care that much if that system is EOT as it is today; I’d be okay with building a new system if the details of EOT were a sticking point. But I want to use commercial fonts on my web pages, I want that to work interoperably across browsers, and I want to not have to violate my license for the fonts I use (and get sued for it) in order to make that happen. A solution that only works for freeware fonts is not a solution.

Is that too much to ask?