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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject [FONTS] Inclusion in ODF (was RE: old colored vs new monochrome icons)
Date Tue, 13 Dec 2011 18:47:02 GMT
A short time before the most-recent ODF Plugfest, Jos van den Oever demonstrated that ODF already
has a means by which fonts can be embedded in the ODF document.  (I will dig up appropriate
links when I am more awake.)

So, in fact, a *technical* solution seems to exist.  (Most of the debates about font embedding
that I have been party to are around the legal and licensing niceties and avoiding becoming
a contributory infringer by not handling this well. This is not entirely unlike issues around
bundling of extensions that have license limitations [;<)

Staying on the technical side of the issue, the following is now known:

 1. Fonts can be embedded in ODF documents, using existing and long-present provisions of
the ODF specification.  [There was some confusion about using CSS and XLink provisions but,
as I recall, it is actually very simple and does not require any extension to the format or
schema.  I will have to double-check that.)

There is now need for the following:

 2. Some (more) proof-of-concept sample documents that demonstrate such embedding need to
be collected as test vehicles.  [Any solution applies to all ODF formats - text, spreadsheet,
presentation, ... - that have a font section and definable styles in the format.]

 3. It needs to be determined what happens with ODF consumers when such unexpected documents
are encountered.

 4. There needs to be some staging among ODF producers to support embedding in implementations
(LO, AOO, Microsoft Office), etc.  There also needs to be upgrading of conversion software
so that font embeddings can now be ported between formats that support them (and will make
very many people very happy).  Consumers need to be upgraded at the same time or even ahead
of producers.  There is also a concern for what happens when a down-level release encounters
one of these ODF files, of course.

is also needed because font injection is an exploit path and there have been past vulnerabilities
around fonts.)  

 6. The next ODF Plugfest is scheduled for April in Brussels.  Now is a great time for moving
proof-of-concept/prototype/finished/collaborative work forward for introduction and presentation
on the agenda of that event.  The OASIS ODF Interoperability and Conformance TC has some resources
(even an SVN for sample documents and test cases) and the Plugfest mailing list can be a valuable
neutral forum.  (The last TC call of 2011 is tomorrow, 12-13, and this will definitely be

 7. With regard to pro-active support and the interfaces necessary to control embedding, embedded-font
usage, and when and how embedded fonts can be extracted and/or repurposed in other documents,
there may need to be some technical support, and that will be a longer discussion that may
require extended staging to be fully functional.  (It is in the nature of the ODF format that
direct extraction of fonts embedded in the current structure is trivial for any teen-age hacker,
with no cooperation of an ODF consumer required.)  Down the road, there may need to be more-specific
consideration of font embedding in the ODF Specification beyond the current, simple hook.

 8. I suspect that there are cases that can be handled without too much difficulty and useful
embedding can happen soon, with enrichment of the feature and functionality over time.

 - Dennis E. Hamilton
   tools for document interoperability,  <>  gsm: +1-206-779-9430  @orcmid

-----Original Message-----
From: Gianluca Turconi [] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 09:13
Subject: Re: old colored vs new monochrome icons

[ ... ]

P.S. to whom is interested, the most wanted future by the usenet
Italian community (IMO) is font inclusion in OO Writer documents. It
caused flame wars, endless legal discussions starting
from Agfa vs. Adobe trial and a huge addition to my kill file. :-P 
Lettura gratuita o acquisto di libri e racconti di fantascienza, 
fantasy, horror, noir, narrativa fantastica e tradizionale:

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