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A consensus is needed for a web standard to be formed.
The balls + POV method isn't what it used to be in terms of making web standards (MS doesn't have quite the sway it used to have).
James, are you saying that all it will take is some pioneering leadership from a group (design company + client + foundry) that brings visibility to a particular method? And that method will then become the precedent necessary to drive adoption?
If that's what you're saying, I could buy that. It's certainly happened before with other technologies. If not, then I have no idea what you mean. (Ha ha.)
Does this count as balls for Underware?
sIFR is fairly easy to implement when needed so I'd question the 'dozens if not hundreds' of hours of development figure.
sIFR isn't perfect, but it's pretty good, though you still run into issues with 'no embedding' EULA clauses.
But, yea...web designers have been 'making do' for about 10 years now when it comes to wanting to use fonts online.