Chen Hui Jing has written an excellent post on the history of CSS fonts and the way that the W3C writes the specification and strange CSS properties like
As part of my perpetual obsession with typography, as well as CSS, I’ve been looking into how we got to having more web fonts than we can shake a stick at. What I love about how the W3C does things is that there are always links to previous versions of the specification, all the way back to the first drafts.
Although those are missing the full picture of the various discussions and meetings among all the individuals involved in crafting and implementing the specifications, it does offer some clues to how things got to where they are.
Source: CSS Tricks Tracing the History of CSS Fonts