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  • Re: Opentype features from variable axes?

    One can find a lot cases that will not work (as Adam has shown). But that is true with a lot different things, too. Like all programming languages.

    But there are a lot of very interesting use cases that don’t have those problem. Like having variable length iMatra. Or a script typeface with a final swash that is always as long as the whole word. Both scenarios would need some form of context based axis values. 
  • Re: Is it ok to call a "typeface design" the UI of a font software program?

    When answering licensing questions, I tend to use the terms font (the name and associated visual appearance) and font file (the thing you install, i.e., the software). From the point of view of a font developer, font and font file are redundant, and we tend to use the term typeface for the first thing and font for the second thing. But colloquially, I think font and font file is how users think of it, or at least makes more sense to them if they haven't thought about it. Caring about the distinction between typeface and font has become an internet joke. Most users know what a file is on a computer, so I think it works, and is easier than trying to correct or educate multitudes of users.
  • Re: What are 'true italics'?

    But nowadays, it is used to mean "that sloped stuff used for emphasis", and thus if sloped Hebrew or even sloped Gujarati is used for emphasis, one will push the "I" button to get it (making it a "nominal Italic font" at least)... and thus, at some point, we have to recognize that the current meaning of a word is not the same as its original meaning.
    All that indicates is that the conventions of word processing software and corresponding font family are Latin-centric. HTML is better in this respect, tagging the use rather than the nominal style, and leaving it up to the style sheet to determine how e.g. emphasis or citation are displayed.

    But here you are talking about the one of the roles of italic type — 'for emphasis' —, whereas I was responding to your comment that 'traditional Armenian typeface often appeared either entirely in italics', which was not, as I pointed out, italic in the sense of the roles played by 'italic'. The point is simply this: not everything that is slanted is italic, either in origin or in use.

    In the case of Cyrillic, it might be noted that the italics included with many typefaces, including Times Roman, are cursive in nature, and thus do derive from Aldus and Arrighi.

    Pretty much every writing system in the world has both formal and cursive modes and construction: it's one of the distinctions that emerges in any mature scribal culture. Now, in the case of Cyrillic typefaces there is, thanks to Peter the Great, a direct correspondence between several styles of in Latin and Cyrillic, but the forms of the Cyrillic курсивный are derived from handwriting in Cyrillic script. So 'cursive' Cyrillic types marry local written forms with an imported typographic style — which in the West, traces back to the Italian chancery cursive hand of the latter 15th Century —, such that it makes some sense for English speakers to call Cyrillic cursive types 'italic' in a kind of third cousin twice removed familial sense.
  • Re: Is it ok to call a "typeface design" the UI of a font software program?

    The term software can be confusing. Some people I've encountered have trouble understanding not only the concept but also the language embedding font software into application software. They don't seem to grasp the idea of software being added to software. They may not even know that an app is software. I'm sure there was a time when being a web or software developer required some knowledge of how computers work. But I've encountered people using kits that help them generate software applications with no technical knowledge required. They know that they've used the font in the app generation tool but they're not sure whether the font goes in to the app or if it's used to generate the app. E-book development tools don't explain to the author that font software is being embedded into a document. Is the book software? Replace font software with font or the font itself and I think it's going to be easier to grasp.
  • Re: Is it ok to call a "typeface design" the UI of a font software program?

    The objective is to differentiate "font software" from an "image of lettering", clearly and quickly with minimal jargon. 
    Perhaps I am of a simple mind, but is it not, in fact, quite obvious to your average Joe or Josefine that the one is the font and the other is the stuff you make with it?

    I would go so far as to say that the idea that fonts are software is foreign to most people to begin with, and inventing a remedy for this self made problem might be solved simply by calling things what they are in the users' mind.
  • Re: FontLab Studio and High Sierra

    Microsoft has a much better record than Apple in catering for users and developers of software in professional markets, including custom-developed software or software that costs several times more than the hardware it runs on. 

    I have both native and virtualized Windows environments and they allow me to easily run apps from the last three decades, including apps from defunct vendors.

    Type design and font development tools are a good example here: I occasionally use pieces of old but still useful software on old Windows, all working fine. On the Mac, I cannot say it's possible. 

    macOS is a fine OS to work on in terms of UI and graphics, but when it comes to stability for developers, it's terrible.

    Every few years Apple changes all of its toolchain, removes things that were previously working fine and forces thousands of developers to rewrite large portions of software from scratch. 

    This does have the "nice" side-effect that developers may charge users upgrade prices because the older versions of their apps stop working on newer macOS, so users come running. On the other hand, on Windows, apps may run forever so users may not be "pressured" into upgrading so easily. 

    The additional problem with Apple is that they tend to be very secretive, so as a  developer, getting detailed information about why something is not working isn't easy. Microsoft always has been more relaxed and cooperative with software vendors. 

    As for exit strategies — I might agree that using cross-platform apps which you can run on more than one OS is indeed a decent contingency plan. Using software that is heavily tied into just one software (and hardware) platform always poses a certain risk.  
  • Re: FontLab Studio and High Sierra

    Still strong with Yosemite and FL-5.  Working with VI is so frustrating and time wasting.
  • Re: Tool for language support testing

    The character set page in Underware site is also very useful. You can find some interesting data in every character, validate your font, and easily see all the different shapes of one character in their own fonts
  • Re: Tool for language support testing

    With my Unicode officer hat on: It's good to hear that font tools are finding the CLDR data useful.

    Btw, I agree with John: it's a useful first step, but not the whole story.
  • Re: Authoritative source for the ATypI Vox classification

    The 2010 Dublin addendum consisted of a resolution that the membership present was in favor of adding Uncial as a top-level classification. It did not reiterate the full spec.