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  • Re: Public domain pros and cons

    Personal opinion, not legal advice:

    John, you are raising a point that I was only referencing by implication, so I want to thank you for that. My view is that in the eu and many other places, unlike the us, and as Khaled had said, you can't put something in the public domain, it can only have the monopoly rights adhered to it expire. So if your intent is to gift something to humanity, to make it available to everyone, which seems to me the actual urge behind an attempt to put something in the public domain, then the ofl and licenses like it keep that intent intact, while licenses like cc0 and mit/bsd/Apache do not and allow that intent to be subverted by downstream 3rd parties. Maybe you don't mind your work that you intended for everyone with a computer not being available to everyone with a computer, but it seems kind of short sighted to me. 

    Ray, you say you want fewer support emails. Only the ofl is going to deliver that, because everything else is less common and going to generate more questions. Adam and John both know from the Noto mailing list how many questions Noto gets, under ofl, so there's no way away from it, but using the same license as the majority of other libre fonts (with an extensive and well maintained FAQ) is the best Ray can do. (Well maybe the way to get away from it completely is to ask someone else to maintain the fonts. I'm happy to do that...  If they are ofl :)

    In the USA typeface designers are categorically all public domain except those subject to design patents which are very few and those last for 15 years. In the eu there are design rights that adhere for a few years unless registered and then join the public domain; if registered they join after 5 years unless re-registered, which can be done up to a maximum term of 25 years. In most places it's ambiguous. In Israel typeface designs are subject to regular authoring copyrights, so I'm not sure how anyone draws anything there without risking a lawsuit. Well, they just shoulder the risk, I guess. 

    Anyway, I don't think the meaning of the public domain is that all monopoly rights expired, that's just the situation. The meaning of all monopoly rights expiring is that the public's freedom to use, study, modify and redistribute the work is unfettered; and no monopoly rights can be re-adhered (as far as I know.) So the ofl recreates that situation before the monopoly rights expire. 
  • Re: Naming font modifications

    @Simon Cozens I think the problem with your proposal is that everyone would be independently renaming their old and/or new version of the same fonts, so the multiplicity of names would be large. With this independent renaming, you will certainly end up with cases of both (1) same font but different names and (2) different fonts but same name.

    So, I don’t like that part of your proposal. I do like the idea of a font installer that is smart enough to advise which is likely the better/newer version of a font, including version string info among its algorithms and info, but not relying solely on that.
  • Re: Is the term ‘foundry’ a proper name for digital companies?

    Etymology is not semantics - infantry does not mean "child soldiers".
  • Re: Marking Copies of Fonts

    In steganography, information is hidden for example in images or audio files. The least significant bit of an image pixel or an audio sample can be used to encode a piece of additional data.

    Applied to fonts, you could put in a @yanone logo with a rough outline, and the point positions would differ slightly in each sold font. Only you would know the original outline and be able to extract the information encoded in the point coordinate differences.
  • Re: Marking Copies of Fonts

    We tag our web fonts. The order number is included in a namerecord similar to how Font Squirrel does it.

    We've found it useful for checking to see if a website is using a properly licensed font, or for diagnosing font problems (i.e. customer made some dumb modification and now the kerning is gone). 

    We don't tag our desktop fonts, but I wish we did. I can think of several times where being able to verify the legitimacy of a license, or even knowing an approximate date when the font was issued, would have been very helpful. 

    Slightly off topic: I LOVE that FontForge and Font Squirrel include breadcrumbs in the fonts they produce. Being able to crack a font and see that it's been modified is super helpful for tech support. 
  • Re: Naming font modifications

    I've overseen the kind of upgrade Joyce describes and used "Family two" and "Family 2" depending on what felt right for the face. Pondering it now... since numbers are sometimes used for grades perhaps "Family v2" would be best generally. For me, Jubilation seems more like a "Two" than a "2" :)

    (I also published a lot of families as "Something One" which are single style families intended to be expanded later, but are not the Regular Roman style of what that family will be, so likely the rerelease full family will then be simply "Something" rather than "Something Two")
  • Re: [OTVar] Changing tracking/HVAR

    I don't think it's an issue of users having to futz with spacing, but rather a question of what happens when users do futz with spacing. Layout software has tracking; CSS has letter-spacing. People use these things, and at the moment tracking gets applied independently of the shapes and default spacing to which it is applied. So the question around variable fonts — and it is a question, not an answer —, is whether variations could or should be used to integrate those higher level tracking functions in software and CSS with the glyph shapes and spacing in the font, and what's involved in doing that?

    So far, we've got ideas around making tracking proportional so that it reflects glyph shape rather than being a fixed amount added to every advance width, and ideas about adjusting glyphs shapes to spacing (Frank's cadencer model).
  • Re: [OTVar] Changing tracking/HVAR

    Laurence: "IUP" in the variations engine means you only need to move a single point on each contour."

    Yes, there are three instructions

    svtca, sets the movement to x or y,
    your glyph variation delta(s) here,
    iup, cleans up the untouched points in x or y.

    Full Throbbing Variations are perhaps thought of as glyph interpolation inside of axis interpolation beside inter axis extrapolation. Indirect interpolation of untouched points, the first part above, is I think, quite important to moving the actual style instantiation down to the client, instead of storing every point's delta in the font. 

    The most interesting issue, to me though, about variations for tracking and spacing, is that it is not anywhere in the scope of what our clients want, i.e. something else to futz around with, about that just one thing, external white space. In a world with justification, existing application-level tracking, and now an opsz axis, users having to futz spacing is the last thing I plan on serving.

    Font developers who just want to make widths and weight axes, regardless of what size the resulting styles may be useful for, i.e. the status quo for a lot of font families, and then "fix it" for the user with a spacing or tracking axis, are, i think, missing a pointer or two.;)

  • Re: Marking Copies of Fonts

    I had an idea some years ago for discouraging piracy. Basically, claim that the purchaser's credit card number (or some other sensitive data they've given you as part of the purchase) is hidden in the font files, but don't actually do it. On reflection, I decided that it would probably be a good way to get people to stop buying my fonts.
  • Re: OT Sub Prioritisation (Need Help)

    and you need to define the longest substitutions first.
    Actually, this is not strictly true for features in Adobe syntax which are being compiled by AFDKO. From :

    “A contiguous set of ligature rules does not need to be ordered in any particular way by the font editor; the implementation software must do the appropriate sorting.”

    The compiler is supposed to be responsible for ordering the longest substitutions first.