Origins of Python in Type Design

All major font editing software support python as a scripting language. RoboFont is actually written in python from ground up if i recall correctly. How come this has become the font design go-to language and not something else? Were there some other attempts?


  • And then there was RoboFog, a customised version of Fontograper 3.5 modified by Petr van Blokland, Just van Rossum and Erik van Blokland in 1995, that was the first font editor to include Python scripting. This introduced many type designers at that time to Python.
    I assume everyone followed the same path after that...?

    Just Van Rossum is a type designer. He was the one of the first to do really programmy things with fonts.

    His brother Guido invented Python.
    Somehow I think I was anticipating this answer.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 745
    An opinion formed from relatively short and shallow involvement: It feels like there's not more room in this small community for more than one scripting environment. There are tools out there written in other languages (C and JavaScript), but the bulk of public tools are all Python, without a good reason to use anything else (for scripting).

    I agree. I especially agree because few type designers are programmers, and most type designers are not super technical in this way. Thus learning even one scripting language is a lot for them. Most don’t really want to, and even if they do, it will take them longer to learn another scripting language than it would somebody who is a programmer.
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