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Ben Blom

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Ben Blom
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  • Most inventors stand on the shoulders of earlier inventors. Most songwriters stand on the shoulders of earlier songwriters. Etc. Is that a reason to limit one’s rights to one’s invention, song, or...? A natural right to modify other people’s fon…
  • Hrant H. Papazian: Society is not a business decision. Pressuring people to change behavior you find immoral is not remotely intolerance. I don’t see a relationship here with society at large. Selling a EULA, is selling a package of rights.…
  • Hrant H. Papazian: It’s high time to start concertedly shaming EULAs with a no-mod clause. Is this a call for intolerance—by someone who advocates diversity and tolerance? The contents of EULAs are, in the end, a business decision. It doesn’…
  • it would be worthwhile for the Dutch language community to make the effort to get used to it It is silly for someone from outside the Dutch language community, to tell the Dutch how to improve their spelling.
  • Ben: I’m not sure why you say that this ignores the spacing. The spacing data is there in the sidebearing contours Simon, I’m sorry. I didn’t read careful enough. If it’s 99% accurate over 160,000 kern pairs that’s still 1,600 mistakes.…
  • Traditional Dutch cursive handwriting as taught at school, would look like this: This is a comparison between the traditional connected handwriting, and the alternative unconnected handwriting (which is taught at some schools):
  • Interesting approach. But if they didn’t put a zero in the kern table, there’s no kern - which is effectively a kern value of zero - except that this time, we don’t know whether the designer looked at the pair with no kern and decided no ac…
  • Artur, your examples may be more artsy—but, I’m afraid, a little too silly. To your second example, my response would be: Why this desire to connect things? The advantage of an unconnected “fi” ligature in the current context, is that it makes “f” a…
  • John, one of the possible alternatives for a ligature of “f” with a subsequent “ij”, is missing from your examples. It is, in fact, just a “fi” ligature of the unconnected type. The first sample word below is without ligature; the second sample w…
  • To me, the whole exercise of adding acutes to an uppercase “IJ”, is of very limited use. The chance that anybody would add acutes to an uppercase “IJ”, is very very small. Reasons for this: (1) “IJ” only exists in Dutch. (2) The only reason for a…
  • Paul van der Laan: In contrast to some of the anecdotal evidence or obscure sources that are cited in this thread, there is only one official source for spelling of the Dutch language which is de Nederlandse Taalunie (Dutch Language Union). Their…
  • Except for “ij” and “ie”, there are no two-letter vowels in Dutch that start with “i”. I searched for Dutch words that contain “fij”, in which “ij” is not a vowel. I did not find such a word—so I believe in the Dutch letter combination “fij”…
  • To me, “fiets” with ligature, looks weird directly after “fijne” without ligature. It looks inconsistent. I would prefer this: Perhaps it looks weird because both “ij” and “ie” represent a single vowel—and with the ligature in “fiets”, half of th…
  • In the course of history, the “ij” has been dropped from Dutch keyboards, and the “y” in the spelling of most Dutch words has been replaced by “ij”. Now one cannot use one’s little finger anymore to type an “ij”. In some Dutch names, the old “y” c…
  • Hrant, what is more efficient: ignoring what one’s fingers want to do “automatically”, or just let the fingers move as they are used to? (According to your logic, it would be a good idea to add direct input for other common combinations, like “o…
  • I’ve seen “fi” ligatures in Dutch words like “fijn” in serious publications. Perhaps many Dutch people do not notice such ligatures, but to me they look weird—like the “f” ligating with the left part of the “ÿ” or “ü” in the imaginary words “fÿn”…
  • Laurenz van Gaalen: it crossed my mind the y is used a lot in old Dutch texts The spelling of Dutch has changed over the years. In the past the “y” has been used, where today the “ij” is being used. In Afrikaans, the “y” is still being used …
  • Hrant H. Papazian: But "oe" is not a single letter, while "ij" is, no? Laurenz van Gaalen: In the Dutch alphabet the ij replaces the y (yes, we don't have the y). It is not so clear-cut. Some consider “ij” to be a single letter, and others cons…
  • I grew up a few kilometers from where that picture was taken, so I may respond. There shouldn’t be dots on a Dutch uppercase “IJ”. So the dots in the image are a mistake. All occurrences of dots on a Dutch uppercase “IJ” in the Flickr IJ gro…
  • In the serif tradition—defining both uprights and italics to be part of the same font family, while having little or no family resemblance, is a weird “act of history”. Still, I consider this tradition to be a very respectable one. However, this doe…
  • On the subject of 'true italics', I don't think italics need cursive letter construction, but I do think they can benefit from employing single-storey a and g, which can of course have non-cursive construction even in upright type, as Futura demonst…
  • — italic is to me primarily a functional descriptor: when letters serve as a subordinate companion to other, typically upright, letters, used typically for light emphasis; however, some people may have a different notion of italic Italics are bei…
  • So I’d expect ß to be taller than ẞ in every typeface whose h is taller than its H. Of course. Rephrased version: Compared to other lowercase-uppercase pairs of the same letter with similar shapes—a lowercase “ß” which is taller than…
  • Example of the kind of relationship between lowercase and uppercase I was thinking about in my first question above (Helvetica, Century Gothic, Candara): Compared to other lowercase-uppercase pairs of the same letter—a lowercase “ß” which …
  • Two questions about the “ß”. (1) Should there be (within one font family) a relationship between the lowercase design and the uppercase design of the “ß”? Do the different designs of the lowercase “ß” which exist, require some difference in…
  • When considering saving time, one might wonder: What is more work, designing two masters for an axis, or designing three? It may be obvious that the answer is “two”—but is it, really? Is it less work (1) to design two very different extreme maste…
  • If you need two or three masters on the weight axis depends on the design of the font. So you can try to use only two, interpolate the instances and see if you like the result. If not, you add the Regular in the middle. This description of …
  • Interpolation is not the same as extrapolation. In general, the result of interpolation is good/final—and the result of extrapolation demands work to get something usable. There is no technical reason to have a “XXXNar Thin” (...). It can b…
  • The choice of the design approach of a font family—“designing from the extremes” or “designing from the middle”—is not determined by the Variable Font technology. Both these design approaches can be implemented with existing tools unrelated to Varia…
  • Of course, all masters/fonts of a font family, should be designed/drawn carefully—whatever design approach is chosen. Designing a font by designing two other fonts, is counter-intuitive—and for a good reason. Designing the “middle” font as a “p…