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Ben Blom


Ben Blom
Last Active
  • Re: EULAs: No Modifications Clauses.

    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 fonts, is just a pipe dream.

    Hrant H. Papazian: Taking advantage of legalisms (and the human nature of avoiding them, like not reading a EULA) to make more money and/or fan your “Don’t touch my Art!” ego is immoral.

    If this would be true, then this would be true too:

    Taking advantage of other people’s work to make more money by offering one’s service to modify other people’s work and/or fan a “Do touch other people’s work!” mantra, is immoral.

    I think both these statements are untrue. Perhaps there is a lot not to like in these statements—but there is no immorality to be seen in them.

  • Re: Dutch IJ with dots

    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” and “i” visually look less connected, instead of more connected. This helps readers to see “ij” and “ie” more as “one thing”.

    So, whenever the design of a font would allow it, an unconnected “fi” ligature would be the best way to ligate the “f” while retaining the identity of “ij” as a letter.

  • Re: What are 'true italics'?

    — 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 being used for emphasis, but also for many other purposes. Trying to define a style of letters or fonts based on what they are used for, is interesting—but not very useful. Likewise, one can try to define computers based on what they are used for—but that’s useless, because they are “universal machines” with unlimited uses. Letters and fonts are also “universal machines”. So are italic letters and italic fonts.

    Let’s keep things simple, like this: italic = slanted = oblique (and it doesn’t matter whether italics have a shape more related to fluid writing than to mechanical composition, or not—like it doesn’t matter for uprights).

  • Re: Multiple master/Designspace design workflow

    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 a “designing from the extremes” approach, can be “mirrored” to a description of a “designing from the middle” approach. If you design “from the middle”, you will initially end up with three masters on the weight axis. If having less masters is very important, and if the design of the font lends itself to it (e.g. the distance between the extremes is relatively small), and if you don’t mind a possible loss of quality, then you can remove the intermediate master.

    However, I am not sure whether such a removal of the intermediate master, will lead to a significant reduction in file size—if the font family is implemented as a variable font. What is, in the context of a variable font, the added value of removing an intermediate master?

  • Re: Changes to Reactions

    What does "vote down" mean?

    I guess it means: “If enough people click this flag, the post will be buried”. In the past, the “bury-flag” (or one of the “bury-flags”?) was named “troll”. Calling a contributor a troll, seems to be considered to be too much of a punishment now—so this flag has been replaced by a flag with a name that sounds less punitive. This flag replacement lowers the threshold for people to click the “bury-flag”—so it can be expected that “big punishments”, the burying of a post, will happen more in the future. However, “small punishments”, calling someone a troll, will be a thing of the past.

    (Edited because of Thierry’s post below. If the admins can’t take away the burying behavior from a flag, they can still decide not to use a flag with such behavior.)