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D. Epar ted


D. Epar ted
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Admin James Puckett
  • Re: A List Apart considers user interfaces for variable fonts

    Peter:;“E.g., one could imagine a font that doesn't have an optical size axis, but does have contrast, x-height,....”

    It’s been demonstrated. Those is are not registered axes though, so forget mixing, much less saving a user’s opsz. And without the selection mantra officially registered either, good luck with Ui intelligence. Most users also understand primary and secondary colors, and colors are easier to sample and compare than type, because they are not defined relatively by the artist or color company, like the current OT spec mostly ignores actual typographic parameters. In addition, color does not get bent out of shape by OS and apps making up their own laws to govern its appearance, or by their adoption of rendering that makes some colors easy, and other colors nearly impossible to use.

    You are probably right though, all this has to be done, done Right, and not just for Latin colors. Good luck!
  • Re: [OTVar] Axes Proposals:


    Well, I thought about it, when I gave yopq negative values. Because it is y stem weight that makes counters flip vertically, I didn’t give ytra a negative range. Could be wrong, easy to fix.
  • Re: [OTVar] Axes Proposals:


    I’m going to leave the issues related to axes flags for later, after we finish making, demoing and documenting. 


    “…what negative values are supposed to mean.” a darn good question that starts us on a path to an extreme answer.;)

    In a final composition, transparent space can come and go. Users have the final say as to whether a counter, or inter-glyph space exists or not, as well as how big it is. With variable fonts, for the first time, the internal white space of the letters, the counters... alone... are variable.

    Unlike a final print or web composition, where the counter or inter glyph space that's gone, is black, or zero, so to speak, in composing variable fonts, and with overlapping contours, the underlying counter may still exist, as indicated by it's negative number, meaning that counter has flipped. 

    On operability, while xtra is intended as a hidden axis, programs, or curious users could explore it for all sorts of operability, but first, the selection of the value is an operability leverage point. Being from the same sample in all instances of the axis seems like a reasonable minimum assumption, as this is what ytuc, and ytlc are based on, and no one in their typographic mind changes what in particular they measure, once they start measuring something in particular. 

    So regardless of what value is chosen as long as it's consistently measured, the xtra axis represents a range of transparent counter values on an axis where nothing else is changing. Also, like any other variation axis, every instance in the entire design space now has an xtra value, and its xtra can be micro-adjusted without damaging the typography. What that gives the variable font is a new thing, from this axis. E.G. change to the tracking/letter spacing, at any instance being used from the variable font, can now share that additional space between the xtra axis and the space being added. 

    That's a minor interoperability that lots of applications could hook into today, and it's based on not knowing what the value system means beyond relative per mille per axes. Super-interopability is possible when the same value is chosen across variable families, or anytime the same value, like the counter of the H of a non-variable font, can be added to an interested program.

    I'll also add, that in the design phase, it was long practiced that the counters of every glyph were recorded on the drawings, and used to drive the suggested range of side bearings in the final type. We can do better with letter by letter xtra adjustments, but I think perhaps that's a generation of apps in the future. For now, this axis value is a summary, but like all the others, every glyph that has a counter, potentially has its own xtra, and every glyph that doesn't have any counter, doesn't have any xtra, which i think a lot of people have figured out, is important in and of itself.

    Hope that helps, thanks for the great questions. 

  • Re: Specific diacritic designs depending on language

    I've been thinking about it and without doing any formal research decided to add some additional parametric axes a few months ago as we start to think, and design, beyond the axes and the glyphs we've done. None of our initial variation contracts included accented characters, so this really came out of work that we did on our own fonts.

    We think that besides width, weight and size axis, and beyond into the parametric axes, (and working with composite technology already in the standard), there is separate need for interoperable accent control. So, we envisage independent "above" and "below" cluster parametrics for x and y, opaque and transparent. 8.

    This creates a separately addressable design space for accents, linked if it's so desired to other axes, but within that addition space, the font developer can create "culture-specific" instances. Here, the term culture ranges from a publication to an entire language.

    From there it's on to another proposal for axes flags, identifying them for UI and program interfaces.

  • Re: Council for German Orthography officially allows use of u+1E9E

    Thank goodness for "SS". Großcedillahängtagalgen seems much more honest than a city name, to me.;)