Naming font modifications

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  • Mark Simonson
    Mark Simonson Posts: 1,672
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    Why not use "New" instead of "Neue"?
  • JoyceKetterer
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    @Mark Simonson It does save a character,  probably no reason not to.  
  • Simon Cozens
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    This may be a bit pie-in-the-sky, but I wonder if all this discussion is a symptom of a broader problem about updating and revising fonts. And a related issue is that the difficulty of updating and revising fonts leads to a situation where fonts do take ages to develop and release because this can't be done iteratively and bug fixes can't be easily fielded.

    Let's imagine a situation where, when you install a font, the OS's font manger checks to see if the font is already installed. If it isn't already installed, no problem. If it is already installed, it compares the glyph outlines, coverage and metrics with the previously installed font, and makes the following determinations:
    • Is the new font a superset of the old? Does it merely add new glyphs, without changing existing ones?
    • Does it change the metrics of existing glyphs or global font metrics? If so, warn the user that this could cause document reflow.
    • Does it change the outlines of existing glyphs? If so, warn the user that the font will be visually incompatible.
    Having determined the nature of the update, you can now offer the user a choice:
    • Cancel the install
    • Overwrite the old font
    • Rename the old font
    • Rewrite the name of the new font to add a custom suffix. ("FooFont for SomeClient Project 2017-05")
    We are far from that situation at the moment but it's technically possible; wouldn't it fix most of these issues?
  • JoyceKetterer
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    @Simon Cozens  That would be great.  What would be even greater is if font managers maintained a central database into which designers could save out fonts with version tracking so that we could push updates through the manager.  But first font managers would have to work better.  Our first line of defense if someone has a technical problem is still to tell them to install manually and not use the manager.  
  • Thomas Phinney
    Thomas Phinney Posts: 2,787
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    @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.