the OpenType features UI questionnaire /Q3

Based on the response to the first two questions, here is number three:

Is there any faith left in discretionary OpenType features? Do you put more effort into them, lately, or less?

thanks, —ps


  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,202
    I'm definitely more reluctant to include them than I used to be. When I first started making OpenType fonts, and they appeared to be going mainstream, I just assumed that the inconsistent support that existed then would improve. It has improved some, but not nearly as much as seemed to be promised.

    One thing that has given me hope is the growing support among web browsers. In some ways, the support there has been better than on the desktop.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,521
    I put the same amount of effort, because the typefaces deserve it.
    I’m driven by the capabilities of font software to enrich the expression of a typeface design, not by the market or the capabilites of layout displaying applications.
  • I have no faith. I put in no effort, ever. I think the decisions made from the start, surrounding the deployment of opentype, and I think the handling of Latin lowercase, broke opentype. I also think it can't be fixed for Latin except by independent non-interoperable application, font and Ui development.
  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,051
    David, could you be explicit about which decisions? How is Latin lowercase handling broken?
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,828
    At some level, every font I make I make for myself. So I'll make them the way I think they should be made. That said, I'm also typically making fonts for specific clients, often with specific needs and workflows, and these tend to be clients who are interested in typography and having access to smallcaps, superscripts, and other functional variants. I'm also very much aware that CSS access to discretionary features via the font-feature syntax has leap-frogged application support for such features, and there really are no longer any features that can be described as unsupported anywhere.
  • thanks for chipping in folks. I will digest the responses to the 3 questions and bring that to TYPO labs tomorrow to see if somehow the stars can get aligned on discretionary OT features.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,521
    I’ve put <hist> in many typefaces, substituting long s according to 18th century English usage (even for types alluding to other eras). I doubt anyone has ever used it, but who knows what the future will bring? People are still licencing fonts I made 20 years ago, and the format is still supported.
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