FontLab Studio 5 is dead

13»

Comments


  • Henning von Vogelsang said:
    Eternal backwards-compatibility of software that was written five or 10 years ago remains a fantasy of those people who either buy computers thinking they are buying a car that’s supposed to work the same way for the next 20 years without any upgrades, or who have no real grasp of how progress works. The notion that something that was built for a different OS many years ago should be maintained to work with future systems for eternity is not only baseless, it’s also silly.
    Eternal backwards-compatibility is certainly not a reasonable goal. However, the comparison offered between Microsoft and Apple is a valid one. Microsoft definitely takes backwards compatibility more seriously than Apple. You might argue that MS is overly conservative in this regard, but by the same token I'd argue that Apple is insufficiently conservative. I'd suggest a middle ground between these two extremes.

  • … However, the comparison offered between Microsoft and Apple is a valid one. Microsoft definitely takes backwards compatibility more seriously than Apple. …
    I’m not sure how much of this assessment is caused by the aura of the old Microsoft. For the past 10 years, they have run a very different course, with hardware products that don’t run old OS software and certainly don’t support Internet Explorer. The current version of Office doesn’t run on Windows versions older than 2016. The current version of Skype only runs on Windows 7 and higher (2016). Practically all software released by Microsoft in the past four, five years does not support old hardware, old OSs or insufficient RAM. Not to mention the gaming section, which is often claimed to be huge in the Microsoft universe, which sets the hardware and OS bar higher than every other software.
  • Progress is OK and it’s inevitable, but often enough developers seem to mix up ‘getting things better’ with ‘making things more complex’. I run FL5 on my 2011 Mac Book and that is (almost) everything I need. When I listen to all those who switched onto something else painfully, I know for sure what I’m not going to do for a long time to come.
  • Claudio PiccininiClaudio Piccinini Posts: 323
    edited June 2019
    Progress is OK and it’s inevitable, but often enough developers seem to mix up ‘getting things better’ with ‘making things more complex’. I run FL5 on my 2011 Mac Book and that is (almost) everything I need. When I listen to all those who switched onto something else painfully, I know for sure what I’m not going to do for a long time to come.
    I just upgraded to Fontlab VI because it was a thing that sooner or later I would have done. And I like the new features, it just takes a while to get acquainted with the different interface (which nonetheless keeps a good number of structural affinities with the old one).
    This does not mean I drop Fontlab Studio 5, but VI would be better when the bugs are gone.

    At any rate, for the posterity and those which might experience a similar situation to mine, the bug was strictly related to the corruption of the Sketchboard file (which is a new feature allowing you to design and/or paste and copy letters in a neutral environment, to be placed in the glyph slots afterwards).
    The file is located here: ~/Library/Application Support/FontLab/FontLab VI/sketchboard.vfc so in case it gets corrupted, all it takes to have FontLab VI up and running again is to trash it and it will be created anew.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,621
    edited June 2019
    Companies like Apple don’t have an evil agenda to drain the pockets of consumers with new software updates and forcing them to update.
    Quite a rosy view of Capitalism. Especially concerning a publicly-held company, where the product/service is secondary to the money it could bring.
    André G. Isaak said:
    Microsoft definitely takes backwards compatibility more seriously than Apple.
    Indeed, many years after Win-XP became officially unsupported, I still get automatic updates on it every time I fire up my ancient Dell.

    Some years ago there was a role-reversal, with Apple becoming the old "M$".
  • Claudio PiccininiClaudio Piccinini Posts: 323
    edited June 2019
    (Posted here by mistake)
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,857
    edited June 2019
    It is not a “fantasy”—Microsoft does it. It is a tradeoff decision by the OS developer. 

    The OS developer can maintain compatibility longer, with all those attendant costs for themselves, and greater complexity for app developers.

    Or the OS developer can break that compatibility more often, while advancing the OS, and presumably keeping things simpler and cleaner for developers (and users, to some degree)... at the cost of more frequent changes and losing some legacy software more often.

    Neither choice is inherently unreasonable or irrational. Just different priorities.
  • Neither choice is inherently unreasonable or irrational. Just different priorities.
    But some choices/priorities are more/less ethical than others.
  • Neither choice is inherently unreasonable or irrational. Just different priorities.
    But some choices/priorities are more/less ethical than others.
    But it probably depends on how who’s in charge evaluates things, as related to the company’s goals as a whole. I guess Thomas is explaining that inherently is not necessarily negative to have less backwards compatibility, if the choices in development are made consciously and customers' support is handled with care.
  • Cory MaylettCory Maylett Posts: 155
    edited June 2019
    I've typically kept software updated to the latest version or two, so backward compatibility has rarely been much of an issue for me. More annoying are Apple's constant changes to their connection ports. Each time I buy a new Apple product, I'm required to buy new adapters, cables and dongles just to use my perfectly good monitors, scanners, ethernet, headphones, external hard drives, chargers, etc. 

    As for FLS 5 finally reaching the end of its long and fruitful life, well, there are perfectly good replacements with new and better capabilities. There's always an adjustment in getting used to new things, but in general, these changes are for the better. Upgrades cost money, but, hey, they're standard business expenses (and tax write-offs).
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 606
    edited June 2019
    Any website today, because any website today is using modern HTML4 and CSS3 standards.
    You mean HTML5 ;)
  • edited June 2019

     You mean HTML5 ;)
    While HTML5 is currently available, not every website is using it. I could be wrong about this, but from what I understand most websites don’t use Canvas for animations or Object for video. Either way, HTML4 introduced major changes to how browsers interpret code, so I’d count it as modern Web technology. But it’s true that all modern browsers, Chrome, Firefox, Safari and now Edge (because it’s based on Chromium) are supporting HTML5 and it’s also true that HTML5 introduced readable syntax (article, header, footer…) that helps with SEO and accessibility.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 537
    edited June 2019
    True, but there is also a cap on program/technology sophistication. I do not see how much MS Word or PhotoShop could be improved. They are already pretty developed. I see the future as moving into better understanding between different kinds of software, software and hardware, and different kinds of hardware. If the maximum in a field is already achieved, there is nowhere to go but fringe cases. Think youtube content.
    No matter how good screens and keyboards get, the human eye and average finger size remain the same. I can see a FontLab 7 fixing some of the issues of 6, but there are just so many ways you can draw a letter.
  • there are just so many ways you can draw a letter.
    Actually there are always new ways. For example:
    http://typedrawers.com/discussion/comment/41973#Comment_41973
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 600
    edited June 2019

    The notion that something that was built for a different OS many years ago should be maintained to work with future systems for eternity is not only baseless, it’s also silly.
    I quite agree that FontLab is not responsible to maintain its products so that they continue to work on newer, incompatible versions of Windows.
    However, as far as I'm concerned, it's entirely reasonable to demand of Microsoft - and of Intel and AMD, as the apparent root cause of 16-bit programs not working in 64-bit versions of Windows isn't Microsoft's fault - that every Windows program that worked under Windows 3.1, and even every DOS program that worked under DOS 1.1, should work perfectly without any changes on all current and future versions of Windows.
    That's backward compatibility - Windows should be backwards compatible with its earlier versions. Software developers can't reasonably be held responsible for forwards compatibility, rewriting their programs to work with later versions of the operating system.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,207
    You can usually use a VM or an emulator if you really need to run old software for some reason.

    Maintaining backwards compatibility is not cost-free. They don't drop it just to make us upgrade.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,621
    edited June 2019
    Mark Simonson said:
    They don't drop it just to make us upgrade.
    Of course you don't know that.
    And if I were a shareholder, I would damn hope they did.
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 600

    And if I were a shareholder, I would damn hope they did.
    If you were a shareholder in Microsoft, how would it benefit you if they made people upgrade programs bought to use on Windows from companies other than Microsoft?
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,621
    edited June 2019
    @John Savard I'm not sure what you mean. My point is that a publicly-held company is not allowed to class anything higher than money, so the only reason not to force people to constantly upgrade is if they would lose too many customers that way. And somebody cutting the cord with Apple is one of the rarest things out there.
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 600
    edited June 2019
    I'm not sure what you mean.
    What I meant was: not maintaining backwards compatibility in an operating system forces people to upgrade... their third-party software. Not the operating system. So if you are a shareholder in Apple, how does it benefit you that Adobe sells more new versions of its products?
    If anything, having to buy all new software is a reason not to upgrade your machine or its OS.
    However, while I can demand that Microsoft maintain backwards compatibility stretching back to Windows 3.1, and keep a straight face - even though it would require some technical changes to the implementation of 64-bit mode, they would simply be Intel and AMD avoiding the same mistake made with Protected Mode on the 80286, not having a way out without rebooting - in the case of the Macintosh, the fact that the 68000 architecture went defunct (yes, there's the closely related ColdFire, but it omits enough not to be compatible) and there were no good laptop chips in the PowerPC architecture is too far beyond Apple's control to hold them responsible.
    Of course, there is a lack of backwards compatibility even in the x86 era, and Apple could have included its emulation software on new computers, not just on upgrade software, so they do have a potential to do much better than they have.
    Apple may have a fanatically loyal customer base, but behaving nicer would not be bad for their stockholders - as I've discussed at length in another thread, their current behavior prevents that customer base from growing. With Windows 8, Microsoft faltered, but the Macintosh didn't see much in the way of gains out of that.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,621
    edited June 2019
    @John Savard
    It costs less to forego backwards-compatibility.
    You have to pay to develop (and sometime sell) Apple software.
    A new OS can effectively require a new machine...
  • Russell, once you get the hang of it I think you'll like the FL VI kerning and metrics interface. After working it in awhile I prefer the way it handles kern classes over FL5.

    Having used both Studio 5 and VI for a while now, I agree: the way kerning classes are handled is excellent. What is confusing is the way in which, when more than a glyph is selected, basically you switch back and forth the drawing and the spacing/typing/kerning environment. It might be a feature borrowed from elsewhere (Glyphs?) but honestly I don’t like it. It keeps being confusing because, while some functions for spacing/kerning are excellent, you find yourself losing time and figuring out where you have ended up being… Ugh.
    A thing I would definitely improve, in general, is the zooming feature. It was not ideal in Studio 5, but here it’s very confusing.
  • The zooming feature in the spacing/kerning environment, I mean.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 606
    edited June 2019
    I don't know about Mac, but on Windows you need to scroll with wheel + Alt (InDesign style), not wheel + Ctrl as in most programs. The latter scrolls to center of screen instead of mouse position. Why? Dunno.
Sign In or Register to comment.