30th anniversary of TrueType

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Apple / Microsoft joint announcement of TrueType.

Greg Hitchcock posted a little retrospective of it here (sprinkled with Greg's usual blend of obscure trivia and insider stories): https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/thirty-years-truetype-fonts-greg-hitchcock/

Comments

  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,656
    edited September 19
    .
  • "Jobs said he thought IBM, as the leading vendor of desktop computers, would be the final arbiter of type standards."

    Not exactly how it played out.
  • Thanks for sharing this here Rob!
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 461
    edited September 20
    "Jobs said he thought IBM, as the leading vendor of desktop computers, would be the final arbiter of type standards."

    Not exactly how it played out.
    Well, OS/2 definitely did choose to use TrueType for its fonts. I'll admit that given the commercial success of Microsoft Windows, we can probably speculate that its choice, rather than that of OS/2, was the more influential.

    But, in the immortal words of Criswell, "Can you prove it didn't happen"?

    Oh, wait, that's a Bell Labs operating system.
  • "Jobs said he thought IBM, as the leading vendor of desktop computers, would be the final arbiter of type standards."

    Not exactly how it played out.
    Well, OS/2 definitely did choose to use TrueType for its fonts.
    Greg’s article that started this thread says: “At the time of the announcement I was working on font technologies for Presentation Manager and we were enabling the plumbing for installing new font rasterizers like TrueType. In the end, though, Microsoft’s relationship with IBM fell apart, with IBM ultimately choosing to use Adobe’s ATM font technology for OS/2 Presentation Manager.”
  • Interestingly, FreeType was created to bring TrueType to OS/2. Here is a quote from an interview with David Turner:
    I started working on FreeType 1 during the winter of 1995. At that time I was a graduate student and was developing mostly on OS/2. It was really a nifty operating system but it didn’t support TrueType fonts at all. I had read on the Internet that it was possible to “plug” a new font renderer into the system with a properly written DLL. Despite the fact that I had absolutely no documentation on the topic, I thought it would be a cool and useful project, and I started cranking my first rasterizer in Pascal, no less.

    My first visit to Adobe in Mountain View was a little more than a month after the TrueType announcement was, on behalf of IBM, to help Adobe understand OS/2 font metrics for integrating ATM.

  • Oops. And having briefly used OS/2 a little, I should have remembered that. Ah, well, I was in a rush, not wanting to let the opportunity for an amazing joke to pass me by...
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,444
    Ah yes, ATM, what a great font manager that was.
Sign In or Register to comment.