HOI .ttf file messes up MacOS Ventura

Hi all,

Ran in to a bit of a problem here. I was experimenting with a Higher Order Interpolation font with a cubic curve (so in total 8 masters) in Glyphs app. When I exported the variable .ttf and selected it in the Finder folder, Finder crashed and relaunched. After that any application I will open will either be not responding on starting or after a few seconds of using the application.

Does anyone have ever experienced something similar? Or does anyone have any ideas how to fix this?

I already reinstalled MacOS Ventura without a backup and exported only that .ttf, but with the same results. 



  • Mark Simonson
    Mark Simonson Posts: 1,667
    I don't know if this has any bearing, but the Finder makes previews of fonts for font file icons. In order to do this, the font needs to be activated in some sense and rendered. I imagine unexpected font data could cause the Finder to crash when it tries to create the icon. Or, perhaps when you click on the file icon, it anticipates that you might Quicklook the font and crashes as a result for the same reason.
  • Simon Cozens
    I seem to recall someone saying recently (maybe it was @Laurence Penney) that Ventura had an experimental, and broken, implementation of avar2, but that it had been even more recently fixed. If you are having problems with HOI fonts then avar2 handling would be a reasonable suspect.
  • Wouter van Nes
    Thanks for your insights Mark and Simon! After installing MacOS Ventura the Finder problem still happens, but other apps keep working fine. So I've figured out that Finder only crashes when the file is selected in the Columns and Gallery view. I guess it has something to do with the preview like Mark mentioned?
  • Laurence Penney
    Indeed — it was particularly remarkable that macOS 13 Ventura handled the avar2 table, since it was launched the very evening (2023-10-27) after I’d presented avar2 for the first time :)

    Unfortunately, Behdad and I found bugs with it right away, so it unfortunately confused things regarding testing. I’m not sure in exactly things got fixed, but when I upgraded to macOS 13.2.1 I was pleased to find it working exactly as my polyfill does. So, if you have 13.2.1, you should see identical results between native and polyfill in this testing tool when playing with axes.


    To be clear, in this demo font, Weight, Width and Optical Size drive the parametric axes, in a font that takes up dramatically less data than an equivalent “blended” font would have occupied.

    I don’t know what Apple are doing with avar2. If anyone finds an avar2 font on an Apple system I’d be pleased to hear about it.

    My October avar2 presentation went live yesterday:


    All that said, I don’t think there are any other avar2 fonts out in the wild, nor tools for creating them.
  • Laurence Penney
    @Simon Cozens to address your point about HOI directly…

    Although HOI is a key proposed use case of avar2, I don’t know of a single HOI font has yet been made using the new table.