The OpenType UI you want to see

You've probably all seen Klim Type Foundry's proposal for an ideal OpenType user interface.
There's no way I can see to leave comments there, so I thought I'd start a thread here for discussion. What do you think?


  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,013
    edited October 2014
    The first questions I had were:

    1) "3. Separate basic typography controls and transformations from OpenType features. It’s confusing for the user if they’re mixed together." Why? It seems to me less confusing if the controls for switching a font to (for example) italics were near those for switching it to small caps.

    2) Could this be an opportunity to reconsider letting the font file itself specify names for the stylistic sets (via comments in the OT coding)? I recognize there are issues with language support, but "Stylistic Set 01," "02," etc. is practically useless. (I guess this is where the "dynamic model" in Kris's proposal might come in.)
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,538
    edited October 2014
    Here’s my solution (post of 24th October, 2007):
  • Though it has little to do with opentype features, my main criticism with indesign is its inconsistent support for alternate units. I have long wanted more control over measurement especially the ability to dispense with points in favor of microns. Perhaps someone has developed a tool to this end of which I am unaware.

    It's very nice to see this article because it feels like the right time to support alternative typesetting software. In addition, I would much like to see an amenable scripting environment, most conveniently in Python, to take the place of Indesign's current macro system.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,248
    Please feel free to make all of your OpenType UI wishes available to Adobe. They are more likely to listen if they keep hearing about it from many sources.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,538
    “Adobe” is not a monolith. It runs its applications as separate divisions. Fonts and typography and its type division do not figure prominently in its decision-making. Even if Adobe’s type gurus were to get behind this kind of thing (which I suspect they have already to some extent), head office would still not consider the disruption and investment required to make a better, universal OT interface a reality, worthwhile. I doubt whether “customer requests” from the type community would be sufficient in number for the powers that be to act upon.

    Consider that for many years Adobe applications had OT support and Quark didn’t, and yet in Adobe’s marketing campaign during that time, specifically targeting Quark users to switch to InDesign, this advantage was never mentioned! That’s how important typography is in the grand scheme of things.

    I wrote a magazine article in 2002 critiquing Adobe’s OT support, and had some correspondence with the director (if that is the right title, can’t remember) of Illustrator, and some small improvements were made. Then she moved on.

    I can’t help but be pessimistic about this, based on past experience.

    The coolest thing is how MyFonts type tester can show OT features, that has been a big facilitator, IMHO.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,248
    I guess for me, sitting back and throwing up my hands is not enough.
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