A FontLab 6 intervention



  • So, real soon.
    Thomas, no hard feeelings, but I'm sure I'm not the only one arround don't believe in your deadlines.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,380
    I was also a Letraset FontStudio user.  It was my first type design software.  As I recall, it was simple as pie to use, very intuitive.
    What strikes me as the most troublesome aspect of the new FLVI UI is that it fails at presenting tools to the user in a way that fits the various phases of type design.  When I am in a drawing mode, I expect to see the tools become aware and prominent for drawing.  Actually, FLVI does a more sensible job of this in the drawing glyphs arena than it does for anything else.  In the font organization arena it fails badly.  I see no sense of process here, only a shotgun spraying of things in senseless places.  I think Fontlab needs to sit down and visualize the whole type design process rather than just put "things" in an unclear framework.
  • Hey Chis,

    One of my big focuses right now is the user guide and making that framework more clear. Not that it can't be changed, for that matter.

    (Specific suggestions welcome as always.)
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,389
    edited September 2016
    Adam Twardoch's recent ATypI talk about FontLab VI has been posted. I've pretty much stopped using FL5 in favor of RoboFont and more recently Glyphs, but I find a lot of the new features he shows quite compelling.

  • Which items in Adams talk appeal to you, Mark?
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,802
    edited September 2016
    There’s a lot that sounds compelling to me, but I wonder if they’ll ever get it all finished. There seems to be three versions worth of stuff happening here: rewriting the app, catching up to Glyphs, and trying to add a bunch of new features. It seems likely that a stable version of Fontlab 6 is the flying car of design software.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,389
    edited September 2016
    Basically most of the stuff he talked about, which was all the new features. Some of these are already present in RoboFont and Glyphs, but it was nice to see that they are trying to introduce new and more helpful ways of working with paths even beyond that. Also, all the stuff where you can use references, either to other glyphs or to tags or named guidelines, which seems like it would give you a lot of leverage. Again, Glyphs has stuff like this, but they seem to be taking it even further.

    For now I am committed to using Glyphs, but there are a lot of interesting ideas here. I still find the new UI a bit of a mess (due partly to the fact that it's totally non-native, although I'm sure that will help those working on both Mac and Windows, I assume it will look and behave nearly identically). 
  • I find the new UI more than a bit of a  mess but worse, I don't know why they did it that way.
  • It seems likely that a stable version of Fontlab 6 is the flying car of design software.
    The regular, daily build I used a few weeks ago at TypeCon only crashed once on me in a three-hour workout.

    The build we used for ATypI this past week was unfortunately less stable. But FontLab using a solid dev framework and a new codebase is great for long-term stability; when there is a problem, it is usually quickly and easily fixed.
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