FontLab Studio 5 is dead

2

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  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 461
    Because of the complications which can arise when introducing a new code base, every other company of which I am aware normally continues to maintain the old version for a period of time following the the release of a version built around a new code-base. But this has not been the case here.

    I'm not aware of maintenance policies as such, but as one obvious way to avoid the problem would have been to let FontLab 6 be a more incremental release, while having another team working on FontLab 7 so as to give them more time to implement all the features in the new codebase, I suppose their problem is a shortage of programmers.

    So that they can't afford to continue maintaining the old version is, I suppose, also a very real possibility. At least enough of their customers are happy; no doubt they would prefer to do the right thing, but if they aren't selling enough copies to pay for doing it the right way, nothing much can be done about it.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,646
    We will be making an announcement very soon on the current OS issues.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,657
    While we're talking about FLS5 issues with Mac updates:

    Since I updated my Mac OS, my macro menus in *Windows* FLS5 running under VMware are no longer sorted alphabetically: they're randomly jumbled. This seems to have occurred in the transition from Sierra to either High Sierra or Mojave. I suspect it has something to do with the way Mac OS is storing files internally and how FLS5 is accessing them (my user FontLab folder is shared by both Mac OS and the Windows virtual machine).
  • While we're talking about FLS5 issues with Mac updates:

    Since I updated my Mac OS, my macro menus in *Windows* FLS5 running under VMware are no longer sorted alphabetically: they're randomly jumbled. This seems to have occurred in the transition from Sierra to either High Sierra or Mojave. I suspect it has something to do with the way Mac OS is storing files internally and how FLS5 is accessing them (my user FontLab folder is shared by both Mac OS and the Windows virtual machine).
    It's Windows FL version problem. I have both physical Windows and Mac machines and scripts order are different across them.

    Windows 10 sorting:

  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,646
    edited April 4
    Over the last few hours, we at FontLab released updates to Mac versions of FontLab Studio (5.1.6), Fontographer (5.2.4) and TypeTool (3.1.3). These address compatibility with macOS 10.14.4, as well as some 10.13/10.14 issues for FontLab Studio and TypeTool.

    I would have said more in advance, but of course it wasn’t necessarily clear how this would all turn out until we did it. I didn’t want to promise anything we couldn’t be certain of delivering.

  • Thanks a lot Thomas and team for extending the life of FL5
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,657
    It's Windows FL version problem. I have both physical Windows and Mac machines and scripts order are different across them.
    Strange. I'd seen this on my Macbook (High Sierra & Mojave), but on my iMac the macro ordering was fine for years, until I recently updated the Mac-side OS from Sierra to Mojave, and then it all got jumbled.

  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    André G. Isaak said:
    As with almost all software, unless the correct number of goats are sacrificed you may get capricious results.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
    — Arthur C. Clarke
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,656
    Where do I download the updated version of Fontlab 5? Do I just install the demo and let it detect my license?
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,646
    edited April 5
    Go to the app page link here, then scroll down to enter your email address in the form: FontLab Studio 5.1.6 for macOS (10.6–10.14)
  • I have a general question for everyone. Based on experience, would you recommend purchasing a license for Fontlab VI immediately, even if you are still using version 5?
    I am on an old Mac Pro, with El Capitan v10.11.6, and since I restarted using Fontlab (I have v5.1.5), aside from minor glitches, it seems it’s still working fine.
  • If Fontlab 5 meets your needs, then there would be no reason to buy a fontlab VI license. On the other hand, if you plan on eventually transitioning to VI, there's no real reason to not get the license now. Have you used the free trial to see if VI has features you want/need which may be lacking in 5?
  • Hi André, thanks. Yes, despite the known bugs I seem to get Fontlab VI has many useful features, and since I just need to upgrade it would make sense to keep the license updated and keep both, even if I will not be using VI much in the beginning.

    Since I am more focused on drawing accuracy, spacing et al. and less on technical subtleties (aside from basic OT features) I was thinking there was not a specific need to upgrade immediately but on the other hand, if there are aids to edit the bezier curves it could be good to have VI as well.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,646
    edited April 27
    If Fontlab 5 meets your needs, then there would be no reason to buy a fontlab VI license.
    As long as you don’t upgrade to macOS 10.15 in the future. FontLab Studio 5 is a 32-bit app. Unless something surprising happens, it will not run on 10.15 (expected in fall 2019).
  • What about TypeTool? I have no control over the OS in the lab my students use... Should I be panicking for next semester?  :-/
  • //Should I be panicking for next semester?//

    Be afraid. Be very very afraid.

  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,646
    TypeTool is the same situation: it is a 32-bit app.

    Existing versions of TypeTool, FontLab Studio and Fontographer are expected to not run at all on macOS 10.15.

    Of course FontLab VI is 64-bit (although there is a 32-bit version available for those users on 32-bit builds of Windows). TransType is also 64-bit on Mac.
  • If Fontlab 5 meets your needs, then there would be no reason to buy a fontlab VI license.
    As long as you don’t upgrade to macOS 10.15 in the future. FontLab Studio 5 is a 32-bit app. Unless something surprising happens, it will not run on 10.15 (expected in fall 2019).
    Thanks Thomas. Not planning to upgrade the OS (El Capitan is the most recent my old Mac Pro can run) but Fontlab VI looks awesome (I am trying the Demo) so I’ll definitely upgrade now and keep both. :-)
  • TypeTool is the same situation: it is a 32-bit app.
    Hmmm, this will be a problem for many educational institutions... Especially with larger schools (like the one I'm at) that can't easily be stopped from upgrading the OS.

    What are the chances you can swing a 64-bit conversion in the few weeks you have left?  :-/
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,646
    Such institutions may need to look at upgrading their software to something that runs on the current OS.

    FontLab has always had solid education pricing, and the discount for FontLab VI is no exception in that regard. Worth taking a look.
  • «Apple has been known for the disregard for the developers, and for the investments made by their users, especially institutional users. As a company, if you've comissioned custom software for the Mac, maybe hired some external team that is now gone, or if you've licensed really expensive specialty software, in other words, if you're a professional — you're screwed with Apple.»

    That is “very nice”, good to know. Thanks Adam. :( 

  • OK… I just licensed the upgrade to Fontlab VI and was starting the learning curve.
    Quite happy, aside from minor bugs, when all of a sudden, while using the Sketchboard window, it started getting erratic, and crashed.

    I decided to reinstall it from scratch, and now it does not even open… I just opened a ticket. :--(
    Besides hoping I have not lost the work I was doing on a new font, I am pretty annoyed as with the limited time I have I was planning to take advantage of tomorrow to work on the font but… nada.
  • Adam TwardochAdam Twardoch Posts: 409
    Many thanks to your submission via our support system, Claudio! The problem is fixed, and will be resolved in the upcoming 6.1.5 version. 
  • Many thanks to your submission via our support system, Claudio! The problem is fixed, and will be resolved in the upcoming 6.1.5 version. 
    It just came as unpleasantly unexpected because the application would not open after being reinstalled – problem is being aware of things, as it wouldn’t have been a big issue for me to continue using FontLab 5 and wait a bit.
    Thanks for Yuri's swift reply, now I’ll wait to see what I can do…
  • Mac OS X was released in the same year as Windows XP (2001). 

    All apps that worked in Windows XP still work in Windows 10 today. That includes FontLab apps of course. 

    All fonts that were made in that year still work today. 

    But not a single app that worked on the initial Mac OS X will work today, and most apps developed just 5-7 years ago or earlier will not work in the upcoming macOS. 

    In fairness, a more appropriate comparison would involve Mac OS 10.5 rather than the original Mac OS since 10.0 ran on PowerPC architecture.

    Still, your point is well taken.

    Apple's philosophy seems to be that everyone will buy the iNewest iShiniest iThing as soon as it is released, and that no one could possibly have any use for software which hasn't been updated in the past 6 months.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    Or as I like to say: Apple has got you by the dongles.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 915
    Whenever I read this thread title, I hear it in Marilyn Manson's voice.
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