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Andreas Stötzner said:
and always assure yourself that you don’t kern any tabular figures, how painful it may ever look
John Hudson said:
OTL groups, including kerning classes, can be
as big as you like, I think, and should not significantly affect
processing speed. I just made some fonts with huge context groups, and
they seem to behave fine.
However, there’s been a lot of talk about freeing up GPOS to process across the run boundaries used for GSUB, especially in the context of post-linebreak layout, in which a single direction could be presumed for an entire line of text. So at some future time there may be the option for cross-script and cross-direction kerning and other layout features.
Does this make any sense?
At least, that is how I handled it in the Brill types. Some more recent projects use a unified source, in which all the kerning gets rolled into a single set of lookup subtables. I don’t like it, because it is inefficient at the text processing stage, but it is more convenient at the font tool stage.
Why did I start thinking about it. I am currently working on a serif face (about 1500 glyphs including Small Caps) and some of the Small Caps characters borrow design elements from lowercase letters, in other words, the shape is close enough to be included in one class. I must say that serifs somewhat unify the shape of characters, and the amount of kerning is reduced. But for the same reason, the number of characters with a similar shape has increased.
As a result, the right-side class "A" was 69 glyphs, "vwy" — 70, and "bceop" — 198. Not sure if this is too large number for the class. Are there any restrictions and will it affect the rendering speed for the old computers?
On your computer. How many times do I read news items like "Computers with such-and-such peripheral no longer boot after latest Windows Update"... even Microsoft can't seem to test their updates against a sufficiently wide selection of the possible system configurations out there.