No Subject

On Thu, Jan 13, 2000 at 11:55:24PM -0500, Owen Taylor wrote:
 Then we need font editor. Commercial font editors (just two decent
font editor are on the market) are >$300. I read a few articles
about METAFONT script -> TT/T1 transformation. Unfortunatly your need
fonteditor to define hints at the last stage. There are also some
tools available, that let you design METAFONT scripts using xfig. I
guess it is theoretically possible to turn some free vector drawing
program into a font editor (?with METAFONT based automation?). 

Strangely enough, I\'ve been thinking about writing one over the 
last few days. I was going to do it in python, which already has 
wrappers for t1lib and freetype, and steal a lot of code from 
sketch. The problem is that it\'s a pretty large project. A font
editor is at least as complicated as a general vector graphics
program. Also, good fonts in themselves represent a very large 
design effort- at least months of work.  99.9% of the fonts out 
there are rubbish, and the last thing we need is more bad fonts - 
just a few really good text faces would be enough. Anyway if 
anyone else would be interested in this, please mail me - I\'m just
toying with ideas at the moment.

What I\'d really like to see is for someone with money (eg RedHat?) 
to approach one of the major font vendors about either freeing an 
existing design or making a new one from scratch which could be 
freely distributed. The trouble is, they\'d have to be paid enough 
to compensate them for never making any more money from that font. 
And with custom designs for companies going for >$50,000 dollars, 
it\'s not cheap (God knows what Microsoft paid Matthew Carter for 
Arial etc). However, I\'d say it\'s a worthwhile investment- a good 
font makes a huge difference to the user experience and legibility 
of the screen. Windows 2000 looks much nicer than NT primarily 
because it has a better default font - all that fading etc is a 
nice gimmick but the font really makes a difference. Anyway, enough 
blatant pleading.

A note on ClearType: the idea for this is to recognise that an 
onscreen pixel isn\'t just a coloured square- it\'s three separate 
phosphor dots. Apparently by taking account of this you can improve 
readability at very low resolutions. As such my guess is that 
Microsoft want to use this for WebTV etc & it\'s probably not very 
useful for workstations with decent displays (which represent the 
vast majority of current Linux computers). Proper greyscale 
antialiasing in X would be *really nice*, though...

So in summary there are three separate things required to make 
gnome/X/linux etc a decent platform for typography:

1) Truetype support & antialiased text in X.

2) Some decent fonts, whether bought-in or home-brewed.

3) (maybe) a font editor along the lines of Fontographer or FontLab.


Edwin Young


[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]