Re: Internet Explorer 5, Unicode Fonts, and Fontographer

Date: Mon Oct 25 1999 - 01:12:15 EDT

       I have gotten the impression that we probably shouldn't expect
       anything new for Fontographer any time soon, but I suspect that
       if Macromedia could see indications that there would be enough
       of a market to justify a new version, they might consider it.
       Probabaly, though, what most people in that market would be
       asking for is a way to create platform- and especially
       browser-independent (mostly Latin) embeddable web fonts, and
       not tools for working with complex scripts.

       I understand that MS has plans to release VOLT - Visual
       OpenType Layout Tool - sometime early in the new year.
       (Michael, you'll have to run it on an emulator, I expect). Some
       tools are forthcoming from Adobe as well, but I don't know too
       many details on exactly what those tools will consist of.

       The font-sources list has existed for a while (not quite a
       year) to discuss text-based tools, and I know different people
       are working on things in this regard, though this list has been
       pretty quiet recently (I think most focussed discussion moved
       offline or onto more specific lists). These tools are probably
       no the sort of thing that occasional users would be interested
       in, though.

       We have been working on a high-level language, "RDL", that can
       be used to describe rendering behaviour and to compile
       appropriate tables for inclusion in a font. Initially, we would
       develop a compiler for a proprietary table format that we're
       also developing, but we'd like to see compilers for other
       formats, OpenType and AAT in particular, later on. (The font
       formats differ in their capabilities, hence it would not
       necessarily be possible for all descriptions in this language
       to be compiled into all font formats.) I hope that we'll be
       able to make some details of RDL publicly available soon.


       From: <> AT Internet on 10/24/99 12:03 PM CDT

       Received on: 10/24/99

       To: Peter Constable/IntlAdmin/WCT, AT
       Subject: Re: Internet Explorer 5, Unicode Fonts, and

       Ar 08:45 -0700 1999-10-24, scríobh John Jenkins:

>They're documented at both Microsoft's and Adobe's typography
       sites. (Go to > and search for
       typography.) Specifically, you're >looking at the GSUB and
       GPOS OpenType tables, for which no public tool >exists for

       You know, of course, that people like me who need to support
       lesser-used scripts really need tools to edit such tables. It's
       probably fine for most makers of Arabic fonts for instance to
       pirate tables from other fonts... but there's lots of complex
       scripts out there which couldn't make use of tables for another

>> And if a further version of Fontographer can support them?
>There is no further version of Fontographer. The latest
       version came out >six years ago, and although there are
       occasional noises that it will be >updated, I am frankly
       doubtful that it will ever happen.

       It's up to Macromedia. I beg them now and again to do
       something. There was a beta out about two years ago, but the
       testers had so many requirements they pulled it for further
       work. That's OK, but we haven't heard from them for a while.

>The latest general purpose font editor out there is FontLab,
       but it can't >edit the OpenType tables, either. It will,
       however, at least preserve the >hints.

       So the only people who can make real fonts for complex scripts
       are big companies that can hire programmers to make inhouse
       tools for font development, right? I've never seen FontLab, so
       I don't know what it's like. I surely do wish Fontographer were
       updated, though.


       Michael Everson * Everson Gunn Teoranta * http:
       15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2;
       Guthán: +353 1 478 2597 ** Facsa: +353 1 478 2597 (by
       27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath;

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:54 EDT