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
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: <email@example.com> AT Internet on 10/24/99 12:03 PM CDT
Received on: 10/24/99
To: Peter Constable/IntlAdmin/WCT, firstname.lastname@example.org 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 >http://www.microsoft.com 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
Michael Everson * Everson Gunn Teoranta * http:
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Guthán: +353 1 478 2597 ** Facsa: +353 1 478 2597 (by
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