From: Edward H Trager (email@example.com)
Date: Thu May 08 2003 - 12:13:32 EDT
> > > I suggest you get your hands on the MS Font Validator*
> >Thank you for the suggestion and the link. However, I am using Windows 98
> >and that program appears to be for later operating systems.
> Get an upgrade.
I think it is very important for you to realize that *anything* you design
on a computer which you intend to distribute to a wide audience --whether
it be a font, a computer program, a web page, or whatever else-- needs to
(1) *adhere to standards* (tools such as the MS Font validation tools are
freely available for verifying adherence to standards) and (2) *be
actually tested* not only on the platform on which it was designed (Win 98
in your case), but also on other major platforms. After testing, be sure
to tell your audience what the results were (i.e., if it doesn't work or
hasn't been tested on OS X, just say so). In the case of a font, this
would require testing, at a minimum, on the major operating systems (In
the case of things like web pages, this would require testing on the major
Computer technologies are moving targets, but at any given point in time,
certain platforms will appear as fairly obvious candidates as testing
platforms. Often it is not practical to test every platform, but one can
choose *representative* platforms. Today these would include: (1) one of
the Win95/98/ME platforms, (2) one of the WinNT/2K/XP platforms, (3) Apple
OS X, and (4) a well-known Linux distribution (Redhat, SuSE, Mandrake,
A related view, which I personally subscribe to when faced with limited
resources, is to generally ignore the "legacy" platforms in favor of
spending more time testing on the newer platforms. Faced with limited
resources, I would skip testing Win95/98 altogether, and just make sure it
works on Win2K/XP (and of course OS X and Linux). A legitimate and fairly
elegant solution to testing multiple platforms when you have only one
machine is VMWare (www.vmware.com) or similar virtual machine software.
That doesn't provide a solution for OS X, but certainly would allow you to
cover the Windows and Linux OSes (and even things like Solaris if you
really wanted to ... ).
> Obviously I need to spell this out: the fact that you have a copy of Softy
> does not make you a type designer. Frankly, the idea that anyone with a
> piece of (bad) software and an inflated sense of his own creativity can
> make a typeface is insulting.
Doesn't everyone have an inflated sense of his own creativity? ;-)
Of course people can always criticize the quality of one's designs. One
can be humble and accept the positive criticism and learn from more
experienced people. It certainly also helps to have a certain degree of
tactfulness to avoid insulting those who may have spent large parts of
their careers doing what you are now trying to do (design a font).
To reiterate my point and conclude: people can always criticize the merits
or aesthetics of your designs, but if you (1) adhere to standards and (2)
test and report the results, at least you stand a fair chance of gaining
some respect (and cannot be criticised) for using the right methods.
- Ed Trager
Kellogg Eye Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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