RE: OpenType not for Open Communication?

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Mon Dec 06 2004 - 10:09:52 CST

  • Next message: Dean Snyder: "Re: No Invisible Character - NBSP at the start of a word"

    > From: []
    > Behalf Of Peter R. Mueller-Roemer

    > > It has always been a proprietary font format. It has never been
    > > anything but proprietary.

    > wITH 'it' you refer to OpenType ? So OpentType are Type-faces= fonts
    > that are only open by leaving technical details unrestricted to
    > font-designers, text-processing-software?

    OpenType is proprietary in the sense that the IP for the specification
    is owned by Microsoft and Adobe. It is open in the sense that the spec
    is made publicly available for font and software developers to use it
    without restriction, yes.

    > Then it's name is another MISNOMER (the word Open can't be made
    > proprietary by itself, so it is not illegal) that a lot of customers
    > MISUNDERSTAND, and thus it is MISLEADING and unfair to your customers.

    AFAIK, there has not been a problem of misunderstanding, and there have
    been no other complaints. Nobody has been treated unfairly, and no
    customer has felt they were treated unfairly.

    On the contrary, customers are generally excited at the functionality
    that OpenType has provided. Scripts that were not well supported before
    are getting supported in software from many vendors and on most
    platforms. And scripts that were supported, like Latin, regain the
    typographic richness that has been lost in the computer era; indeed,
    with fonts like Bickham Script Pro appearing, there's a typographic
    richness available that perhaps goes beyond what has ever existed.

    > The Unicode-Standard I hope is Open in the sense that any font that is
    > designed to this standard may call itself a unicode-font (complete or
    > partial ...).

    I suspect that font vendors generally do not use the term "unicode-font"
    as it is ambiguous: the intent would be to mean that the font comforms
    to Unicode encoding, but most customers out there would understand it to
    mean that it covers all the characters in Unicode. For the most part,
    font vendors are creating fonts that use Unicode, platform vendors (at
    least Mac and Windows -- Linux is too fractured a scene to make a
    general statement) are designing their software to use Unicode, and a
    growing number of application developers are doing the same.

    But understand that the Unicode Standard is no more or less open than
    the OpenType specification: it has an owner (the Unicode Consortium),
    development and maintenance of the IP does not follow an open-source
    model, but the standard is made available for software, font and content
    developers to use without restriction.

    > Unicode has a great potential to remove the language-specific
    > from web-communication, but if allmost equivalent fonts (& SW to read,
    > write and print) are not freely available for private use, than its
    > accepance will not be so wide as is necessary to enable multi-lingual
    > communication!

    When you buy a copy of Windows, you get fonts that support hundreds of
    languages at no additional cost. :-)

    Seriously, there are an increasing number of free-ware or near-no-cost
    fonts becoming available. I don't think the success of Unicode in
    removing language-specific boundaries from web communication is
    dependent on that, however.

    Peter Constable

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon Dec 06 2004 - 10:11:21 CST