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Michael Rowley
04-23-2005, 02:31 PM
There are restrictions on the use of fonts: some can be embedded without restriction, some allow editable embedding, and so on. I can find out these things if it is a TrueType font (or TrueType/OpenType) in Windows through MS's font extensions, but how do I find what restrictions are in force before I buy a font? It seems like buying a pig in a poke.

donmcc
04-23-2005, 04:25 PM
Generally a font manufacturer will post the license restrictions somewhere on the website.

Don McCahill

Eric Ladner
04-24-2005, 08:34 PM
I've run across these restriction notices in fonts, and I have to say, I don't know what the foundries can be thinking. If you sell a font to a print shop, you have to expect that they are going to send files using it to their service bureau--they didn't buy the font just to look pretty on the monitor! Most SBs will have the major font collections, of course, but I just don't think it's realistic to expect a small printer or designer to buy a second copy of an obscure or special-purpose font just to get film output. Now that, at least in my somewhat limited experience, it's feasible to send a pdf with only a working subset of the font imbedded, it doesn't seem likely that anyone would be able to back the full font out, anyway.

--Eric

donmcc
04-24-2005, 10:05 PM
It may seem wrong to you, Eric, but it is common for foundaries to forbid sharing of fonts, even with printers. Adobe even went to the point of inventing pdf so that there would be a way to avoid doing this.

Most print shops ask for the fonts, but this is only a valid practise if the printer already holds a license for the font. In such cases, they are only asking for the customer version to eliminate version conflicts.

But if they expect to make a profit on the use of the font, they should pay for the font. Otherwise, they should just work from a pdf file with the fonts embedded (which the majority of the foundaries allow).

I agree that the small number of foundaries who prohibit embedding fonts in pdfs are being unreasonable.

Once you have built a font, and know the amount of work that goes into it, you no longer think of them as easily-copiable commodities.

Don McCahill

Michael Rowley
04-25-2005, 07:48 AM
Don:

the small number of foundaries who prohibit embedding fonts in pdfs are being unreasonable

It is not restrictions on embedding fonts in PDFs that I am concerned about: one of the foundries that has very detailed instuctions about embedding of PDFs is Emigré, but those instructions are unenforceable in practice. No, the enforceable restrictions are in the font files, and range from allowing embedding to forbidding it altogether, and those are put into practice by application programs. The usual restrictions are either to allow editable embedding or to allow embedding only for viewing or printing, both of which are acceptable, provided they are known beforehand. But they don't seem very accessible to prospective 'buyers'.

Christoph
04-26-2005, 07:40 AM
There are restrictions on the use of fonts: some can be embedded without restriction, some allow editable embedding, and so on. I can find out these things if it is a TrueType font (or TrueType/OpenType) in Windows through MS's font extensions, but how do I find what restrictions are in force before I buy a font? It seems like buying a pig in a poke.

Dear Michael,

I´m afraid you´re right at least on the legal side. But this one is quite easy to resolve, as most foundries have an identical licensing policy for all of their font libraries and the conditions should be mentioned on their Web sites. IANAL, but I almost believe there hardly should be problems with fonts that are only partially embedded in PDFs, as long as you don´t use lots of accented or other very special characters in very long texts. But carefully read the licenses, even if that´s quite boring ;-(. PDFs generally are binary files now, thus hardly editable, as long as they aren´t converted into plain PostScript. Thus, the guy who wants to "steal" a particular font should be a real "nerd" and the criminal is him and not the one who gave a file to a Service Bureau. But, once again, IANAL <g>.

Quite a different kind of problem is what happens on a technical/physical side. There, the only fonts with restrictions other than legal ones I got to know where TrueType. The latter aren´t that much used by professionals for other things than Web pages and the only ones one can embed in M$ Office, not that much used by DTP and design pros either. So just forget about them, and, AFAIK, the few TTFs from Adobe (e.g. the "Web" flavors of Myriad or Minion) aren´t *physically* restricted.

And, as far as I remember, most PDF-generating software, even Acrobat itself, will embed them, at least if you proceed by distilling a PS file. I had problems with some restricted Monotype fonts and earlier versions of CorelDraw, using the PDF export function of the program.

You can, BTW, use Ghostscript, a completely free and very powerful PS emulator and previewer, also to create PDFs. Best of all: it comes pre-compiled in installer packages for the three main platforms (Win, Mac, Linux) and along with *free* URW versions of the 13 or 14 basic PS fonts that came with the first LaserWriters.
Those are quite good workarounds for the ITC/Lino originals, far closer to them than the M$/Monotype clones (never try to substitute Helvetica by Arial — it´s not the same at all!) and, AFAIK, isometric. Nevertheless, with the most recent versions, containing the Euro, I experienced some problems trying to install them either in ATM Deluxe or in Suitcase, as the PFMs seem corrupted. One should be able to fix that, using AFMs and creating INF files from them.

Of course, one could also make changes to restrictions using one´s favourite font editor, but not only this would be illegal in itself but also not resolve any other legal problem at all. So beware of trying that, especially for fonts you want to embed (if one is allowed to that for strictly private purposes may depend on the foundry´s licence and is an issue that, as far as I remember, had already been discussed several times here)!

Regards,

Christoph

Michael Rowley
04-26-2005, 08:13 AM
Christopher:

The latter aren´t that much used by professionals for other things than Web pages and the only ones one can embed in M$ Office, not that much used by DTP and design pros either. So just forget about them

I'm not a 'design pro', but even design pros may have to distribute documents in editable form, which essentially precludes Acrobat (though it is getting better in that respect). And editable documents are frequently Microsoft Office documents, as you may have noticed.

I have no quarrel with the practical system of allotting fonts to one of four categories, essentially in accordance with the designer's wishes, but I wish the allotted category were readily accessible before one buys the font. That information is, as far as can make out, tucked away, and although the applicable 'EULA' is usually to be found (though sometimes with difficulty), the category is apparently not given there.

I find no difficulty making PDFs with Acrobat, whether the fonts used are T1, TT, or their OT analogues, whatever the EULA says, though Adobe does point out that there may be restrictions.

Eric Ladner
04-26-2005, 04:41 PM
I'm afraid I wasn't clear in my message; I do not think of fonts as "easily-copiable commodities" (although the collections often included with software purchases encourage that idea). I do think that when a business buys a tool, they should be able to use it. Perhaps the pricing and licensing terms should include provision for one service bureau. I was thinking of the instructions for one particularly expensive font, bought by my former employer, which said that it was not to be embedded. Since it was not from one of the major libraries (at any rate, our service bureau did not have it), the only legal option would have been for them to buy it also. If they didn't want to, and we couldn't afford to, it would be worthless. Like buying a shovel and being told not to get dirt on it.

Sorry, it still makes me grouchy when I think about it.

--Eric

Christoph
04-27-2005, 07:53 AM
I'm afraid I wasn't clear in my message; I do not think of fonts as "easily-copiable commodities" (although the collections often included with software purchases encourage that idea). I do think that when a business buys a tool, they should be able to use it. Perhaps the pricing and licensing terms should include provision for one service bureau. I was thinking of the instructions for one particularly expensive font, bought by my former employer, which said that it was not to be embedded. Since it was not from one of the major libraries (at any rate, our service bureau did not have it), the only legal option would have been for them to buy it also. If they didn't want to, and we couldn't afford to, it would be worthless. Like buying a shovel and being told not to get dirt on it.

Sorry, it still makes me grouchy when I think about it.

--Eric

There´s one thing that still isn´t clear to me. When embedding is prohibited, what about "partial" or "subset" embedding (what on the other hand is impossible AFAIK with formats other than PS based ones, including EPS and PDF)? And even embedded, e. g. in a WORD file (a TrueType font, of course, as MS support is still so lousy for alll PS-based stuff, even OTFs), is a whole TT font easily retrievable and installable? Never tried it, as I never felt the need for that (never got an Office file with embedded fonts either). Heard it was possible with very early versions of Acrobat Reader, but rather complicated. So what should a font foundry be afraid of allowing embedding, juridically as well as physically?

Christoph

Christoph
04-27-2005, 07:58 AM
Christopher:

The latter aren´t that much used by professionals for other things than Web pages and the only ones one can embed in M$ Office, not that much used by DTP and design pros either. So just forget about them

I'm not a 'design pro', but even design pros may have to distribute documents in editable form, which essentially precludes Acrobat (though it is getting better in that respect). And editable documents are frequently Microsoft Office documents, as you may have noticed.

I have no quarrel with the practical system of allotting fonts to one of four categories, essentially in accordance with the designer's wishes, but I wish the allotted category were readily accessible before one buys the font. That information is, as far as can make out, tucked away, and although the applicable 'EULA' is usually to be found (though sometimes with difficulty), the category is apparently not given there.

I find no difficulty making PDFs with Acrobat, whether the fonts used are T1, TT, or their OT analogues, whatever the EULA says, though Adobe does point out that there may be restrictions.

Dear Michael,

Of course I agree with you concerning editable documents. But anyway, the MS-Office possibilities stay restricted to TrueType, and I don´t know anyone besides of me who sometimes uses this feature (embedding fonts).

I experienced technical difficulties with some MT TT fonts that were not allowed to be embedded and didn´t so with some early Corel PDF export filter (version 7, I think). But the same filter refused to export T1 European Pi characters, too.

And it´s true that PDFs have become quite well editable, if one doesn´t restrict them too much on creation, in DTP and vector graphics programs.

Christoph

Michael Rowley
04-27-2005, 10:06 AM
Christopher:

'I don´t know anyone besides of me who sometimes uses this feature (embedding fonts)'

Embedding TrueType fonts has been a feature of Word for Windows for years, and of course is known to experienced users, but is not much used, (a) because it's seldom necessary (every Word user has many fonts at his disposal) and (b) because it expands the Word file by the size of the font file, which these days is quite considerable. The ability to embed only a subset is fairly recent.

Copying more than a few words from a PDF file is still not much fun, as the lines come out in a WP program as paragraphs, which have to be removed.

I don't know which applications take notice of the TrueType embedding categories, but Windows (and the Mac) does, and Acrobat doesn't. I suppose that is why most foundries have stern notices in their 'licensing' rules about embedding in PDF files.

Michael Rowley
04-27-2005, 10:16 AM
Christoph:

MS support is still so lousy for alll PS-based stuff, even OTFs

I don't see why you say that: I have never come across any difficulty, either with ATM Light (needed for Windows and the Mac until fairly recently) or with Windows 2000 or XP. The anti-PS bias is understandable, as Apple & Microsoft set out to break Adobe's monopoly of PS by introducing TrueType. The fonts war seems to have eased a lot though since the introduction of OpenType.

Christoph
04-28-2005, 04:01 AM
Christoph:

MS support is still so lousy for alll PS-based stuff, even OTFs

I don't see why you say that: I have never come across any difficulty, either with ATM Light (needed for Windows and the Mac until fairly recently) or with Windows 2000 or XP. The anti-PS bias is understandable, as Apple & Microsoft set out to break Adobe's monopoly of PS by introducing TrueType. The fonts war seems to have eased a lot though since the introduction of OpenType.

Hmmm… Just a few examples: T1 or rather T2-based OTFs can´t be embedded neither in Office documents nor in Web pages using the MS utility, especially created for FrontPage (I prefer Dreamweaver anyway for serious stuff — just like comparing InDesign, QXP or Scribus to the low-end DTP garbage from Office — "Publisher" — that can´t even convert from and to other common formats, even PageMaker <g>).

And if one uses Adobe´s "Pro" fonts with fairly extended character sets, one will quickly get lots of trouble typing, for instance, non-latin text in Word (but not in InDesign, of course). Typing Greek text, for example, will often result in Minion Pro or other Adobe OTF fonts in whole lines disappearing typing one character and sometimes reappearing typing another, but the layout suddenly becoming weird.

And this is not a Unicode problem, as Unicode is a standard and TT OTFs being encoded strictly the same way. And what I described will never happen if one uses, e.g. MT Garamond that also includes Cyrillic or Polytonic Greek using the same encoding.

Dunno if this is just a bug or just another tentative to "out break Adobe´s monopoly of PS" that, btw, isn´t that real any more since the language is widely documented and published (and known), the Red Book available as a free PDF download (I paid a fairly old version more than 20 bucks almost 15 years ago and had to wait for the ordered book for more than a month), even the very special applications as T1 binary, PDF and nowadays even OTF.

There are Open Source emulators for PS on the market, many printer manufacturers don´t straightforwardly implement Adobe´s original PS software for compatible printers, and so on.

I think TrueType, despite of all of its theoretical advantages, never will be considered as a major breakthrough by serious people. Maybe that´s only based on prejugees, but one must admit at least three things: first, as a matter of fact, there are lots of Shareware/freeware fonts that are very badly designed, that only exist as TTFs at least for Win, with some exceptions; 2) independently from character set, TTF files are almost a lot huger than T1 or T2 equivalents, and rendering of them is generally rather slow and 3) the font/file format is rather kept secret and measurements totally different from PS rules, which makes editing and conversion that difficult. And, many TTFs, especially professionally made ones, are so much "overhinted" that they look very bad on screen, especially on TFTs, even with ClearType, at least are much less "WYSIWIG" than PS fonts.

It´s a pity that TTF has gone this way, being originally an interesting format. If Apple had done more and MS less, I think TTF could have become an alternative to the T1 fonts. But Microsoft never was interested in graphics or publishing and if they were never got to produce usable and useful and powerful software for these purposes. They had some nicely made fonts, thanks to the help of professional foundries. For some years now, one can´t even download them for free any more, and there haven´t been major improvements either (besides of adding some Euro symbols). I´m afraid TT is dead-born <s>. I would have appreciated an enlarged Georgia family, for instance, but I don´t think this will ever come. And having a look to some TT conversions from MS, BTW, one will discover that there isn´t even any kerning information in the font (example: ITC Eras), while the PS originals are, of course, fully kerned. It´s a shame…

Regards,

Christoph

Michael Rowley
04-28-2005, 08:23 AM
Christoph:

T1 or rather T2-based OTFs can´t be embedded, either in Office documents

It's very irritating, but I don't know whether it is inherent in Type 1 (or T1-OT) files or deliberate obstruction by Microsoft.

one will quickly get lots of trouble typing, for instance, non-latin text in Word

I think you are not comparing like with like. OT fonts have the Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, etc. characters at different Unicode code points from ordinary T1 or TT fonts designed for different character sets. More recent versions of Word are Unicode aware, and when you switch from one character set to another (e.g. German to modern Greek), the keyboard changes, so that when you type an 'a' using an OT font you get an 'alpha'; if you are using a T1 or TT font, you have to change fonts to produce the same effect. (You'll know that, of course.) I've never had any difficulty in typing individual Greek letters in, say Minion Pro (a T1/OT font) in Word, because Word understands Unicode, although in practice I would change to Lucida Bright Math Italic—a TT font.

I think TrueType . . . will never be considered as a major breakthrough by serious people

It was never intended as a 'major breakthrough' by Apple (and later Microsoft) but as a workable alternative to Adobe's solution, which was then charging the earth for PostScript. I simply don't know whether the single font file of TrueType or the two files of Type 1 (now one OTF file) is inherently bigger, because the files have got steadily bigger by containing more glyphs as a rule. As to badly made fonts, they were just as common in the days when Type 1 fonts were the only kind available; but then, as now, 'serious people' never have used the cheapest fonts. As to the advantages & disadvantages of T1 fonts (or, rather, file formats) versus TT fonts, Thomas Phinney (of Adobe!) demolished any suggestion that one is better than the other for print.

one will discover that there isn´t even any kerning information in the font

Some MS TT fonts do, some don't. Several were designed so that they did not need kerning, especially those intended for Web use rather than print. As to no longer giving away fonts, all the fonts that were formerly available to anyone are included in the 'core' fonts supplied with the Mac or Windows (most of them with both—such as Georgia & Verdana); alternatively, you can buy them from Ascender.

Christoph
04-29-2005, 07:49 AM
Christoph:

T1 or rather T2-based OTFs can´t be embedded, either in Office documents

It's very irritating, but I don't know whether it is inherent in Type 1 (or T1-OT) files or deliberate obstruction by Microsoft.
[snip]

I think you are not comparing like with like. OT fonts have the Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, etc. characters at different Unicode code points from ordinary T1 or TT fonts designed for different character sets. More recent versions of Word are Unicode awar

[snip]

Some MS TT fonts do, some don't. Several were designed so that they did not need kerning, especially those intended for Web use rather than print. As to no longer giving away fonts, all the fonts that were formerly available to anyone are included in the 'core' fonts supplied with the Mac or Windows (most of them with both—such as Georgia & Verdana); alternatively, you can buy them from Ascender.

Michael,

I am comparing "like with like" and therefore wonder whether this isn't deliberate obstruction, too, as I'm pretty sure it is for the first problem.

I was talking about the same text set in the same Word XP with once TrueType-based Unicode-savvy fonts (Garamond MT with the TTF extension as well as the Palatino Linotype "OTF") and, on the other hand, Minion Pro as a PS-based OTF, no matter whether it's the Beta Test Pre-release or the final commercial version.

Text isn't really lost, but it seems Word interprets some "foreign" chars as control characters that make text invisible or color it in white, when PS OTF is used. If you format the same block of text in a TrueType font, it generally reappears, as it sometimes does as well in the PS OTF if you just type in another char. But results are fairly impredictable, and that's quite annoying (I usually haven't the time to do intensive testing over several hours or days).

No need, of course, to mention that in Adobe programs there never are any problems with both flavours of fonts and that they exactly behave the same way!

Concerning kerned fonts, I just wanted to say that it struck me that ITC Eras, a font that definitely needs kerning and has in its commercial PS versions, as some others, don't contain any when they come, e.g. with some releases of Office and especially with Publisher as TrueType fonts. That's astonishing, isn't it?

Regards,

Christoph

Michael Rowley
04-29-2005, 11:24 AM
Chistoph:

therefore wonder whether this isn't deliberate obstruction

It might be that Microsoft does not allow embedding unless it finds a statement allowing embedding, which is present in TT fonts, but not in PS fonts. I don't know what part of the font file contains such statements or if the statement is part of the OT specification; if it isn't, OTF fonts (i.e. PS/OT fonts) won't contain it either.

Text isn't really lost, but it seems Word interprets some "foreign" chars as control characters that make text invisible or color it in white, when PS/OT is used

I was unable to reproduce that behaviour when I compared Garamond MT (TT/0T) with Arial (TT/OT) and Minion Pro (PS/OT). I did only try selected Greek letters (omicron and capital omega, with and without tonos). That is not surprising, as all three fonts have the same glyphs in the same places. Of course, my Windows XP Pro and Word 2003, which have all the latest updates, will probably differ from yours; but I should have thought it unlikely that that would produce differences in the way fonts are reproduced. I'm practically a analphabet in computer language, but there's sure to be someone here that van explain the phenomenon.

ITC Eras, a font that definitely needs kerning and has in its commercial PS versions, . . . don't contain any when they come, e.g. with some releases of Office

As it happens, I have Eras ITC (from Microsoft) and Eras BT (where did I get BitStream fonts?). They don't look as if they need kerning, at least in text sizes, and as I think they're intended for text, I would doubt if they do. But I think automatic kerning is much overrated.

Steve Rindsberg
04-29-2005, 01:48 PM
I don't think it's an issue of whether or not PS fonts carry embedding permission info. It's that MS apps don't embed PS fonts at all (they do pay attention to the embedding permissions in TT fonts though).

Michael Rowley
04-29-2005, 02:39 PM
Steve:

It's that MS apps don't embed PS fonts at all

Is that known with certainty? Type 1 PS fonts apparently do not have embedding infomation in their files. True or false?

PS 'flavoured' OT files can, and some certainly do (Minion Pro, for instance), contain embedding information. Can these be embedded in Microsoft applications?

If they can't be embedded (in MS applications), then MS is certainly being cussed—or hasn't quite caught up with every aspect of OpenType.

But are we sure they can't? I've avoided distributing Word files if they contain Minion Pro, only distributing them as PDF files, but I've never actually tried out the effect of a Word file containing embedded Minion Pro on an unsuspecting user.

Steve Rindsberg
04-30-2005, 11:20 AM
Steve:

It's that MS apps don't embed PS fonts at all

Is that known with certainty? Type 1 PS fonts apparently do not have embedding infomation in their files. True or false?

PS 'flavoured' OT files can, and some certainly do (Minion Pro, for instance), contain embedding information. Can these be embedded in Microsoft applications?

If they can't be embedded (in MS applications), then MS is certainly being cussed—or hasn't quite caught up with every aspect of OpenType.

But are we sure they can't? I've avoided distributing Word files if they contain Minion Pro, only distributing them as PDF files, but I've never actually tried out the effect of a Word file containing embedded Minion Pro on an unsuspecting user.
That MS apps don't embed PS fonts - yes, that's certain. In fact, check the Tools/Save Options of the Save dialog box; the option is labeled "Embed TrueType fonts"

That PS fonts don't have embedding information - I don't think they do but I don't know.

But the first paragraph moots the second, at least for the purposes of those wanting to distribute Office documents. Embedding fonts in PDF files created from Word et. al. is a different can of fish. Kettle of worms. Something like that.

Michael Rowley
04-30-2005, 11:54 AM
Steve:

check the Tools/Save Options of the Save dialog box

That the dialogue box says 'TrueType' and 'Help' says TrueType has been the case since Word has used TrueType, which even predates Word for Windows, but though that information is probably correct still, it may not have taken account of the fact that PS/OT fonts, like TT/OT fonts, can (and do) contain information on font restrictions in the right format.

I have at least one file with Minion Pro that contains glyphs that are in the PUA, which I know are not in any TT font on my computer, so probably the best thing to do is to try to embed the font and see whether it succeeds.

There's a lot on the Web about embedding in PDFs, but the information is contradictory, so it is best to assume that Acrobat embeds anything. A font apparently can't be taken out of a PDF file because the file is encoded (no problem to American junior high school pupils though, you tell me), but a font in a PS file can.

Michael Rowley
04-30-2005, 02:31 PM
so probably the best thing to do is to try to embed the font and see whether it succeeds

It didn't succeed. So much for information on the font restrictions in Adobe Minion Pro—a PS/OT font. If you could embed it in Word, it would be 'editable'.

Bloody Microsoft! Who do I complain to?

Christoph
04-30-2005, 05:28 PM
I don't see why you say that: I have never come across any difficulty, either with ATM Light (needed for Windows and the Mac until fairly recently) or with Windows 2000 or XP. The anti-PS bias is understandable, as Apple & Microsoft set out to break Adobe's monopoly of PS by introducing TrueType. The fonts war seems to have eased a lot though since the introduction of OpenType.

BTW (just back from Germany to France via Spain and not much time to reply to everything those last days):

ATM Light is still needed for MM fonts that, as I must admit (and as I regret) are not that much used any more those days either. The optical size interpolation that was seamlessly scaleable seemed to me much more interesting than the fixed optical sizes of current OTF fonts. And the latter take much more disk space, too, than MM instances created "on the fly" from one single PFB file and some metrics information.

But that's just another problem. Unfortunately, with the new Adobe policy about optical sizes, we're something like back to LaTeX era with bitmaps for all kind of resolutions and sizes. Does the notion of "scaleable fonts" still make sense? I start to doubt a bit about that… And the fonts have become very expensive! An MM set was much cheaper than a whole package of a "Pro" family in optical sizes. Worse still: Utopia, a family I like a lot, doesn't seem to have many improvements compared to the ancient T1 fonts in OTF. There already were "optical sizes" with a Titling font. The OTFs are not that much different, besides of the Euro symbol. And pricing is not the same at all, especially if you consider that they gave away a part of the family for free with X11 distributions (and earlier versions of Ghostscript, thus).

Concerning the "ease" of fonts war by the introduction of OpenType, just see my other postings. I don't see so much of a progress. I'd like a lot to try out the MS Office package on a Mac with OS X or just to be able to reasonably manage my fonts on Linux. On an "IBM compatible" PC (as one used to say, although the IBM systems, in the 1990s tended to become the most incompatible PCs imaginable — Microchannel, specific memory for PS/1 and so on), it's close to a disaster! And CorelDRAW (I own the 12 now) claims to be OTF-savvy, which seems to be true for Unicode. It is not for features as ligature substitution or just real Small Caps. Almost as bad as Office for that. No idea how Ventura behaves with fonts that contain those features (and the corresponding glyph shapes).

And I even don't want to imagine what happened if new German orthography really became official. One would then need "fff" and other bizarre ligatures, but still not so many "fi" or "fl" ones, as the probably most curious thing about German is that still any noun is written with an uppercase at the beginning of the word, and that this is maintained, even after the "reformation". Well, that, at least, isn't Microsoft's, Adobe's or IBM's fault — just a kind of spleen of some people who don't seem that much in touch with real life rather than very abstract theories.

Thus, even the best fonts and the best imaginable software, aren't necessarily able to cope with strange theories and a willingness to make things easy for American software producers, although this isn't necessary at all any more for a long time. Programming an algorithm that is able to break "ck" at the end of a line into "k-k" seems quite easy. Computer keyboards can perfectly be used to reproduce lots of signs, unlike typewriters. So, there's no need at all to replace "germandbls" by "ss", especially when this is not systematic (unlike what the Swiss do) or to replace all Greek accents by a single one. Two days ago, with some friends, we joked about Anglo-Saxon and French attitude towards foreign and unknown languages. We found out that French seem to know that other languages exist but generally decide to ignore them. Americans often even don't seem to know that fact and don't care about it at all. Worst of all: we Europeans other than Englishmen try to do anything possible to make things as easy as possible for American software companies who don't care about languages, people, linguistic and aesthetics but are only interested in maximum profit at least possible investments and effort. At least and at last, MS now proposes a Greek Polytonic keyboard (and even a Catalan version of Windows). But almost 20 years after introduction of "Monotonic" Greek (name well chosen), and the Catalan Windows is just a superpositon to the Spanish version, that considerably slows down any system.

Maybe that's what I like the most about Linux: it's a Finnish OS, elaborated by people who speak a marginal language and used by others who are rather cultivated and try to respect different cultures. All those people aren't necessarily hostile to the idea of making money. But they still care about all those who know more than only broken English and want to keep thinking and cultural differences alive. Bill Gates? Doesn't seem that much more intelligent to me than George W. … I prefer Donald W. Knuth, Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs and, of course, Thorvalds. And I much admire French-speaking Canadians for their efforts to preserve a marginal language in a hostile environment. Without those francophone Canadians, French already had disappeared, as German will do in a couple of years. And what will we speak after? Definitely not the language of Shakespeare! Just an idiot idiom consisting of Bushisms… Do you know what a cell phone is called in "German"? "Handy", as it sometimes is… A song that is popular for a long time is called an "evergreen", and so on. That's even not English, just a couple of misunderstood English words becoming barbarisms, lieux communs that don't make any sense at all any more in any language, especially not in English.

Think I should stop here, because if I continued, I'd get lost in philosophical considerations that are hors de sujet and maybe even some hatred against ignorance and a new-old kind of cultural colonialism that those who lose their rights and their dignity try to anticipate themselves. Of course, they're stupid, but are they guilty? Just don't know!

But some things are quite sure (and fortunately keep being it): ATM Light is still needed to render MM fonts, Suitcase claims for it in order to work at all, the Windows "Fonts" folder gets a mess installing lots of fonts, especially TT ones, even "high end" programs mess up and don't use all the possibilities of OTF and Unicode, bref: it's a shame! And I even don't want to talk here about secretaries abusing "Algerian" together with WordArt in order to obtain very original typesetting, preferably in colour, shade, framed and whatsoever — the very problem is: all those very "original" typesettings look exactly the same, always that awful, sign of bad taste and making want the possible and improbable reader just one thing: vomit.

Of course, this problem isn't new — it appeared with the first versions of PageMaker and the first LaserWriters. Even some Apple handbooks recommended use of Palatino for headlines and AvantGarde for text (or the other way round). People who used PageMaker tended to frame headlines, shadow them and color them in grey levels, applying any possible version of bad taste and combining them as far as possible. Nowadays, it's even in colours. It's just a shame!

Instead of making things better, computer typography and DTP, abused, get them worse and worse. Bad typesetting? One thing easy to avoid, more and more, but also more and more common. A kind of paradox, thus. And here in France, we even don't use those famous typefaces any more (Didot et al.) who made our reputation for centuries, just preferring Garamond nowadays (far more ancient and old-fashioned than these classicist and decidely modern designs), without even proof-reading and, thus, lots of faults. I must admit that I'm unable to read some books simply because of their bad typesetting.

Regards,

Christoph

Michael Rowley
05-01-2005, 09:47 AM
Christoph:

ATM Light is still needed for MM fonts

I think very few people use MM fonts, or know how to use them; but I don't think that's bad. The 'optical' font principle, now being propagated by Adobe, but actually used by other type foundries, is effectively a reversion to the practices of suppliers of type or type matrices, who supplied a very limited number of type sizes.

I've got Utopia Standard, which was on special offer as an OT font just before Adobe released Utopia Pro Opticals. I now know better, but it was the very first Adobe font set that I purchased. It is probably no improvement on the previous T1 fonts, having been simply 'wrapped' in OTF files. Adobe probably did some improvements in Utopia Pro Opticals. The increased prices are normal for a 'new' product, but will probably be changed when the OT format becomes expected.

to be able to reasonably manage my fonts on Linux

Someone else in this forum is a Linux enthusiast, and I think they might be using FreeType 2 to manage their OT fonts. I gather the previous version of the program was no OT 'aware'. There still aren't many layout programs that take advantage of the Unicode features that are available in many OT fonts, and as far as I know they only include some—but not all—Adobe applications. You can use small capitals, non-lining numerals, and all the available ligatures even without those applications in some Adobe OT fonts by specifying the appropriate Unicode code points, but I admit it's not a convenient method.

new German orthography really becomes official

Didn't it become 'official' at the beginning of this year? Or is it at the end of the year? I know that most older Germans won't change the way they spell, but my two grandsons, who are English but go to school in Germany, have learned nothing else but the revised orthography. Incidentally, there is no longer any need to separate 'ck' into 'k-k': the official way is to keep 'c-k'. And the collision of 'fff' probably makes more sense as 'ff-f' (using an ff ligature) followed by 'f'; there never was an 'fff' ligature, as three 'f's can occur only when two words are 'zusammengesetzt'.

Anglo-Saxon and French attitude towards foreign and unknown languages

There is no such thing as 'Anglo-Saxon', apart from the name previously given to Old English. But I admit that the English and Americans tend to ignore diacriticals, with the possible exception of those needed for French (café is still spelled with é, for instance). There are actually rational grounds for this: (a) they weren't easily available for non-specialist printers, (b) no one but the natives concerned knows what they mean, (c) they might confuse English etc. readers. Now that all type is generated by computer, and all the characters used for Latin scripts of all kinds are available to users, there is really no excuse for not using the appropriate diacriticals—except ignorance.

we Europeans other than Englishmen try to do anything possible to make things as easy as possible for American software companies

I think you're being unfair. The fact is that Microsoft, Adobe, etc. cater pretty well for nationalities other than English, though admittedly not always straight away when anything new is brought out. I suspect that the easy availability of the American—or at least, the 'international English'—editions (and their lower prices) makes them popular outside America, and of course pirated editions, usual in India, China, etc. are widespread, and they're seldom based on editions other than American.

Christoph
05-01-2005, 05:14 PM
Someone else in this forum is a Linux enthusiast, and I think they might be using FreeType 2 to manage their OT fonts. I gather the previous version of the program was no OT 'aware'. There still aren't many layout programs that take advantage of the Unicode features that are available in many OT fonts, and as far as I know they only include some—but not all—Adobe applications. You can use small capitals, non-lining numerals, and all the available ligatures even without those applications in some Adobe OT fonts by specifying the appropriate Unicode code points, but I admit it's not a convenient method.

Interesting, that remark. Thanks! I'm not actually a Linux enthusiast, just because I find it that difficult to use. Maybe FreeType will help me to change my mind ;-).

Didn't it become 'official' at the beginning of this year? [snip] Incidentally, there is no longer any need to separate 'ck' into 'k-k': the official way is to keep 'c-k'. And the collision of 'fff' probably makes more sense as 'ff-f' (using an ff ligature) followed by 'f'; there never was an 'fff' ligature, as three 'f's can occur only when two words are 'zusammengesetzt'.

You're quite right concerning "fff". As a matter of fact, most of the words containing three f's now are composed. Concerning legal validity of the reform, you're less right, but indeed, nobody knows exactly. Civil servants are supposed to apply it for a long time already. I'm lucky to be a French one, unlike my father who must apply this rubbish (but it seems he likes it) for a long time already. For the other Germans, it should become a legal obligation in August. But, AFAIK and as far as I read in Der Spiegel, for instance (they aren't able themselves to cope with the announced reintroduction of old German orthography), almost nothing of the absurd and very kafkaesk Rechtschreibreform should persist. Some people who even participated in its elaboration now admit that politicians should never had taken part in such a thing, being politicians themselves. It should have been reserved to linguists. The saddest thing is, whithout any doubt, pupils' situation. They learn new orthography now, even without knowing if it ever will become official spelling. A whole generation is thus sacrified to the extravagancies of an elite who proved that they don't care much about real world. But anyway, no one (or almost) knows how to write correctly any more. SMS, E-mail, messenger programs and all this stuff lead to abreviations, shortcuts and finally a kind of "language" on its own. Quite comprehensible but nevertheless sad!

There is no such thing as 'Anglo-Saxon', apart from the name previously given to Old English. But I admit that the English and Americans tend to ignore diacriticals, with the possible exception of those needed for French (café is still spelled with é, for instance). There are actually rational grounds for this: (a) they weren't easily available for non-specialist printers, (b) no one but the natives concerned knows what they mean, (c) they might confuse English etc. readers. Now that all type is generated by computer, and all the characters used for Latin scripts of all kinds are available to users, there is really no excuse for not using the appropriate diacriticals—except ignorance.

I think things should have changed those days. Of course "anglo-saxon" is a bit polemic and used for that in French ;-). The availability of diacritics, nevertheless, shouldn't be a problem any more, using computers and not lead characters or typewriters. I don't agree, either, that no one but the natives knows what they mean. Rather, even the natives don't know sometimes what is meant without diacritics. Kathleen once pointed out the example of PALAIS DES CONGRES. That not only confuses English readers but everybody. Palace of conger eels? That's what the no-accent version suggests. And no need to say that that's not what is meant, nor that the possibility to omit accents on upper case also comes from typewriter era and isn't justified any more since computers exist (and especially 8-bit character sets).

I think you're being unfair. The fact is that Microsoft, Adobe, etc. cater pretty well for nationalities other than English, though admittedly not always straight away when anything new is brought out. I suspect that the easy availability of the American—or at least, the 'international English'—editions (and their lower prices) makes them popular outside America, and of course pirated editions, usual in India, China, etc. are widespread, and they're seldom based on editions other than American.

Adobe seems much more committed to foreign languages than Microsoft. Maybe with the exception of spell checking and intelligent management of languages in the very last versions of Word. One must admit that there, the MS people progressed considerably those last years. Auto-recognition of language works in most cases, signs are set accordingly, spell checker works, too, and one can even choose between the old and right and the "new" German orthography. InDesign 2 is far less good for that. But that's all and quite recent.
As a matter of fact, a lot of programs, especially professional ones, only exist in English versions. On the other hand, "pirated editions" often are available on the Net in… Chinese! Just found once a link to CorelDRAW 11 on a Taiwanese server, full version, Chinese (traditional, of course).
And I continue to believe that we Europeans are just too docile towards the exigences of American software companies. The c-k issue could have been resolved very simply, without changing orthography of German. K-k, that's all and easy to program in some lines of code. And even Greek has rules for setting accents that are fairly comprehensive and thus programmable. No need for "monotonic", thus, and even left-wing but intelligent newspapers often stay stuck to the polytonic version. Swiss German changed in the typewriter era, about at the same time when accents on upper case characters became "optionnels" in French. On a typewriter, of course, at least as long as IBM hadn't issued their interchangeable heads yet, managing multiple languages gets quite tricky. But IBM typewriters evolved already more than 30 years ago, as did computers that appeared in the meantime. Well, let's the Swiss do what they want, as they sometimes tend to believe that "Swiss German" or "German Swiss" was a language on its own. Let them spell "germandbls" "SS". Maybe that's what they merit, Switzerland having failed to adopt nazi system before and during World War II without any exterior constraints… They didn't even save German Jews as much as they could, building fences at their borders (GDR didn't invent anything, besides maybe the fact that they built the fences on their own side).

Nazism and "reformed" German typography never were that much of a contradiction. Just look at the history of Sütterlin for handwriting and Fraktur for printing. Nazis, when they found out that this wasn't possible to impose to colonized peoples during the War, just declared those writing styles "Jewish" (see Thomas Phinney's explanations on this subject). I don't belive myself that there ever had been a "German" typography of its own, and enlightenment (Walbaum, for example) proves that German could be set in internationnally understandeable characters without any hassle. Gutenberg just reproduced the monks' handwriting, nothing more and nothing less. This isn't typically "German" at all, and Italians quickly found out that, for lead typesetting, it was much more convenient to rely on ancient Roman inscriptions rather than on ciseled monastery writing style. Unfortunately, enlightenment never really struck Germany, and that's why there never was a real Revolution in this country and also why Fraktur reappeared after WW II, even for dictionaries.

Curious, isn't it? Arabic is quite difficult to write, as is Hebrew (but the latter much less). Now, we have software that perfectly copes with left-to-right writing, specific ligatures and character forms and glyph shapes corresponding to the position in a word. German, French or Catalan, on the other side, aren't respected at all. And it's us who comply without any need (including the Greeks) to what seems ineluctable, anticipating on American rules even without caring about real possibilities. Sometimes, the American companies, après coup, accept to respect European particularities, but we even don't care ourselves, continuing to comply to English. Just crazy! Nowadays, we even have 16-bit character sets, as a base of Unicode. And we continue to abuse of too much simplified writing styles, omitting diacritics, for instance. Unless we have a language that is respected in the U.S. Spanish is, Catalan isn't. Arabic is, Hebrew, too, but much less. Japanese is much more than Chinese. German? Never heard about it. Economical and military power seem to be decisive. One possible conclusion: France and Germany aren't interesting any more, not having the abovementioned powers. Sad but true. And that's even not Americans' fault, but just our owns, not caring any more about pre- and conservation of our languages. Québec continues to save French. German, despite of ancient colonies, many German-speaking people in the ancient USSR, isn't protected at all. We continue to introduce broken English in our language, replacing quite often German words who fit perfectly. A Festplatte, German literal translation of the thing, is more and more called "hard disk" in Germish. It's a shame and… curious! That's all.

Sorry, of course, for your family. They just pay the irrational attitude of German politicians. Pupils now learn a spelling that is far from becoming official one day. But does anybody still know how to write correctly those days?

Regards,

Christoph

Steve Rindsberg
05-01-2005, 08:53 PM
>>That the dialogue box says 'TrueType' and 'Help' says TrueType has been the case since Word has used TrueType, which even predates Word for Windows, but though that information is probably correct still, it may not have taken account of the fact that PS/OT fonts, like TT/OT fonts, can (and do) contain information on font restrictions in the right format.>>

But if Word/Office doesn't embed PS fonts at all, it doesn't much matter what embedding restrictions they may have. "None" is a broad enough brush to cover the lot of 'em.

>>I have at least one file with Minion Pro that contains glyphs that are in the PUA, which I know are not in any TT font on my computer, so probably the best thing to do is to try to embed the font and see whether it succeeds.

Absolutely; while I'm sure normal PFM/PFB fonts won't work, it's always possible that OT changes things. Embed if possible and send it along to steve at-mark pptools fullstop com and I'll be happy to have a look.

>>There's a lot on the Web about embedding in PDFs, but the information is contradictory, so it is best to assume that Acrobat embeds anything. A font apparently can't be taken out of a PDF file because the file is encoded (no problem to American junior high school pupils though, you tell me), but a font in a PS file can.

Not necessarily even a font in a PS file; many apps download fonts a character or a group of characters at a time, as needed by the document. And even if the full font is in the PS file, while it can be extracted in a form that can be sent to another PS printer, I don't know that it can be turned into a font that we can use on our computers (I won't swear that it can't either ... pesky 14-year-olds.)

Steve Rindsberg
05-01-2005, 08:55 PM
>> Bloody Microsoft! Who do I complain to?

billg@microsoft.com

Christoph
05-02-2005, 03:57 AM
But if Word/Office doesn't embed PS fonts at all, it doesn't much matter what embedding restrictions they may have. "None" is a broad enough brush to cover the lot of 'em.

LOL! Very true!

Absolutely; while I'm sure normal PFM/PFB fonts won't work, it's always possible that OT changes things. Embed if possible and send it along to steve at-mark pptools fullstop com and I'll be happy to have a look.

Possible, maybe. Unfortunately, this possibility doesn't exist in real world. Office XP, at least, ignores all PS-based stuff, even OTFs. I never tried 2003, but I'm afraid that won't change so radically.

Not necessarily even a font in a PS file; many apps download fonts a character or a group of characters at a time, as needed by the document. And even if the full font is in the PS file, while it can be extracted in a form that can be sent to another PS printer, I don't know that it can be turned into a font that we can use on our computers (I won't swear that it can't either ... pesky 14-year-olds.)

Umm. That depends a lot on the settings you make (and the printer driver, of course or the export filter) creating your PS or PDF file. Using Acrobat or Ghostscript or even InDesign, you can chose to partially embed fonts or whole fonts, it's even possible to choose a percentage below of which the font should be embedded partially only.

And there, a couple of copyright questions arise, as I already tried to point out: if only a part of the font is embedded, I wonder if this embedding could violate copyright. Especially if you only have a headline in upper-case only, without accents or any other special chars. On the other hand, I don't see how a font embedded in Word could be editable. In a PS or PDF file, it definitely is! A couple of free programs allow PDF to PS conversion, other tools PFA to PFB one. That's of course completely useless for TT (that become PS-wrapped files) and maybe a good reason for MS to only embed those (and not PS, even in OTF format). Anyway, licensing isn't very clear. A couple of foundries allow installing of one font family on up to 5 machines, without precising if those machines should be located on one single site. And I still believe that the Service Bureau that sustained embedded fonts in a file one sends to it in order to use them should be much more faulty and guilty than the one who sends the embedded font in a PS, PDF or even Word file. At least a reasonable and human judge couldn't and shouldn't make a different decision. I still believe in Justice and common sense <g>. Is embedding "piracy"? Can't believe that. In my opinion, the real crime is trying to retrieve the font file itself from a one that contains embedded fonts and, beyond trying, to use it. But IANAL.

Bill Gates certainly would decide differently, but good luck he's not a judge. BTW, I'm not really convinced that complaining after himself would change things. I prefer myself using free software or just converting fonts to outlines (one thing that is perfectly possible in InDesign, Corel, even without Ventura, and, AFAIK, even in Scribus). The basic 35 PS fonts are still available for free with X11/Ghostscript distributions by URW. They're a far better workaround (isometric, for instance) than the MS/MT clones. Arial is very different from Helvetica, and even Microsoft is supposed to have realized that the real Palatino isn't replacable by the MT clone (that's probably why they included it in Windows now).

One thing is sure: licensing policy should be the same from foundry to foundry, and clear. There, even an individual judge couldn't decide instead of government. There should be a law that clearly indicates each one's rights. The "neocons" of course won't like such a thing, and ultra-liberalism already leads to a very strange situation. Purchasing, for instance, Photoshop Album for a bargain price, gives you OTF fonts that would cost, bought individually, more than 10 times more for a single family. Adobe and Bitstream made generous contributions to X11 one isn't allowed to redistribute. And here in Europe, institutions tend to stupidly copy American copyright laws, although they could make things better and clearer (Linux is a European product!).

And it's just crazy to see that foundries like URW or Bitstream can give away fonts for a bargain that cost lots of money purchasing the "originals" that aren't, generally, very different. Often, those companies made the original work. After, "foundries" just re-sell that one in slightly different form. That's true for ITC, Linotype-Hell, Berthold (probably the most expensive of all) and Adobe. Monotype seems to follow a different direction, highly committed to collaboration with Microsoft, and proposing clones that are at once very similar (look) and very different (metrics) to known commercial fonts from other foundries. I believe that there should be an international legislation that makes things clear! Unfortunately, for the very moment, there isn't, and I'm afraid that, even if there was, the U.S. would try to escape from that, just like Kyoto or the international court in The Hague. Anyway, Bush won't certainly change anything in the sense of an improvement. His campaign has been financed by HP/Compaq and Microsoft. He won't want to lose this precious support! If Kerry had won the elections, only Heinz Ketchup would probably have become an officially supported product, BTW not really recommended on computer keyboards.

Ketchup sticks, American copyright sucks me and doesn't seem very logical! It's time that things change.

In the meantime, one should convert systematically fonts to Bézier curves in order not to violate any absurd law. Of course, even the curves could be re-converted into a font. But in this case, at least, the fault could be clearly established by any court. Or one should just use URW or Bitstream fonts instead of much more expensive ones. But there, too, it isn't very clear at this moment if one is allowed to embed them in a PDF.

Regards,

Christoph

ktinkel
05-02-2005, 05:56 AM
Does the notion of "scaleable fonts" still make sense? I start to doubt a bit about that… It is possible that the term was always a misnomer. Adobe’s multiple-master fonts with an optical size axis came close, but they really had a compressed range. And as you note, MMs don’t figure anymore.

The problem began with use of the dratted pantograph, long before any of us were born!

Instead of making things better, computer typography and DTP, abused, get them worse and worse. Bad typesetting? One thing easy to avoid, more and more, but also more and more common. A kind of paradox, thus. And here in France, we even don't use those famous typefaces any more (Didot et al.) who made our reputation for centuries, just preferring Garamond nowadays (far more ancient and old-fashioned than these classicist and decidely modern designs), without even proof-reading and, thus, lots of faults. I must admit that I'm unable to read some books simply because of their bad typesetting.Me too, but I actually think things are improving. The standards are also changing, not usually for the better, but I rarely see those ridiculously badly set books — like those set in the 1980s, some of which I still have — anymore.

Furthermore, I have been reading a bunch of design books published in the 1970s lately, and do believe that in their way, the typography was worse then than it is now in the DTP era. All that minimally leaded, tightly tracked Helvetica — it is enough to make my head ache!

I’m afraid that bad typography is always with us. (And so, fortunately, are occasional splashes of lovely work.)

Steve Rindsberg
05-02-2005, 12:49 PM
>>Umm. That depends a lot on the settings you make (and the printer driver, of course or the export filter) creating your PS or PDF file. Using Acrobat or Ghostscript or even InDesign, you can chose to partially embed fonts or whole fonts,>>

When making PDFs, yes. I was speaking of what happens in the PS; there it's partially up to the driver settings, partially up to the individual application (particularly those that write their own PS and use the driver only as a "conduit" to the printer ... PageMaker, QXP, CorelDraw, Ventura et al, for example).

>>And there, a couple of copyright questions arise, as I already tried to point out: if only a part of the font is embedded, I wonder if this embedding could violate copyright.

You might say that the mechanism for transferring the fonts (embedding or whatever) is innocent; it's the user that either respects the copyright holder's rights or not. Who would sue the floppy disk manufacturer, for example, if their media were used to give me one of your fonts and I used it illegally?

MS is just such an inviting target for lawsuits, though, that they've gotten paranoid about it. For example, if I embed a TT font in a PowerPoint presentation and the TT font doesn't have permission for Installable Embedding, when you open the presentation, if you don't have the same font installed, the presentation opens in Read-Only mode in the latest PPT versions. You can't edit it, change it, copy any content from it or save it. Not even if all you want to do is substitute a font you DO own for the ones you don't. It's the neckties. They cut off the blood supply to the brain. It's the only explanation.

>> Especially if you only have a headline in upper-case only, without accents or any other special chars. On the other hand, I don't see how a font embedded in Word could be editable.

It depends on the embedding permissions; some TT fonts are install-embedded, meaning that when you open the file containing them the font is installed on your computer and can be used (though perhaps only temporarily?) in other applications.

>>those machines should be located on one single site. And I still believe that the Service Bureau that sustained embedded fonts in a file one sends to it in order to use them should be much more faulty and guilty than the one who sends the embedded font in a PS, PDF or even Word file.

Yes, indeed. How else could one print to a PS printer using fonts other than those built in if not for fonts embedded in the PS stream? (True, there are ways around the problem, but none I know of are in the least bit practical).

>> I still believe in Justice and common sense <g>. Is embedding "piracy"?

It's what the owner of the font says it is, I suppose.
If I want to create and sell a font that's licensed to your specific printer and none other, that's my right. And of course it's your right (and near-obligation as an intelligent and sane person) to tell me what an ass I am and not buy my wares. <g>

>> Can't believe that. In my opinion, the real crime is trying to retrieve the font file itself from a one that contains embedded fonts and, beyond trying, to use it. But IANAL.

Nor am I, but it's fun kicking them when we can.

Bill Gates certainly would decide differently, but good luck he's not a judge. BTW, I'm not really convinced that complaining after himself would change things. I prefer myself using free software or just converting fonts to outlines (one thing that is perfectly possible in InDesign, Corel, even without Ventura, and, AFAIK, even in Scribus). The basic 35 PS fonts are still available for free with X11/Ghostscript distributions by URW. They're a far better workaround (isometric, for instance) than the MS/MT clones. Arial is very different from Helvetica, and even Microsoft is supposed to have realized that the real Palatino isn't replacable by the MT clone (that's probably why they included it in Windows now).

One thing is sure: licensing policy should be the same from foundry to foundry, and clear. There, even an individual judge couldn't decide instead of government. There should be a law that clearly indicates each one's rights. The "neocons" of course won't like such a thing, and ultra-liberalism already leads to a very strange situation. Purchasing, for instance, Photoshop Album for a bargain price, gives you OTF fonts that would cost, bought individually, more than 10 times more for a single family. Adobe and Bitstream made generous contributions to X11 one isn't allowed to redistribute. And here in Europe, institutions tend to stupidly copy American copyright laws, although they could make things better and clearer (Linux is a European product!).

And it's just crazy to see that foundries like URW or Bitstream can give away fonts for a bargain that cost lots of money purchasing the "originals" that aren't, generally, very different. Often, those companies made the original work. After, "foundries" just re-sell that one in slightly different form. That's true for ITC, Linotype-Hell, Berthold (probably the most expensive of all) and Adobe. Monotype seems to follow a different direction, highly committed to collaboration with Microsoft, and proposing clones that are at once very similar (look) and very different (metrics) to known commercial fonts from other foundries. I believe that there should be an international legislation that makes things clear! Unfortunately, for the very moment, there isn't, and I'm afraid that, even if there was, the U.S. would try to escape from that, just like Kyoto or the international court in The Hague. Anyway, Bush won't certainly change anything in the sense of an improvement. His campaign has been financed by HP/Compaq and Microsoft. He won't want to lose this precious support! If Kerry had won the elections, only Heinz Ketchup would probably have become an officially supported product, BTW not really recommended on computer keyboards.

Ketchup sticks, American copyright sucks me and doesn't seem very logical! It's time that things change.

In the meantime, one should convert systematically fonts to Bézier curves in order not to violate any absurd law. Of course, even the curves could be re-converted into a font. But in this case, at least, the fault could be clearly established by any court. Or one should just use URW or Bitstream fonts instead of much more expensive ones. But there, too, it isn't very clear at this moment if one is allowed to embed them in a PDF.

Michael Rowley
05-02-2005, 03:56 PM
Christoph:

For the other Germans, it should become a legal obligation in August

The date in 2005 is a bit hazy in my mind: it's months ago that I read it. I read Die Zeit, which has consistently supported the 'new orthography'. I don't see the need for spelling reforms in any country, but of course the average German can continue to spell how he wants—providing of course that he can find someone to understand what he writes. Usually it's not very obvious that anyone is using the reformed system, apart from the 'dass' instead of 'daß' and some very odd-sounding expressions such as 'eine Hand voll'. As a translator I haven't met with the reformed system—or if I have, I haven't noticed.

Of course "anglo-saxon" is a bit polemic and used for that in French

In France it may be used to indicate distaste for Americans (which historically, is something new) and the English (not new!), but in Germany it indicates that the user doesn't know the difference between 'England' and 'Amerika'. Britons and Americans speak English, not 'Anglo-Saxon'.

Kathleen once pointed out the example of PALAIS DES CONGRES

I suppose she was complaining about a habit of French printers of leaving the accent grave off capital È, which apparently is now held to be old-fashioned. If you think 'PALAIS DES CONGRES' would be read as anything other than 'Palais des Congrès by a Frenchman or even a British [grammar] schoolboy, you are very much mistaken (although the schoolboys might snigger a bit if they looked up 'congrès' in the dictionary: the first meaning is 'union sexuelle').

Adobe seems much more committed to foreign languages than Microsoft

Adobe, like Microsoft, is well aware that there are umpteen million possible buyers apart from the few hundred million Americans.

No need for "monotonic", no need for "monotonic"

You're speaking of classical Greek here, apparently neglecting the needs of the few million Greeks! I don't know either classic Greek or modern Greek, but I do know that before Unicode there were various ways of dealing with polytonic Greek.

I don't know that the Swiss dropped 'scharfes S' because of their adaptation of the typewriter for German and French, although it would have been a very sensible thing to do. The ligature looks very nice, but the rules for using it in German are complicated (and not always followed), and since Germany dropped Fraktur etc., and no longer needs the long 's', it would have been an advantage to drop the ß altogether. Incidentally, the official Unicode name for the 'scharfes S' is 'Latin small letter sharp S'; I've never seen 'germandbls' (it isn't German; and it definite isn't 'Eszett').

Gutenberg just reproduced the monks' handwriting

Did Gutenberg ever print German? I didn't know that: I thought he only printed Latin, which as written in some monasteries would have taken on some of the appearance of Irish writing. Incidentally, Fraktur disappeared after WW2 mainly because type, largely destroyed in the war, had to be replaced by type from America. I can read Fraktur perfectly easily, and so (I think) can my son and daughters, but I can't read 'German' handwriting, which before WW2 was taught in all elementary schools. Nowadays not many Germans can read Fraktur.

Christoph
05-02-2005, 11:35 PM
The date in 2005 is a bit hazy in my mind: it's months ago that I read it. I read Die Zeit, which has consistently supported the 'new orthography'. I don't see the need for spelling reforms in any country, but of course the average German can continue to spell how he wants—providing of course that he can find someone to understand what he writes. Usually it's not very obvious that anyone is using the reformed system, apart from the 'dass' instead of 'daß' and some very odd-sounding expressions such as 'eine Hand voll'. As a translator I haven't met with the reformed system—or if I have, I haven't noticed.

A shame that even a once intelligent paper has adopted the new rules. The "dass" is already horrible ;-(.

In France it may be used to indicate distaste for Americans (which historically, is something new) and the English (not new!), but in Germany it indicates that the user doesn't know the difference between 'England' and 'Amerika'. Britons and Americans speak English, not 'Anglo-Saxon'.

True, but my point was: nowadays most people use broken English in order to express things that could be perfectly said in other languages. And that's rather "anglo-saxon" than anything else.

I suppose she was complaining about a habit of French printers of leaving the accent grave off capital È, which apparently is now held to be old-fashioned. If you think 'PALAIS DES CONGRES' would be read as anything other than 'Palais des Congrès by a Frenchman or even a British [grammar] schoolboy, you are very much mistaken (although the schoolboys might snigger a bit if they looked up 'congrès' in the dictionary: the first meaning is 'union sexuelle').

Never looked up that one in a dictionary, but it seems quite logical to me ;-). Plato's Symposion is quite pornographic, although a simple reunion!

[snip]

You're speaking of classical Greek here, apparently neglecting the needs of the few million Greeks! I don't know either classic Greek or modern Greek, but I do know that before Unicode there were various ways of dealing with polytonic Greek.

Not only classical Greek. Even not "Katharevoussa", the Elite's language that used to be the official one for many decades. Papandreou introduced the new writing style in the 1980s, sous prétexte of a democratic reform, allowing people to express themselves without spending lots of time on learning an ancient language. But Newspapers like To Vima continue to use Polytonic, although that's rather obsolete and despite of their political orientation.

I don't know that the Swiss dropped 'scharfes S' because of their adaptation of the typewriter for German and French, although it would have been a very sensible thing to do. The ligature looks very nice, but the rules for using it in German are complicated (and not always followed), and since Germany dropped Fraktur etc., and no longer needs the long 's', it would have been an advantage to drop the ß altogether. Incidentally, the official Unicode name for the 'scharfes S' is 'Latin small letter sharp S'; I've never seen 'germandbls' (it isn't German; and it definite isn't 'Eszett').

Not only that, also Italian <g>. Three or four languages are definitely too much for a single typewriter! Concerning Unicode, you may be right for the official encoding. But if one opens a font, even an OT one from Adobe, in "names" mode, one often still stumbles on "germandbls". BTW, one also finds the very most confusing naming schemes for small caps and OS figures. There are official rules, of course, but no one seems to care about them.
Gutenberg just reproduced the monks' handwriting

Did Gutenberg ever print German? I didn't know that: I thought he only printed Latin, which as written in some monasteries would have taken on some of the appearance of Irish writing. Incidentally, Fraktur disappeared after WW2 mainly because type, largely destroyed in the war, had to be replaced by type from America. I can read Fraktur perfectly easily, and so (I think) can my son and daughters, but I can't read 'German' handwriting, which before WW2 was taught in all elementary schools. Nowadays not many Germans can read Fraktur.

There, you're definitely right. Gutenberg printed Latin only. Nevertheless, Germans seem to think that his style reproduced a particular "German" one. That's nonsense, of course. Nowadays, indeed, not many Germans can read Fraktur any more, but how many still can read Latin? I'm afraid not only Turks become more and more analphabets in that country. And the "Rechtschreibreform" doens't arrange anything. On the other hand, German-Latin dictionaries even nowadays are printed in Fraktur for the German side!

Regards,

Christoph

Michael Rowley
05-03-2005, 07:25 AM
Christoph:

German-Latin dictionaries even nowadays are printed in Fraktur for the German side

I've never come across that, but then I possess only one Latin-German dictionary.

Apropos Rechtschreibreform, when I went to Germany in 1967, the commission was agreed on one thing: 'modified spelling with capitals', which meant writing only proper names in capitals. I thought that would be marvellous at the time, for like my Dutch colleagues, I found German practice confusing (e.g. 'tappen im dunkeln'). I think that they were undecided about about the future of 'daß'; I don't know whether the obvious solution (write 'daß' as 'das') had occurred to them, although 'dass' is obviously ugly and unnecessary.

Christoph
05-03-2005, 10:52 AM
Christoph:

[snip]

Apropos Rechtschreibreform, when I went to Germany in 1967, the commission was agreed on one thing: 'modified spelling with capitals', which meant writing only proper names in capitals. I thought that would be marvellous at the time, for like my Dutch colleagues, I found German practice confusing (e.g. 'tappen im dunkeln'). I think that they were undecided about about the future of 'daß'; I don't know whether the obvious solution (write 'daß' as 'das') had occurred to them, although 'dass' is obviously ugly and unnecessary.

That's what I espected and hoped, too. In almost any civilized language nowadays, nouns are written with lower case at the beginning of a word if they aren't proper names. There, German still makes an exception. But it keeps its oddities and even adds some...

Regards,

Christoph