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ktinkel
05-09-2005, 01:13 PM
Instead of re-posting the voluminous lists of wish-list items from years past, I decided to launch a brand new thread with my own urgent desires. The list can grow from there.

Most of all — I urge the FontLab people to maintain the old FOG working style. Make the FOG and FL files compatible, by all means, but don’t mess too much with the user interface. I like having corner, smooth, and tangent points and an easy keyboard way of switching among them, for example.

For the most part, I really don’t want a lot of automation, so have not mentioned things like automatic accent placement. (I don't believe it can be well done and am always annoyed by fonts — especially commercial fonts — that have been built that way.)

Anyway, my relatively short list:


Compatibility with Mac OS X, before Classic disappears. (In fact, is it still supported in Tiger?) It can be carbonized rather than native, but capable of running within OS X.


Increase zoom levels to 6400. There is an old trick of using a 2000-unit em, but that is cumbersome and uncertain-seeming; better just allow us to zoom.


Keyboard control of handles. We should be able to control handles the way we can points in FOG 4.


More template layers (3, at minimum; up to 10). I am always having to drop a previous version of a character on the Guide layer just to have it for reference.


No more resizing of characters with changes in window size. (Or at least make it a user preference.)


Guides of different colors (and/or ability to label them).


Keyboard and numerical control of guides.


Improved measurement controls, based on stems, not serifs or other protuberances. Users should be able to set a reference point (a horizontal guide, say) for measuring italics or diagonal stems.

donmcc
05-09-2005, 07:11 PM
Is FOG capable of generating OpenType format? I would think that is one that would be a feature to add. Perhaps not with all the capabilities of alternate glyphs, etc., (that would be high end, and a FontShop feature) but at least making the basic font file in that format, as well as Type1 or TrueType.

Don McCahill

ktinkel
05-09-2005, 07:20 PM
Is FOG capable of generating OpenType format? I would think that is one that would be a feature to add. Perhaps not with all the capabilities of alternate glyphs, etc., (that would be high end, and a FontShop feature) but at least making the basic font file in that format, as well as Type1 or TrueType.Fontographer pre-dates OpenType by half a decade (more, if you count real time), so no, it does not generate OT fonts.

I am not sure I see exactly how FontLab will deal with merging Fontographer into its product line, but I think FOG is a miracle for type designers (the arty types who are mostly interested in letter forms and letter-fit), and that the generation of complex fonts is in the realm of FontLab.

FOG never excelled at the techie stuff. FontLab is a real pain for drawing in. So maybe the path should be bifurcated. (Don’t forget: the heart of every OT font is either Type 1 or TrueType.)

donmcc
05-10-2005, 07:36 PM
I was aware that Fontographer predated OT by a long while. I used the program in the early 90s to create a set of Math fonts for University of Toronto Press, prior to the release of the Lucida Math set, which would have done nicely and been much cheaper than rolling our own.

However I hadn't followed the release dates of the later versions of the program (I understand they got to a version 4) so I wasn't sure what the timing on those releases are.

FontLab is on my wish list.

Don McCahill

ktinkel
05-11-2005, 07:11 AM
I was aware that Fontographer predated OT by a long while. Version 4.1.5 (the last release) came out in October 1996. OT was probably just a twinkle in someone’s eye at that point.

FontLab is on my wish list. Going by discussion on various lists right now, in which the FontLab people and users are talking about what should or is likely to happen, I think OT generation will remain a function of FontLab.

The first re-release of Fontographer will be to make it run directly in OS X, and then some enhancements will be in later releases.

Interesting: It sounds as if some of FOG’s features will be added to FontLab. That might remove some of the objections to using the program among those who find its interface impenetrable (like me!). I have been trying to learn FontLab, but when I need to really do something, I just grab FOG.