What about using Fontforge as editing tool by default, in this project?

Posted by nitrofurano on February 23rd 2009 02:19 PM

Since Open-Baskervile is an open font project, and Fontforge is an open-source tool as well, what about using it defaultly on this typeface development?

I could start recalling NotCourier typeface, from , were done all from Fontforge (except the Nimbus Mono gliphs where from it were based), and maybe Open-Baskerville should follow similar tools and methods.

And otherwise, Fontforge, as all other open-source tools as well, needs help from users for their development improvement and bug fixes, and Open-Baskervile can be a very interesting resource for being used as case study of how fine is Fontforge for developing Open-Baskerville, and how/where Fontforge must be improved, fixed, being more usable, etc. And this can be a brilliant opportunity.

Well, this is my idea, which i'd appreciate a lot all comments about! =)

  • Simon Pascal Klein

    Simon Pascal Klein February 25th, 2009 @ 04:00 AM

    As an open source project, I believe we should not lock out users of non-free software who wish to contribute to the project. We are in the lucky position that FontForge operates cross-platform, but there are many type designers that have made the decision—or instead have had the decision made for them—to use proprietary font design tools, and I don’t want to exclude them. I won’t however support using proprietary file formats, so provided we use an open format, I don’t particularly mind what software contributors wish to use.

    As a closing note though, I would highly recommend FontForge for use in this project. (:

    My 0.2¢. Cheers.


  • Rob Mientjes

    Rob Mientjes February 26th, 2009 @ 08:54 AM

    While I fully understand the logic of using open software to produce open things, to me that makes too little sense to pursue. There's no such thing as a lack of cleanliness if the mutual format is entirely open. FontLab exports to UFO just fine (all of my work is done in FontLab), imports anything you can throw at it and will still handle it decently. While it will likely further the development of open software if we are forced to use it, it might be a while before our own development actually comes around to being qualitative enough – say because no experts are dropping in because they miss some essential feature, or because a few designers are just very much used to their workflows (and there's a lot to be said for a good workflow).


  • Simon Pascal Klein

    Simon Pascal Klein February 26th, 2009 @ 11:32 AM

    Rob: Could you expand on your experiences with FontLab? I haven’t been able to open glif files in it.

  • Rob Mientjes

    Rob Mientjes February 28th, 2009 @ 01:09 PM

    Have you installed the RoboFab macro set? It's on and is essential. Also, it works slightly differently, but still sensibly: with the RoboFab UFO macros, you import a UFO as a font, then export any changed .glifs either manually or with an update of the UFO, but that doesn't work for me because FontLab is stubborn in how you create projects (also, the RoboFab dialog window does not allow me to change the location of where I save my UFO, otherwise it would be even easier to pull updates back in or make bulk edits).

    Uh, in short: RoboFab macros, turn on macro toolbar, select the "import UFO" macro and run it. It takes a few seconds and then shows you an entire font.

  • James Puckett

    James Puckett March 1st, 2009 @ 05:49 PM

    If you try to lock this project into Fontforge you’re going to have a hard time getting help from professional type designers as almost none of us use Fontforge and most don’t want to. Doing so will also shut out all of the excellent time-saving free macros available for Fontlab, having access to them is worth the cost and headaches that come with Fontlab! Working with UFO is easy if you install Robofab, and be sure to pop by the forum and politely request native UFO support in FLAB 5.5 or 6.

    That said, I encourage you to work with Fontforge if you don’t want to buy Fontlab. Fontlab needs some serious competitors, and if the project churns out a series of good fonts you’ll provide a nice boost of support for Fontforge in the eyes of professionals.

  • Simon Pascal Klein

    Simon Pascal Klein March 9th, 2009 @ 10:08 AM

    Rob: Thanks mate.

    James: Agreed. Did you get Git working on your Tiger Mac?

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Open Baskerville is an open source project to create a digital revival of the famous ‘Baskerville’ typefaces. To be more exact, Open Baskerville is based upon Fry’s Baskerville, a Baskerville derivative created by Isaac Moore, a punchcutter who worked for John Baskerville. work. The font is to be licensed under either the SIL OFL or the GNU GPL v3.

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