[Scribus] Live-CD: TeX fonts
Mon Jul 4 04:05:26 CEST 2005
> Forget scripting *completely*
> Font QA is painstakingly a manual job. It takes *months* to QA a
> single font properly. Matthew Carter reportely spent nearly a year on
> Verdana to get it finished. He is widely considered one of the
> world's top designers.
> Think in the order of several hours *per glyph*.
> Case closed.
> One of the few free to use fonts I recommend is the Lido fonts listed
> on www.scribus.net You might want to read the notes which accompany
> the creation of that font. That similarly gives one an idea of how
> long it takes to create a good quality font.
First, thanks for your rant!
I was obviously a bit naive in thinking that after some decennia of
LaTeX and Type 1 fonts, someone finally found *the* algorithm for
magically converting LaTeX's bitmap fonts to first grade PS vector fonts. :(
> Bitmap fonts converted into outlines will need similar QA as above to
> be considered reliable.
I can imagine the problems, especially with metrics etc. AFAIK, Metafont
bypassed the problem by providing exactly one bitmap for a given size.
Type 1, TTF and OTF, as vectors, provide a more flexible approach, but
it seems that converting bitmap fonts to vectors is almost the same as
creating a new font. Did I get it right?
> Font QA is one area where the commercial folks can say they are
> superior at the moment and they are 100% correct. The rest we OSS
> folks win.
Looking at the roadmaps of GIMP, inkscape, and scribus, I think that
within the next two years the reasons to pay high license fees for
(admittedly) excellent products like Adobe CS or QXP will significantly
diminish, provided the OSS community will supply an easy-to-use Linux
based alternative ;) So why not pay the real artists (read: font
designers) for their hard work!
> My rule with fonts is 99.5% of the time free fonts suck. I won't use
> them and I do not advise you either.
I don't, and I almost always use a set of proven fonts (ghostscript
fonts, among a few others, have never disappointed me), and having 2000
fonts on your computer with 90% crap is definitely no desirable state.
In case I'm not sure and the size of the job allows for it, I convert
everything to outlines. Moreover, I bought most of my fonts, which is
not too much money spent, considering the advantages of commercial
quality fonts and the low price of excellent Open Source software.
Creating a really good font needs a lot of knowledge in typography and
also a sense of taste, technical issues aside. In my view, font
designers are artists who deserve to be paid for their work, so I don't
mind paying for good fonts. My intention was to have the original (free
as in speech *and* in free beer) LaTeX fonts, which are excellent,
available for distribution on the Live-CD.
> Sorry for ranting, but bad fonts waste a *lot* of development team
> time. Moreover, they can cost *thousands* on a botched print job.
The rant was well placed, but I don't think we disagree much. Careful
font selection is an important part of the production process.
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