[Scribus] font lint tool

avox avox
Tue Sep 4 16:12:37 CEST 2007

Gregory Pittman wrote:
> Craig Ringer wrote:
>> gww at silcom.com wrote:
>>> At the Libre Graphics Meeting in Montreal I was asked by someone from
>>> Scribus
>>> (and I can't recall who any longer) to write a tool for checking that a
>>> font was
>>> valid (didn't have any intersecting contours, had points at the extrema,
>>> etc.)
>>> I have now written this tool, called fontlint.
>>> It is part of the current release of fontforge.
>>> http://fontforge.sf.net/
>> Out of >2000 fonts I've run this on, including the full Adobe OTF
>> collection, the MS TT core fonts, some scary old clipart CD fonts, and
>> the Vera series, I've found exactly 16 faces that pass (all from the
>> Adobe OTF collection).
>> I realise that, like any `lint'-like tool, it'll identify all sorts of
>> issues that are routinely worked around in practice or are merely
>> warnings, but I'm still surprised by the the number of flat out fails.
>> Is it possible that these fonts are all really that bad? Are there any
>> quality collections it'll pass?
>> Maybe the man page (and I'm impressed that there is one) needs to note
>> that fails are extremely common in widely used sets of commercial fonts.
> Do you know on a practical level what things like 'Self Intersecting 
> Glyph' and 'Wrong Direction' mean? Would these be visible? Do they 
> affect exporting to PDF?

That means you should be very careful when you use these fonts on older (and
maybe newer) RIPs.

For example, if you draw an '8' with a pencil you get a self intersecting
outline where one loop has the wrong direction. 
Depending on what algorithm you use to fill the '8' (that's of course just a
simple example, a real glyph for an '8' looks different), you might get two
solid loops (that's if the algorithm is robust), just one solid loop, or one
solid loop and half the page filled black.
Or your RIP segfaults. It might also depend on how your '8' is oriented on
the paper, ie. if you use portrait or landscape (meaning the single page
proof sheets in portrait might look fine but the impositioned pages in
landscape mode break).

Not a chance you want to take when you give your job to a service bureau.


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