Transcript of the Interview with the FontForge author

Open Source Publishing has also recently published a transcript of their excellent interview with George Williams, the primary author of FontForge.

There is one point that is very relevant for me at this time, about FontForge’s support of OpenType features:

The way you specify ligatures and kerning in OpenType can be looked at at several different levels. And the way OpenType wants you to look at it, I felt, was unnecessarily complicated. So I didn’t look at it at that level. And then after about 5 years of looking at it that way I discovered that the reason I thought it was unnecessarily complicated was because I was only used to Latin or Cyrillic or Greek text, and for Latin, Cyrillic or Greek, it probably is unnecessarily complicated. But for Indic scripts it is not unnecessarily complicated, and you need all those things. So I ripped out all of the code for specifying strange glyph conversions. You know in Arabic a character looks different at the beginning of a word and so on? So that’s also handled in this area. And I ripped all that stuff out and redid it in the way that OpenType wanted it to be done and not the somewhat simplified but not sufficiently powerful method that I’d been using up until then.

There is some other amusing stuff in there about the UI, which I hope to report some progress on shortly :-)

Creative Commons License
The Transcript of the Interview with the FontForge author by David Crossland, except the quotations and unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.


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