Le 2019-07-25 07:57, Lawrence D'Oliveiro a écrit :
On Thu, 25 Jul 2019 06:53:47 +0200, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
Variable fonts are just a generalization of the process which has been
used to generate all the faces possible in WWS fonts.
It is worth distinguishing between the font design process, and the
font rendering process. You might indeed use parametric tools in the
former, but expecting end users to understand it in the latter seems to
be a non-starter. Adobe had Multiple Masters back in the 1990s.
But it appears all support for that has been removed from their apps.
I found this interview
from nearly a decade ago, that seems to sum up the situation nicely.
Whatever Adobe did, in niche expensive proprietary font formats, used by
niche expensive proprietary tools, and a niche population of designers,
is completely different and mostly irrelevant to the current case.
Variable fonts are part of the OpenType and CSS specs, they are
supported by the bulk of deployed browsers
They’ve been added to Noto Sans, which is becoming the default fallback
web font on many systems.
Everyday web text rendering is high enough today to drive the mass
market by itself.
The mass market only needs a handful of major fonts using a new feature
to move (as proved by Microsoft with its core fonts for the web
initiative 25 years ago). That’s one lesson Adobe learnt from
multimaster-style failures. Partner with Google, use Noto and other open
source free of charge fonts to drive the state of the art and font user
expectations, don't wait for things to happen design-side.
Since variable fonts *are* being published and deployed on fontconfig
systems today it’s high time (or way late?) to decide how we want to
handle them long-term.
Aside from the variability itself, the OpenType variable spec provides a
good classification framework to put some order in the previous
generation of font files, just like outline fonts provided a good
framework to put some order into previous gen bitmap fonts (and,
fontconfig original success, was to apply this order).
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