Metaflop - web based platform for Metafont

oneweioranother's picture

Metaflop is a web based platform for experimental fonts and type related projects using metafont. metafont is a programming language for creating entire families of fonts from a set of dimensional parameters and outline descriptions.

The Modulator is a GUI to play around with a simple pen based Metafont, lots of fun

jafo's picture

Nifty -- thanks for the link!

hrant's picture

Will check it out!

hhp

fujito's picture

Wow this looks great! I guess that there was quite a lot of work behind this project.

Some congratulations:
- "bespoke" seems to be very well designed with much regard to metaness
- the modulator is the first kind of GUI I have ever seen for METAFONT

Some questions:
- is there a chance for an offline program version of the modulator (please say yes)?
- is "bespoke" just a side product of the modulator or vice versa or will you develop them both further on?

Some suggestions:
- if you are using mf2pt1 you might consider a change to the simpler combination metapost&fontforge. Just look here how Khaled Hosny used this combination for "Punk Nova" . It should work perfectly for your METAFONT-designs (unfilling may sometimes be problematic but you do not seem to need unfilling commands) (Oh and if you will add kerning you can also use a Python module for the TeX-Font-Metrics)
- the character "k" of "bespoke" is suboptimal constructed (the forward looking diagonal sometimes begins under the upright stem)
- consider writing an article in TUGboat, I think many TeX-related people will be interested in your project.

oneweioranother's picture

Hey Fujito, I wasn't behind this project, I'll pass this thread onto Marco Müller (who worked in collaboration with, Simon Egli and Alexis Reigel), it's also on Github

captchart's picture

Hello wei and fujito

Thanks for putting Metaflop on this forum. And thanks for the inputs. there are still many ideas we haven't realized and worked out properly – including extended ec-glyph range, optical corrections and kernings for our Metafonts. The interface is partly working well but far from being complete. At the moment its for experimental use and works as an application in type education. We hope to get closer to more redefined fonts (with keeping maximum metaness) and interface.

Some questions:
- is there a chance for an offline program version of the modulator (please say yes)?

We have no plans for the near future to create an offline application of Metaflop. It would be too much work to reimplement the server and browser-part as we have it at the moment. Further considerations are also:
1. which platform should be targeted first
2. we can reach a wider audience with the online version
3. a web application has many advantages: easy application updates, platform independence, no installation required...

- is "bespoke" just a side product of the modulator or vice versa or will you develop them both further on?

MF Bespoke and the modulator were developed simultaneously. Metafont as an early and existing parametric type system needed a GUI. A second font MF Adjuster was added a bit later. We would be happy to make the modulator more independent and publish other Metafonts on it.

Some suggestions:
- if you are using mf2pt1 you might consider a change to the simpler combination metapost&fontforge. Just look here how Khaled Hosny used this combination for "Punk Nova" . It should work perfectly for your METAFONT-designs (unfilling may sometimes be problematic but you do not seem to need unfilling commands) (Oh and if you will add kerning you can also use a Python module for the TeX-Font-Metrics)

Thanks a lot! We don't use unfill in Bespoke or Adjuster. The current fonts work with "penstroke/penpos" or "draw". We'll definitely have a look at the proposal and consider it for further adaptions of our tool chain.

captchart's picture

Short Metaflop-update:
We completed our MetaFont Adjuster to T1 (ec-encoding) that covers 256 characters supporting many european languages with latin writing. Thanks to fujito we also embedded a new script mf2outline.py. The script enables us (and everybody that works with Metafont) proper transformations of specific MF drawing modes (draw, fill and penstroke) to outline curves and OTFs. You can get the script here:
https://github.com/metaflop/metaflop-www/tree/master/bin

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