Phinney SIGNAL! Adobe new FDK and Birthday!

dezcom's picture

Thomas mentioned at last month's TypeTech session in New York that Adobe was about a month away from releasing the newest FDK complete with hinting plug-in for FontLab. I was just wondering if a real release date was available now?

What say ye Thomas?

ChrisL

paul d hunt's picture

i don't think he said there was a hinting plug-in for FontLab, but that FontLab could implement their hinting tools (if they wanted).

dezcom's picture

Say it ain't so Paul :-(

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

Well, as I understood it you could use the auto-hinting tool--their pride and joy--as a stand alone-utility.

John Hudson's picture

The new FDK will include the Adobe PS auto-hinter, which can be run on fonts as a stand-alone utility as part of the FDK, and which FontLab will also be able to incorporate into its own programs. I'm pretty sure FontLab will do this, since it will be an improvement over the current FL autohinting, but will give users the option to manually edit the results, which the autohinter does not by itself.

dezcom's picture

Thanks John!

ChrisL

Miguel Sousa's picture

Adobe's Autohinter exists both as a command-line tool and as a FontLab macro. I actually have been using the latter, which I assume will be included in the next release of the AFDKO. This will happen sometime soon :^)

Thomas Phinney's picture

Actually, we could release the FDK any day now, I just need to settle one question about bumping the OS/2 table version string. What this space.

As Miguel has clarified, the auto-hinter is already a FontLab plug-in macro, and a separate command-line tool. It can be run on both Type 1 and OpenType CFF fonts (or in FontLab on any font with PS style outlines, which can then be exported to Type 1 or OT CFF). However, we could hope for tighter integration into FontLab in a future version of the app.

Cheers,

T

david h's picture

Thomas, what about GPOS lookup types 3?

dezcom's picture

Thanks Thomas and Miguel! Looking forward to seeing it. Please post the release date when you know it.

ChrisL

Miguel Sousa's picture

Will do :^)

david h's picture

Let's see... FDK is going to be like VOLT?

Miguel Sousa's picture

> Let’s see… FDK is going to be like VOLT?

Would you like to? Why? How? What are you looking forward to?

david h's picture

> Would you like to? Why? How? What are you looking forward to?

Since I don't want this thread to turn to FDK vs. VOLT (there was a thread that started with negative attitude toward MS) - and in order to keep it clean, let us talk about FDK (& FontLab.)

If FDK can support the OpenType features that FL can't handle - that will be great.

I don't know what stage FDK is in, but if it were up to me - to add these features and wait even 6 months - then add & wait.

But since I'm not behind the Adobe curtains I don't know what Adobe is up to. However, since FDK isn't like any other product by Adobe (e.g. InDesign, Photoshop - that you keep everything secret till the release ) maybe you or Thomas can shed some OpenType light.

Thank you.

twardoch's picture

> If FDK can support the OpenType features that
> FL can’t handle - that will be great.

FontLab Studio 5 uses exactly the same Adobe code that is in AFDKO 1.6. When AFDKO 2.0 is released, it will take some time until that code is incorporated into FontLab Studio, so in the meantime, AFDKO will have some advantage. However, from what I remember seeing at Read Roberts˚ presentation in The Hague, I don˚t think that AFDKO 2.0 will support any new lookup types.

A.

david h's picture

Thanks Adam.

BTW this is 'offcial' ?

Thomas Phinney's picture

That's right: AFDKO 2.0 does not yet add new lookup types. That's in the next big release, some time early next year.

I expect that we will settle the OS/2 version question in the next couple of work days. After that, there may be a delay of up to a week or two before the new FDK bits are actually posted (depends on our web team).

Right now, for most people, I think the FDK is mostly some additional tools, and I don't expect most users will actually build their OT fonts using the FDK. They'll use it for proofing/testing tools, and they'll maybe use some of the scripts and plug-ins.

Regards,

T

Thomas Phinney's picture

I should add that when we add more lookup types, we will support *all* lookup types in the FDK.

T

andreas's picture

"I think the FDK is mostly some additional tools, and I don’t expect most users will actually build their OT fonts using the FDK."

Hello Thomas,

but a few people like me compile their fonts with it. So it would be great if the time between each release don't went to long. One of the great features I like is to build and store the font sources splitted into their single parts and to do batch generation.

Which Phyton version will be needed to run the new FDK properly?

--astype.de--

dezcom's picture

Thanks Thomas for your clarification. I assume the hinting tool you told us about in New York will be part of the "additional tools".

ChrisL

david h's picture

Thanks Thomas.

Adam,

What about FL? - "We plan to support these OpenType specifications elements..."

Thomas Phinney's picture

The T1/CFF auto-hinter is supplied in the new FDK both as a stand-alone application and as a plug-in for FontLab.

One of the improvements is that it no longer relies on any separate Python installation.

Regards,

T

dezcom's picture

GREAT!!

ChrisL

david h's picture

T1/CFF auto-hinter - the pros & cons?

Thomas Phinney's picture

Pro: This is the auto-hinter Adobe has used for close to two decades now, which we believe is the best auto-hinter available for PostScript style outlines.

Essentially, this is the crown jewels of Adobe font production.

When you have this available to you in a font editor like FontLab, you'll have the option of further tweaking the hints to your heart's content. It's not like you're stuck with the results.

Cons: None that I can think of.

Cheers,

T

dezcom's picture

Cons: I can't use it right this moment :-)

Bravo to Adobe for releasing it to independent usage and thanks to Thomas for his role in helping font devlopment in all venues.

ChrisL

david h's picture

Thank you Thomas.

thierry blancpain's picture

is the autohinting with adobe's tool "useable" for, lets say, a free font that should just scale down a bit better than without any custom hinting at all?

im very interested in typedesign, but there's just no way im going to learn that hinting-stuff! :)

Thomas Phinney's picture

What's to learn? The whole point of an auto-hinter is that you don't have to learn much of anything.

Adobe's auto-hinter, like FontLab's, does require that you set zones and stems separately. So you use the auto-blue-zones and auto-stems buttons in FontLab, and then use the auto-hinter. Done!

T

thierry blancpain's picture

whats to learn? even the barest knowledge of hinting! ;)

i know more or less how hinting works (basicly, i think), but if you say "set zones and stems, auto-blue-zones" and so on.. im already baffled.

but i am sorry, i didnt wanna hijack this thread. i will make my homework and then come back if i have questions.

dezcom's picture

The FontLab manual explains setting zones and stems. There are also pages on the Microsoft and Adobe sites which explain hinting. Google will find you plenty of sources.

ChrisL

Thomas Phinney's picture

Sorry, didn't mean to be flippant. Here's the easy option explained:

First make your font. :)

Then go into the Font Info, under "Hinting Settings." On the main panel, click the green diamond to get the automatically calculated alignment zones. Then on the "Standard Stems" panel, click the green diamond to automatically calculate standard stems. Then come back out to the font and select all, and auto-hint the font (either using FontLab's existing auto-hinting, with the F7 key, or using the new plug-in when it's available).

Not too tough, eh wot?

Now, it is still worth learning about hinting, but you don't have to know much about it to make use of it. However, for hinting to work well, you do have to understand enough about type design to have actually used overshoot, etc.

Regards,

T

twardoch's picture

Thomas,

Note that FontLab Studio will automatically compute the stems only when you already have hints in the font. So actually, the process is the other way around:

1. Select all glyphs in the Font Window.
2. Hit F7 to autohint all the glyphs (or choose Tools / Hints and Guides / Autohinting).
3. Go to Font Info / Hinting settings, click on Auto zones and then in Standard stems on Auto stems.

That's it.

Best,
Adam

thierry blancpain's picture

thomas, thanks alot for your answer (and adam, you too for adding information).

i think for the time i've been doing it i know quite a bit about type design, but what do you mean with overshoot? if it means the simple fact that you have to make round shapes (and "peaks" like the A in some faces) go below and above the xheight / baseline to look as big as other characters (H and O as easy examples) i know what you mean if not, please explain, learning new things is always good.

(and please excuse my semi-hijacking of this thread)

Miguel Sousa's picture

> make round shapes (and “peaks” like the A in some faces) go below and above the xheight / baseline to look as big as other characters (H and O as easy examples)

That exactly what overshoot means.

andreas's picture

Thomas,

will the new version accept the manual setting of usWinAscent
and usWinDescent?

This is an important issue and a lack of the current version and hopefully easy to build in.

--astype.de--

Thomas Phinney's picture

Yes, the FDK 2.0 will allow manual setting of the usWinAscent and usWinDescent. By default, they will be set according to the spec, which is to match the font BBOX values, but this can be overridden.

T

Thomas Phinney's picture

We finally resolved with Microsoft the question of bumping the OS/2 table version number, and the FDK is ready to go. I don't know how long it will take to get onto the web site, however.

We'll post details of the OpenType 1.5 changes to the OS/2 table on Monday, on the OpenType list.

T

dezcom's picture

Great news Thomas! THANKS!

ChrisL

andreas's picture

If the download is online, I believe it. :-)

--astype.de--

Altan Orhon's picture

Any news? I'm dying to use the new FDK with a utility I'm writing.

dezcom's picture

Enquiring minds want to know ;-)

Has there been another snag Thomas and Miguel? Seems like this was expected a few months ago.

ChrisL

Miguel Sousa's picture

No more snags. I reckon it'll be out really soon. A few things were finally settled and Read Roberts is "wrapping up the package". And I'm glad to say that meanwhile many improvements were made in the tools, so I think it was worth waiting.

dezcom's picture

Gracias Miguel!

ChrisL

david h's picture

BTW, can we run the new FDK in native GUI mode in Mac OSX?

Miguel Sousa's picture

AFAIK, the OSX tools are all command line, so no GUI.
But some of the tools have their Fontlab macro equivalent, so those will "have" GUI.

The command line tools are quite more powerful and reliable, tho.
From the "AFDKO Overview" file:
Scripts for FontLab. None of these are polished production tools. They are mostly Python scripts written once and used once for a particular need, with little error checking, and are supplied mostly as an example of how to do something in FontLab.

Nonetheless, we've been pushing the Autohint.py (FL macro) to do everything the autohint (command line) does, since we see a big benefit there. You see, the autohint can't be directly applied to .vfb files ;^)

dezcom's picture

"...You see, the autohint can’t be directly applied to .vfb files ;^)"

Then how does it work?

ChrisL

Miguel Sousa's picture

The command line autohint requires a Type1 font (.pfa) as the input.
The FontLab macro Autohint can be applied to any font (with PS outlines) you have opened in FL.

dezcom's picture

Can't wait to try it.

ChrisL

david h's picture

anything about the release?

Miguel Sousa's picture

Yes. The files were already on their way to the web, but meanwhile a bug (related with the implementation of the 'size' feature) was found. This will delay the release a bit, but hopefully not for long.

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