OTF Class Errors with Stylistic Set

neuroman's picture

Re-posting so I really hope on some insights. The problem that occurs is that I named the alternate numbers as follows:


and so on

the ss01 feature looks like this:

feature ss01{
sub one by one.ss01;
sub two by two.ss01;
sub three by three.ss01;
sub four by four.ss01;
sub five by five.ss01;
sub six by six.ss01;
sub seven by seven.ss01;
sub eight by eight.ss01;
sub nine by nine.ss01;
} ss01;

But I keep on getting this message:

ERROR: There was a problem while compiling OpenType font. Final .otf font is not saved. Please, check OpenType features definition for errors

What’s wrong?

Mark Simonson's picture

Strange. It looks okay. Is this the only feature?

neuroman's picture

First of all: never thought that my newbie questions will be answered by Mark Simonson HIMSELF!!! Big fan of your work, really...

as for the stylistic set errors - weird thing...I rewrote them, because I was fraid of accidental Cyrillic characters in the feature definition. Everything is fine until I add

sub eight by eight.ss01;

after I add this one, FL says the same again

ERROR: There was a problem while compiling OpenType font. Final .otf font is not saved. Please, check OpenType features definition for errors.

It also occurs when I add

sub nine by nine.ss01;

but not with

sub zero by zero.ss01;

Weird, huh?

Mark Simonson's picture

Gee whiz, I never thought I would be famous in Bulgaria... :-)

Anyway, I'm still stumped.

It seems odd that the error is only triggered when you add the lines for eight or nine. If it were a problem with missing glyphs or glyph names, the error would be different ("missing glyph" error). If it were a problem with Cyrillic characters creeping in, again it would be a different error ("invalid character" error). Instead, you just get this maddenly vague error ("there's a problem") which offers no clues.

Have you tried contacting FontLab support? They may be willing to look at the font and tell you what's wrong.

charles ellertson's picture

I got that same error message when I tried to substantially change the kerning in an existing Adobe font -- both class & exceptions. FL didn't complain when the *features* were compiled (and yes, I made the changes in the features file, not the metrics window), but did when I tried to generate the .otf.

I never solved it; I assumed I'd just done something to throw it into a loop.

You might try renaming the alternate characters

. . .

Then use your stylistic set feature with the replacement names suitably changed. It shouldn't help, but would be easy to do.

I guess I'd also go back & make sure the regular numbers were all OK. Then if it still didn't work, give it to FontLab & see if they'll debug it.

One thing worth trying if you go at it yourself is to limit things. Start a *new* font, and put in it only the regular numbers & the alternative numbers. See if it will compile. The add the ss01 feature & try again. If that works, there is something else in you *old* font getting in the way.

charles ellertson's picture


Just for the hell of it, I made up a little test font. It had only a space character and the numbers 0-9 (from some Stencil font). I added the numbers 0-9 from Sistina, named them *zero.ss01* etc., & no Unicode index. Wrote a feature -- wrote it out longhand just like you did -- compiled the features & made a font. Everything worked fine.

Opened up ID-CS2, set the numbers twice, applied the stylistic set to the second row of numbers -- they changed. It even printed out.

I'd say that whatever is going wrong for you isn't specifically your feature, but some inadvertent conflict with something else.

Sorry I'm no help, & good luck

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