Mac OS X

stitzlein's picture

I'm curious if anyone in the type or graphic design communities is interested in type design tools that run natively on Mac OS X. What do you think of this platform? Interested? Excited? Oblivious?

stitzlein's picture

well, jared the apple engineers have been concentrating their time on performance and interface aspects of the operating system. this is in response to the biggest criticisms. i'm sure they are also aware of designer's concerns around font issues.

some bad news: adobe will not develop ATM for OS X, and its not clear if they are continuing development of ATM at all, as they are taking the unprecedented move of recommending competitor's products.

http://www.adobe.com/products/adobesupportsOSX.html

good news: extensis will soon provide full support for OS X.

http://www.extensis.com/suitcaseten/fonts_and_osx.html


OS X provides also full support for Unicode typefaces. It also comes standard with very high quality adobe faces like futura, etc.

i hope these answer your questions.

flingford's picture

I forsee upgrading to OS X within the next 6 to 8 months.

That said, however, my sense is that ANY new font creation software or updates on the scene would be VERY welcomed by the type community.

Your ATM news is a bummer. I've found ATM to be more consistently stable than other font management packages.

//joe

stitzlein's picture

In regards to ATM, i believe that Apple will supply the same functionality ATM in the next major release (not x.1, perhaps x.?). The Font Panel is already halfway there in terms of organization, and Apple has very good Font engineers. Still, my office will be buying Suitcase X for now.

What is more disconcerting is the lack of support from font creation software for OS X. We're likely to never see an update of any sort to Fontographer, and it runs very oddly in Classic, although it functions. And the DTL haven't even considered the option of making a version of the new FontMaster package for Mac OS X.

hrant's picture

Apple Font Engineers: I'm curious, have you seen a recent trend at Apple which
indicates a hightened respect for fonts (as compared to the past few years)?

Type Creation SW: FontLab rules.

hhp

stitzlein's picture

hrant, i haven't noticed any decline or increase at apple concerning font development. i know they are very involved in the development of font formats and usage, don't forget apple and adobe are the reason fonts work as well as they do. also, apple has always had type engineers on staff to ensure type compatibility within the operating system. i wish i could find the apple url of type utilities but its not in any obvious place.

hrant's picture

I think Apple used to be much better at font stuff. What have they really done since co-inventing TrueType, all those years ago? It's understandable, considering Apple was fighting for its life until pretty recently, but it's still a shame.

hhp

stitzlein's picture

Let's stay on topic here.

Apple's involvement with type technology is an interesting topic, but are type designers or graphic designers interested in the benefits of Mac OS X?

stitzlein's picture

i found the apple type site! enjo their free type utilities

http://fonts.apple.com/index.html

stitzlein's picture

i found the apple type site! enjoy their free type utilities

http://fonts.apple.com/index.html

hrant's picture

"Let's stay on topic here." ?

hhp

stitzlein's picture

oh hrant, don't be so sensitive :) these boards are so polite compared to slashdot or arstechnica's.

so i guess no one is interested in OS X? bummer, because we'll all be using it in a year or two, whether we like it or not. apple has already started releasing OS X only apps (first is iDVD2) and you can bet that others are to follow. i thought mac users would be interested in tackling this subject.

flingford's picture

I wouldn't write off the topic just yet. A hefty amount of our users are on the Mac OS. Perhaps the topic isn't on the forefront of their minds.

As for me, I'll put it in these terms: I'm not ever moving to Windoze.

//joe

flingford's picture

An after thought...

I find it hard to believe that Apple would drastically shift gears to the exclusion of their strongest user bases, the creative fields and education.

My hope is that they can rally the industry (including font creation software makers) to come out in full support of OS X. Having said that however, I have to confess that Mac OS X is one of the least of my concerns at this point and I haven't felt inclined to research it.

//joe

stitzlein's picture

personally, i look forward to OS X stability as well as a true multitasking environment. i've seen illustrator 10, and its going to be great for Mac users after the terrible version 9. imagine ripping a huge pdf document in the background while burning a cd at the same time as working in photoshop in the foreground. we don't even realize how slow and unproductive OS 9 is. all of our work habits have been crafted to work around its weaknesses. apple isn't going to abandon anyone, that's why they created carbon, any app written in carbon will work natively in X or while booted in 9.

hrant's picture

Dude, who cares about type designers?
The only company spending any time accomodating us is in Russia.

hhp

stitzlein's picture

and who are these russian saviours?

hrant's picture

http://www.pyrus.com
And "saviors" is exactly it! :-)

hhp

stitzlein's picture

so you like fontlab? i couldn't figure out how to copy art from illustrator into it.

flingford's picture

"The floodgates open for OS X applications" --
That's the title of Steve Jobs' keynote at from
Seybold SF.

No mention of font software, however it's clear
the software community is rallying around the
new OS...

Full text is available at:
http://www.key3media.com/seyboldseminars/sf2001/attendee/top_apple.shtml

//joe

luke's picture

Hi all,
I am a newcomer for the forum and I was thinking to start a thread like this before I found this one. I LOVE OSX and I am using it from public beta. This OS is great, has something (speed, some rough edges...) to be improved, but it is great. The problem is that all the "big guys" doesn't like Apple too much. The applications on X are few and you cannot use it for your everiday work. Adobe, Quark and Macromedia are slow and dubious about supporting the new OS. Fontographer probably will never be ported as I read (between lines) on the macromedia forum. I think that Type designer community should start an open project with donation to self build a new font software for OSX, wich has a lot of power and beauty to give to a software like this one. I hope to have feedbacks from all of you.
Luke

PS: sorry for my bad english

Christian Robertson's picture

Any ideas on how to start an open project for a type design program? The current options are all awful. Even an X-windows version would work with OSX. There has to be basic font handling libraries already out there in the unix world. Unfortunately I don't know the first thing about programming. I would definitely donate, however.

luke's picture

To Joe:
I am running 10.1 on a G4 400 with 2GB of RAM (that OSX uses in full, OS9 doesn't). It is definitely usable but not a speed demon. I also tried illustrator 10, a thing of a beauty but not a speed demon. Someone should shake Quark but, dunno how. Aniway InDesign (wich I prefer over XPress) is coming on X (with its version 2.0). I agree with you that it's a matter of time, but I think Apple has no lots of time. They need OSX to catch up and to do so they need apps. Running apps in Classic mode is not very nice, so my bucks goes only to ported products, I LOVE that "new" platform.
To Christian:
I dunno how to start the thing, but I am ready to donate too. We should probably start a website to promote the thing and see if any developer will get on board. This website is something related to Hoefler Type Foundry, could be a good to have the masters as testimonials. I have read on Pyrus website that they are available to developers to share knowledge at reasonable fees. My question is, why aren't they doing the OSX version? Probably someone will answer. I really think OSX will be a joy to work with for type designers.
Cheers,
Luke

luke's picture

Forget to say...
the developers should know well the OSX environment, someone like The Omni Group (http://www.omnigroup.com/), Stone Design (www.stone.com), or others devs with roots in the old NeXT world (there are many...). We could even ask a guru like Scott Anguish (www.stepwise.com) to give some advice... who knows?
Luke

Joe Pemberton's picture

Before I fully take the plunge into OS X this
week, are there any good primers out there?

I'm specifically wondering if my current font
library (my employer's font library) will
work under OS X. Are there issues I should be
aware of?

Joe Pemberton's picture

(Incidentally, am I a late adopter here? 55% of
you are mac users, are you running OS X?)

gulliver's picture

Joe:

I'm still working off Mac OS 9.0.4, I think. Until I can afford to upgrade a few of my more important programs, I really don't want to risk the change.

David

mart's picture

Without wanting to start a war on the subject of MacOSX I just thought I'd say that I never want to have to (up?)grade to it. I run 9.1 and admin for 3 or 4 friends who have seen OSX and rejected outright the radically different and unfriendly interface. They run 9.2 and although it's far from perfect it is at least familiar.

designalchemy's picture

I run OSX 10.3 and not being too savvy with operating systems I have found the change from 9.2 a bit confusing at times. However, the performance increase has made it well worth the upgrade as I run dual processor 533 G4/120 gig HD. Without OSX the second processor was practically useless. The OSX is a bit more stable as well (but still crashes occasionally as I drive it hard and long hours crunching 300 meg files all the time). I am guessing the real advantage is with Photoshop 7.0. I will be getting this within the next couple of weeks and I will report back if there is substancial performance increase.
I must say as far as type is concerned there is a few things i don't care for. You will need Extensis Suitcase, which will run fine on Freehand 10. I use FH10 as wellas Fh 5.5 (5.5 has less features and runs faster ) with FH 5.5 Extensis does simply not work, by that I mean it will not render screen fonts so it is hard to see what you are doing untill you convert to paths. I am guessing the tthat I could use ATM font manager but I am a bit scared of running 2 font managers as I think this would come with problems.

designalchemy's picture

Hey Joe, I assume you are the Joseph Stitzlein that designed Monolein for T26 a while back. I purchased it when it came out and have gotten lots of milage out of it. great design. What else have you done?

porky's picture

Probably the most important thing to know about MacOS X and fonts is the ludicrous number of places that they can live - there isn't a single unified Font folder as there is in MacOS 9. Rather, they can live in one of about 5 different folders (as I recall). Also, Fonts installed under MacOS X are not automatically available to applications that are running under Classic.

I'd advise on getting a copy of Suitcase which will help with arranging big collections. Plus it offers a bridge between font collections under X and Classic modes.

Incidentally, I've heard of certain problems relating to kerning (lost kerning pairs) and type rendering over certain type sizes - might be worth Googling it.

As for the font library, I dont think you will have a problem. X handles all modern formats for Mac (TT, OT, PS T1) and even PC format TT.

Hope this is of some help! I've a few books on X in my bedroom somewhere, if you want, I can check out which ones discuss type matters and give you a recommendation.

David (Running X since July 2001)
Currently running MacOS X 10.1.4

Joe Pemberton's picture

So, I've taken the plunge and have a brief
moment to come up for air (this thing's deep.)

X is pretty sweet and somewhat
overwhelming at times. This isn't your father's
Mac OS, and it's nothing to try in one sitting.

For a quick comparison: I've gone from
crashing 2 to 3+ times daily under Mac OS 9.1
to having only crashed once in the 4 days
since I've upgraded. (Talking about system-
wide, command + control + restart crashes.)

Joe Pemberton's picture

Interesting article at eWeek.

"Apple to Slam Lid on OS 9"
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,431382,00.asp

Looks like a lot of you share the same concerns
about the upgrade as this article suggests.
This is what Apple plans to do about it...

Being pushed into OS X is like Apple killing
the floppy drive. It seemed like a big deal at
first but soon after nobody missed it. I know
I don't miss OS 9.

Jared Benson's picture

Yeah, C'mon in, the water's fine!

Stephen Coles's picture

You two punchcut, osx, sanfran geeks.

Joe Pemberton's picture

What I'm really interested in seeing is the
amount of people moving over to InDesign because
of Quark's sluggishness. (Who was it that said
"innovate or die"?)

Stephen, I'm glad you got the order right. =)

Stephen Coles's picture

Nice point. Speaking of sluggish - InDesign may be a bit
sluggish in use but at least it runs native in OSX.
Regardless, I'm still on OS9 and I haven't touched
Quark for months. InDesign does everything I need to
do, and does it more intuitively than Quark can.

It won't be as long until people see the light.
Interestingly, Apple's push to OSX is also pushing InD.
I'm glad.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Yeah, Adobe has a long history of innovation.

There's been no real progress in Quark since
v4.0 back in what, 1997? And 5 years later we get
v5.0?

Normally I'd be wary of a giant company taking
the entire market for a given product, but consider
PhotoShop. It's been in the lead for years
(Macromedia gave up on XRes in 1998?) but still
continues to make strides in usability and
functionality. I think we're in good hands with
InDesign.

Joe Pemberton's picture

If you're waffling over the upgrade to OS X,
check out CNet's Mac OS X decision maker. (If
nothing else, it's fun.)

http://www.cnet.com/Popups/mac2b/index.html

mcdanyel's picture

OS X is great once you get used to it. You know, learn the new key commands, and where in the h@%$ it puts everything.

As far as fonts go, Font Reserve is nice from what I've seen so far and some of my other buddies swear by it now in X. I am slowing making the move over to OS X now as money permits upgrades, ha ha. Font Reserve will be the next purchase.

InDesign rocks and I hope it completely kills Quark although the rumor mills say Quark is finally joining OS X in Jan 2003. Die Quark!

Joe Pemberton's picture

OS X has some sweet features that I now take for
granted. (How about previewing a flash, quicktime or
mp3 file in the finder?)

But the coolest feature that will never make headlines is
undos in the Finder. The days of accidentally moving
47 files into the wrong folder -- with no way of knowing
which you moved or of easily putting them back -- are
over.

Stephen Coles's picture

Joe - You just sold me. Almost.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Stephen, you can count on me to tell you about
features Mac users didn't know they wanted but
can't live without. That is, as soon as I discover
them for myself.

How about the ability to open multiple documents from
an app's "Open" dialogue? (Something Windows users
have been doing for years.)

How about working in one app while another
launches? (True pre-emptive multi-tasking rocks.)

Those features alone are worth an average of about
eight cents per day.

Stephen Coles's picture

Sounds great. But when will I be able to browse
the Web without fuzzy text?

hrant's picture

> True pre-emptive multi-tasking rocks.

Yeah, I really miss it: my Amiga did it in '86.

hhp

Joe Pemberton's picture

Apple announces Design Freely. Buy a
Power Mac and get InDesign free.

I guess it's clear who Apple is backing in the
InDesign versus Quark race. No surprise, as
a move to InDesign removes the barriers
to OS X.

Thomas Phinney's picture

Just back on the original topic of font tools for OS X for a moment....

FontLab has made increasingly frequent noises that suggest they are very close to releasing a FontLab 4.x for the Mac, which will be carbonized. http://www.fontlab.com. I won't be surprised if they unveil the application at ATypI in a week.

Apple either has released or is close to releasing updated versions of many of their font tools to run natively in X.

Adobe's Font Development Kit (FDK) for OpenType has both a classic GUI version and an OS X command line version. http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx?14@@.ef93cf5

T

Joe Pemberton's picture

Switched/pissed. Laugh-out-loud funny.

(Link found at Newstoday.)

stitzlein's picture

has anyone played around with fontlab 4.5 on osx yet? the demo seems very slick! i will buy it if there is a lot of enthusiasm for this software,

joe

Jared Benson's picture

You know, when X first came out I bought a copy and starting looking into this- but was disheartened to see lack of support. The fact that you couldn't even customize the default views font was disappointing.

I was encouraged by the prospect of using multiple font file formats...

but I've not kept tabs on how things have progressed. What's new in the world of type and OS X?

jb

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