Calling All Scripting Geniuses

oldnick's picture

I am actively seeking bids on a script—the easier to implement, the better—that will…

  1. Open a font file (OTF and TTF) and change the extension from NF to LUV;
  2. Do the same in the Basic Set of Font Names, OT Family Name and TrueType Unique ID Record;
  3. Alter the font copyright information, replacing “Nick’s Fonts” with “iLUVfonts”;
  4. Change the MS Vendor Code from NF to LUV;
  5. Rewrite the entire EULA and also the EULA URL; and
  6. Delete “Mathematical Operators” from the Supported Unicode Ranges.

Additionally, I may wish to add a Digital Signature, if it makes the process of temporarily installing subscription-service fonts easier. OTOH, if there were some way to temporarily install a font directly to the font cache—then uninstall itself at session end—it may not be necessary…

oldnick's picture

Did I mention that I had a subdural hematoma drained on Sunday, the 14th? It was a lovely souvenir of being tuned up by both the Fairfax County Police and Sheriff’s Departments. The experience may have soured my disposition a bit of late…

Mark Simonson's picture

I'm no scripting expert, so I don't think I can help with that. But all but the last step of this (and maybe even that) can be done with a combination of TTX (to convert the fonts to .ttx text format and back) and a text editor to do some searches and replaces. A good text editor usually has some way to batch things.

oldnick's picture

Mark,

Thanks: I thought it ought to be a simple task—just one that needs to be repeated over 1,000 times.

Deleting the Mathematical Operators codepage reference would solve the annoying problem of Windows displaying ∑√≠ in the system font viewer whenever the codepage appears on the list.

I could still use some help with the possibility or writing directly to the font cache—if it would work for a subscription-based service, not unlike Monotype’s new SkyFonts scheme, which is pretty cool except for the beyong-stupid five-minute session limit. Life happens while one is designing: a spilled cup of coffee or an important phone call might time you out…

Mark Simonson's picture

Hmm. I don't understand anything about the issues with the subscription service thing you're asking about.

oldnick's picture

Mark—

The ridiculous amounts of money which people are willing to spend on cellphone service makes it abundantly clear that font subscription services as a reliable revenue stream is the wave of the now, to which Monotype’s SkyFonts service attests. As I envision it, a subscription-based font service—costing as little as $1 per session—ought to let you to install the font on your local machine, for use in an application which you are comfortable using, for the duration of one work session.

As I understand it, Windows writes fonts directly to the Registry, which entails giving explicit permission to do so, anytime a font is installed or uninstalled. People often get nervous about giving such permission—as well they ought, given the abundance of malware which masquerades as legitimate software. Also, people of less than stellar moral character might simply choose not to uninstall the font. My proposed workaround would be to write directly to the Font Cache, so that the font was immediately available, but would be cleared from the Cache at the end of the working session—assuming that the same level of permissions would not be required, and that the task could be easily accomplished

oldnick's picture

So, geniuses…no can do, writing directly to the Font Cache? If can do, would a Digital Signature make the process easier? Anyone? The Prettiest Boy in the Room, perhaps?

JanekZ's picture

If I Understand You Correctly this may help:
(in windows) when you open the font info window this font is available for applications. The file could be anywhere e.g. on local HD, external memory or www. When you close the window this font disappears. One nuisance: you must open the application after opening the font info window (and convert your texts to curves before closing this window).
Disclaimer: it may or may not work in specific app. (in CorelDraw8 don't work)

oldnick's picture

Janek—

Yeah: that nuisance is a nuisance, especially since a lot of younger, self-styled designers appear to have serious reading comprehension problems. The “Convert to Outlines” was always envisioned as the primary “Save Your Work” option—with “Convert to Bitmap” and “Save as PDFx File”—assuming that the PDF generator actually creates a non-editable and wholly reliable character-subset document.

It probably wouldn’t work in CorelDraw 9, either—at least, not with OTF fonts. With v10 and beyond, Draw relied on Windows native Postscript support, added with Windows 2000/NT4.

oldnick's picture

Still no replies? Wow: my Pariah status remains unchallenged…

Khaled Hosny's picture

1-6 should be straight forward to implement, however digital signing requires a digital certificate which costs quite some money and wouldn’t help your subscription service (this document cites some $400, but the reference to floppy discs does not suggest it is much up to date, it is very detailed though so I think you can do it your self if you decided to go that route). The font cache thing is beyond me though.

oldnick's picture

Khaled—

Thanks for the input. The cost of the Digital Certificate is not an issue, but the utility is: it appears that I can do without it. Can you do the work and, if so, how much would it cost me to convert around 1,100 fonts?

Khaled Hosny's picture

If the fonts are fairly regular (no special cases), then it costs you nothing :) I’ll gladly post the script here and you can run it locally on as much fonts as you like, but if the fonts are irregular (more work and testing) and/or if you want me to handle the conversion, then please drop me a line (khaledhosny@eglug.org) and we can discuss things.

Ray Larabie's picture

When I have to do this sort of thing. I use a Windows program called "Do it again" from spacetornado.com. It lets you record a series of mouse clicks and keyboard activity and then repeats it as many times as you like. It's a little bit Chitty chitty Bang Bang/Wallace & Gromit but when you have to repeat the same tasks on a zillion fonts, it does the trick. You can regulate the speed of each event but don't set it too fast. In the middle of the night, Windows might decide to do some task that causes a brief slowdown and the whole thing goes out of sync. Slow and steady. It's a great excuse to get away from the computer for a day while it's running. Make a backup because sometimes, things go very, very wrong. Once it escaped the Fontlab window and deleted family photos.

oldnick's picture

Ray—

Thanks for the tip: the program sounds like a Mad Macro Recorder. I recorded and used my first macros working on a Chyron IV character generator at KXAS-TV in 1982. Later (three years or so), I made extensive use of them when I operated a Compugraphic 8400 dedicated typesetting machine.

In Ye Olden Days, macros were usually limited to 256 characters. You could get around this restriction by nesting macros within macros—I seem to recall using as many as seven to make typesetting business cards simply a matter of typing the name, then hitting the right arrow key, where the program would pause for additional input, then lather, rinse and repeat…figuratively speaking, that is.

hrant's picture

Ray, sounds like leaving a crazy dog alone at home! :-) I know because we had one...

hhp

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