Birdfont: Open Source Font Editor

Karl Stange's picture

Has anyone here tried this?

http://birdfont.org/

It is the only font editor besides FontForge that I am aware of that is capable of outputting SVG and EOT and I am curious about the results.

oldnick's picture

A little more information about how the program works would be helpful…

Karl Stange's picture

A little more information about how the program works would be helpful…

Do you mean from me or the web site? Unfortunately I will not be able to run this for a couple of weeks and so I have no feedback to give.

aluminum's picture

Karl...did you ever get it running?

Karl Stange's picture

Yes, if I recall correctly, though it really shouldn't be problematic to think that far back! It was up and running in Windows 7 and I used it to create a few things but then switched to a more stable build of FontForge on Ubuntu (more stable than FontForge on the Windows machine, to be clear) to achieve the same thing. It was pretty basic but stable and I plan to look at it again at some point.

Thomas Phinney's picture

I hear a lot of complaints about stability of the Windows version of FontForge. I'm told the best solution (other than another font editor) is to run a Linux VirtualBox on Windows and run the Linux version of FF under that.

The Mac and Linux versions of FontForge are reportedly much more stable.

Karl Stange's picture

I hear a lot of complaints about stability of the Windows version of FontForge.

It has been a real pain for me on Windows, the most notable issue being unexpected shut down of the app, with no clear indication as to why. However, not being a requirement that it works in Windows (for me) means I am not particularly bothered either. My experience with the Mac install is much better and with Ubuntu (running through VirtualBox on my Mac) it is (so far) faultless.

cuttlefish's picture

I've downloaded Birdfont and tried it for a few minutes. I didn't like it. It looks simpler and a lot prettier than FontForge, but the interface feels backwards in a lot of ways, notably how simple drawing tools default to the right mouse button instead of the left. Plus there is the insistence that if you don't pay a donation the author for what is supposed to be free, open-source software, it compels you to license fonts made with it under SIL-OFL terms. You can't even download it unless you enter a number in the donation box (though it will accept a zero).

I'll give it another try later for a more thorough evaluation, but it just gives me bad vibes so far.

jafo's picture

Well, it has to be more stable than FontForge. But then, even Windows 3 was more stable than FontForge.

abattis's picture

jafo, have you used a recent build of FontForge? Its become a lot more stable in the last few months. If you find a crash, list the steps to reproduce at https://github.com/fontforge/fontforge/issues/new and I'll get it fixed :)

Thomas Phinney's picture

Yes, FontForge is significantly better now.

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