Paul Fernhout pdfernhout at
Fri Sep 1 17:10:08 UTC 2000


Thanks for the great comments.

Like so many of the little things needed for a commercial Squeak, this
font issue needs to be integrated into the main released image by
SqueakC to be generally useful (and this is difficult to do because
Squeak isn't modular yet). Most of the effort is in actually making the
changes to a specific non-moving release (given that Squeak isn't yet

It's not an overly difficult task. For example, (somebody correct me if
I am wrong) one just needs to remove the appropriate offending
StrikeFont instances and also modify all referencing methods like:
    which includes ... (StrikeFont familyName: #NewYork size: 12).
to refer to a replacement loaded fonts. Then one needs to get all the
windows redrawn.

This assumes we have a definitive list of fonts to remove -- and I'd
assume getting rid of both the Apple fonts and the Microsoft fonts would
be the safe thing to do. Squeak 2.8 has "NewYork" "Palatino" and "Comic"
instances of StrikeFont (in various sizes and styles). [I also saw
Helvetica mentioned in on useage of StrikeFont, but I didn't see it in
my cursory review of instances.] I assume all would have to go and be
replaced. However, there may be other fonts in the image (true type?) I
don't know much about.

There are lots of people who are interested in fonts more for their own
sake. I'm just concerned from a license viewpoint. People who are
experts at Fonts and like working with them have done great work already
in this area that has not yet become part of the main SqueakC release.
For just one example, Jay Carlson's work with X-11 fonts posted at:

To contrast this font endeavor, anybody willing to put in the (large)
effort can sensibly spend time on their own and make a new GUI package
or new mail reader and make it available to work with a specific Squeak
version.  Or alternatively, one can improve existing major subsystems by
negotiation with only one or two maintainers. This Font issue is more
wide spread, because there are about thirty users of StrikeFont across
perhaps a dozen mostly unrelated classes (only about half those
references name the fonts). 

I guess one could make the job easier by having a kludged temporary
mapping in StrikeFont of say "ComicBold" to "X11SomethingBold" and then
not have to change those other classes at the start. That would make the
task more like just modifying a couple of methods in StrikeFont, and
then doing the actual load of fonts, and purge of old ones, and release
that image to the net as a new 2.9.1. Presumably, I guess that could be
done with a patch and some font files, and maybe adding an
X11FontReaderClass (Jay Carlson's BDFFontReader) if needed on other than
a temportary basis to build the fonts.

There are really just a few core things that need to be rewoven
throughout the release -- modularity, exceptions, fonts (please not ones
reliant on Morphic) and then Squeak can really take off as the rest of
the parts can be added by individuals as modules. All are already making
progress (slowly). 

But I think it unrealistic to expect an individual or even a group to do
these specific core things outside of SqueakC (given the current state
of affairs). Just about everything else, yes. For example, I have in the
past offered things like LinksWorld (with undo) or the Pointrel data
repository system as Squeak add-ons. 

These few core things I mentioned would be best done by the core group.
Unfortunately, at this point what we have now (to greatly exagerate,
admittedly) is in effect the core SqueakC team working on extensions and
applications (Morphic, eToy, 3DGraphics, Scripting) and everyone else
working on core issues (exceptions, fonts, modularity, block variables).
If Squeak was more modular, this inverted approach might work better.
But it's not yet. And making Squeak more modular requires making massive
core changes -- a Catch 22 (even I think for the Squeak Stable World
Tour, but perhaps that will have oompph enough to get past it.)

-Paul Fernhout
Kurtz-Fernhout Software 
Developers of custom software and educational simulations
Creators of the Garden with Insight(TM) garden simulator

Mats Nygren wrote:
> Paul Fernhout <pdfernhout at> wrote:
> > [snip abaout freetype]
> > Does anyone else on this list think that removing the original Apple
> > fonts should be a priority for 2.9?
> I think the Squeak community will benefit from commercial uses of
> Squeak. The demands for rubustness, modularity, performance, communication
> with other systems etc. And the addition of more energy from developers.
> I hope you will take a lead and do something useful, others will follow. If
> removing fonts is what it takes, remove fonts.
> /Mats

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