Henrik Gedenryd Henrik.Gedenryd at
Sat Sep 2 11:33:26 UTC 2000

I guess an update of my work on the FreeType plugin work is in order. The
main problem is that there is no obvious demarcation for what should be
there. Especially upwards the possibilities are huge, and downwards it's not
clear what is "acceptable". Also, there are essentially 2 projects, as
there's lots to be done inside Squeak, to support grayscale instead of 1-bit
fonts. In effect, you need to bring font support 25 years forward in time.
Think you don't need to fix MVC to make it work in Morphic? Hah, think
emergency evaluator & progress indicators. Think you don't need the ability
to draw text in color? Then give up diff views (with changes in red). And so
on. And then there's the question of being able to render type directly,
without first generating bitmap fonts.

All in all it's pretty close, but you know about those last 10%.

Dan Ingalls wrote:

> We are also looking at FreeType, and other schemes (such as a simple set of
> primitives that would allow Squeak to tap any font accesible in your OS).

FreeType does allow this--you merely need os-specific code for locating the
font files. It supports bitmaps as well as a load of outline formats,
including PostScript, ps multiple master, OpenType, and a few acronyms which
I don't know what they are :-)

Doing this specifically for Squeak: Win -> rather easy, just a path I think.
Of course the path may vary between various Wins. Same for *x. Mac -> Squeak
is resource fork agnostic, but FT has both sfnt and FOND support. This
requires a bit more work. Mac VM people step forward please.

Tapping the OS's font renderer is also a possibility, this may be what you
mean. Note that the big problem is to pass a bitmap through the VM's cell
membrane. This is a big issue even with the purportedly portable FT, which
is in fact very C-centric. The reasonable approach is to have the renderer
work on a Squeak bitmap--not the other way (as I would have preferred). And
just don't expect the render to be able to handle Squeak bitmaps, and vice
versa, eg. word alignment. FT doesn't--except sometimes, in an apparently
arbitrary fashion--and the documentation says nothing about this. Sigh.

On the good side, this would make the use of truetype hinting legal (when
the os has it), but on the bad side it leaves predictable x-platform results
behind. Fonts just don't come out looking the same everywhere. (Fitting the
same space, etc.)

Anyway, relying on the receiving platform to have certain fonts installed
has always been a bad idea, for project and application delivery alike. And
the only OS's to do this are Mac, Win. (For standard formats, anyway).

Ned Konz wrote:

> My understanding (as someone who used to be in the typsetting business,
> not as a lawyer) is that the legal protection for fonts is not
> for the actual glyphs, but for the name of the font (trademark).
> This is why you see so many names for the same font (Helvetica/Swiss,
> for instance).

Unfortunately for type designers, anyone is free to redraw a font, however
not to use a protected name for it.

> Derived glyphs -- bitmaps -- are the outputs of these programs, and are
> not themselves copyrighted.

Legally, this is true afaik, with Ned's reservations.

> If we include bitmaps in specific sizes in the image (NOT including the
> actual TTF representation), and change the names, we should be OK
> (as per my understanding of the copyright/trademark situation).

Right. This means you should be legally safe, but not safe from their
lawyers. Note the difference.

> crux of the biscuit here is:  what is the legal status of content (ie exported
> projects) that have these derived glyphs in them.

I think there are enough (read: zillions) of freeware fonts to support
exported projects (as opposed to general text use, they aren't good enough
for that).

Beside Ned's points, vendors explicitly allow documents to contain derived
representations, if they don't allow you to render strings freely from them.
(Not the specific expression used.) So using a (legally obtained) font to
render the bitmap for eg. "Highscores:" and distributing this bitmap in your
image is 100% safe. Compare with eg. PDF documents which may legally
re-distribute content with special fonts.

> A committed contributor to Squeak (I just want to let him be first to announce
> this) has followed up on John McIntosh's suggestion that we might be able to
> get a nice set of fonts from Doug Easterbrook.  These could then replace and
> augment the fonts now in Squeak.

This is the best sugggestion so far, and I think this will be the best
solution to our problems. I hope this is still going forward.


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