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Re: Why dose art not use fontconfig?

From: Jesse Ross
Subject: Re: Why dose art not use fontconfig?
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 06:39:26 -0500

I would argue the reverse -- make the initial font conversion a
virtually invisible process initially, something that doesn't require
any additional user interaction, as painless as just dragging a font
into the Font Manager window or clicking the + button on the bottom
of the window and selecting the font.

As I mentioned, it's not just what's in the plist but what's in the package. An automatic process cannot collect a font family correctly, so it's something
that needs a human being able to make decisions.

After all, isn't that what a computer is FOR? It does the grunt work, you make
the decisions. :)

Yep -- totally agree. But for quick and dirty, single font installs (the kind that the great percentage of people who are not designers/ typographers would be doing), wrapping up that single font into an nfont without asking any questions is probably the right route to go.

I see three easy solutions for how to generate a multi-font family using Font Manager:

1) If the user drags in multiple fonts, ask the user if they would like to package them as a single font entry, and have them provide a name for the family

2) If fonts are already in Font Manager and the user wants to make them a single font family, they can:

  a) drag one font onto another font to automatically create a family
b) select multiple fonts and select a menu item named something like Edit > Create Family from Selected Fonts

In all three cases, Font Manager should be smart enough to see where the names overlap and use that as the family name (ie: if I have "Helvetica Extra Black", "Helvetica Ultra Light" and "Helvetica Thin", name the family "Helvetica"). If there is no name overlap, ask for a name. That name should be easily edited from within Font Manager, from both right in the main font list panel and in a separate "font editing" UI (allowing me to do something like change the name to "Helvetica Neue" from "Helvetica", should I choose).

Just to be clear, I agree that having good typography, and good tools for designers is important. I am a designer, and believe me, I wouldn't be involved in the project if I didn't think it was. I just want to make sure that we're not turning the process of installing a font into an interactive question and answer session when it doesn't seem like it has to be. The truth is, the great majority of people who would use GNUstep/Etoile would likely never be concerned with how their fonts are grouped together... and I don't want to slow up their lives by forcing them through a package editing process every time they add a new font.


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