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Re: [ft-devel] [CREATE] glyf (i.e. contour) analysis reports on libre fo

From: Hin-Tak Leung
Subject: Re: [ft-devel] [CREATE] glyf (i.e. contour) analysis reports on libre fonts.
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2016 02:55:38 +0000 (UTC)

On Fri, 12/8/16, peter sikking <address@hidden> wrote:

> Dave Crossland wrote:
> > Thanks Hin-Tak! You did an amazing thing
 in the last year :D
> hear hear. this kind of work can be rather
 thankless, so
 I hope that Hin-Tak is getting
 enough fun and satisfaction
 out of it.

Peter, thanks for the kind words!

One response in create can be taken that way, and certain another one in 
Typedrawers: "I have been doing this for years, it does not seems to cause 
problems, why is it flagged as a problem?" . Those are the sort of responses I 
find very draining and exhausting.

Font engines are built to cope with all sort of problems. That does not means 
those problems should not be fixed. In addition, Microsoft had obviously built 
the analysis to be strict and also their preferences-as-imperatives, because 
they can, in both senses - they are big enough to say, because I prefer things 
done this way, therefore you should do things this way, and also, they know far 
more about fonts and can implement more thorough tests for them.

That the test is very strict, is exactly where its value is. Anybody can 
blindly tell you that your font is okay. It takes efforts to detect flaws.

Very much to Microsoft's credit, they have opened up the glyf test in source 
form; and the 1.0 rasterization test is binary-only but free download and 
free-use. The latter allows an imitation to be created in 2.0, quite 
successfully, and beyond initial expectation too: if you just throw a large 
number of buggy fonts at the old 1.0 test and collect the reports, and try to 
detect the same flaws with an alternative implementation, you end up with 
nearly the same thing, much faster and more robust too.

I have fixed a whole lot of problems in the past 12 months, where FV does not 
finish writing a report or does not complete an analysis (like missing the 
rasterization test, but also elsewhere). This latest is a continuation and next 
level up, where FV itself says it cannot continue. For most parts, I have to 
trust that the existing code from Microsoft which they had been writing for 
15-20 years is correct, and the generated reports are worth looking at by font 
designers, however painful they might feel to be told that their favorite 
creations can be flawed.

So I have learned not to argue about the content of the reports. I do not look 
at individual reports, and do not wish to engage in any discussion in that 
direction. I only try to make it produce a report under all circumstances, and 
hopefully, the reports are worth looking at.

It does not need to be 100% correct 100% of the time, and it does not need to 
claim to be. If it flags some genuine problems with some fonts, and some of the 
problems get fixed over time, that's worth doing.


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