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Re: Public Domain Fonts for the Web

From: Michael Emmel <mike@jmaca.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 14:40:31 -0700
Message-ID: <34F33E4E.37D3F884@jmaca.com>
To: www-font@w3.org
Clive Bruton wrote:

> Michael Emmel wrote at 24/02/98 6:31 pm
>
> >I  have ranted  once on this issue but the important thing is not so much
> >free fonts
> >as a good set of standard fonts that are universally available.
> >The natural conclusion is that they mush be free.  If there is another way to
> >answer this that
> >is acceptable to the font industry it would be nice.
>
> The way to answer this that is "acceptable to the font industry" is the
> way it is already done.

Times change.The font industries "standard practice " hampers the development of
other technologies.
And  most importantly some I'm working on : )


> Individuals may decide to freely distribute their
> work, OS or hardware manufacturers may decide to licence and distribute
> faces with their products, or MS may decide it's philanthropy week and
> here are another bunch of free fonts.
>
> That's it.
>
> I might also address the implication of the "font industry" as some
> lumbering giant, it isn't, I'd be surpirsed if more than 500 people were
> employed in design and production of type *world wide*.

By font industry I mean these people.If I said the  high energy physics community
or the Salmon fishing industry .. I don't
believe this correlates to the size of the group. In fact I have no Idea how many
people are involved
in the salmon industry or the   high energy physics community . I suspect the
differ greatly in size.
Naming a collection in no way determines it size.


>
>
> >
> >Plus from what I can tell there is no motivation in  the font industry to
> >allow such standardization.
>
> End users don't want standardisation, they want all the fonts in the
> world.

Please show me were you obtained this information. I've not seen the study.


>
>
> >
> >And one last comment on "free" software and the font industry crying about
> >hard  it is to make good fonts.
> >
> >Guess how many man hours have gone into linux and other free projects  for
> >the benefit
> >of the computer industry. Free software cost's its creators a lot of time and
> >effort and money.
> >I hope that everyone in the font industry that cries about the hard work put
> >into font design uses no free
> >software.  This would include X windows.
>
> Was that free work put in by corporations, or by individuals?
>
> As most people working in the "type industry" will be using Macs or PCs
> they certainly won't be using too many pieces of "free" software (ie
> where the source code is available), and I doubt that many of them have
> much of an idea about what X windows may be (the X-Files screen saver
> perhaps?)
>

Why is Apple giving away a good bit of Quicktime technology.
Where did OpenGL come from ?? TCP/IP ??  HTTPD HTML XML,PDF viewers
Netscapes web browser, Java, C, C++ ........................  and more. The list
is endless.
this includes both specifications and implementations.
The ignorance of the common mac/widows user to the way they benefit from  "free"
technology is irrelevant. I assure you that no one has really tried to educate
"users" on the benefits of free technology except for Microsoft with Internet
Explorer. The internet itself is a product of free technology.
Along with the WWW.
 The argument  is that free software costs a great deal and for your info a good
bitof X was developed by DEC on "corporate" time.   The assumptions you made
concurring the average person in the font industry are just that. Umm Internet
Explorer
is free software. I have no Idea how there desktops are configured. Nor does it
effect may
main argument which is that  man People and Corporations have been willing to
devote
a large amount of energy to the development of  "free" software.  Mainly to
promote standardization. Thus the common argument  that font development is so
costly it can't be free  is invalid.


It is also not clear to me that the average  mac/widows user is responsible for
the determination
of standards in the computer industry.

> >The  reluctance  of the font industry to contribute  because of the work
> >involved in font creation  is nonsense. With this attitude there would be no
> >gcc linux emacs X11 or  Unix as we know it today.
>
> It isn't just the work involved (in the technology), there's also the
> design factor, type doesn't grow on trees, someone has to design it. That
> could well be a lengthy process in itself.

And so is programming I personally  am not able to design fonts.
I have no artistic ability.

>
>
> >
> >Having said this the font industries vigorous attempts to keep font
> >technology  closed smacks of simple attempts to maintain the current status
> >quo.
>
> Mike, get a life, the formats of every popular font format on the planet
> are freely available, how the hell does that keep font technology closed?

>
>
> If you want free fonts, you go make them.

I can neither  play the piano nor draw or act or sing sniff .If I thought I could
make a decent set of free fonts and have them adopted
as I international standard I would do it. I suspect this is not  something
that a  individual  with no artistic ability  working for a small company in a
small town  can do.
All I can do is what I'm doing ask for a standard  and defend the concept.
If  someone would present a reasonable argument why the font industry is
so special that the development  of a small set of standard fonts is impractical,

then I would like to here it.  For my work I need standards I dont care if the
fonts are
some ste of currently avialable free fonts. In fact I would be happy to see a
commitiee
review the freely avialable fonts and pick a subset for the standard.
It up to the "industry" to decide not me.
So far I see no valid reason for the lack of a standard.

>
>
> I think Todd also made some very good points on this issue.
>
> -- Clive

I   am not discussing file formats . I am quit willing to write a number of file
format parsers
and developed my own the problem is the redistribution of a font it has nothing
to do with the format.
If I do write such parsers I would like to redistribute a few "standard" fonts
bundled with them.
There are many free fonts available I have my pick, none is backed by a standard.

Being able to guarantee the presence of a small number of fonts on every
platform because the are "standard" is what I want not free.   The fact that this
would involve them being "free" is simply a side affect.  I personally see no
other way to guarantee a standard if there is then please tell me.
I have a life thank you I'm a good programmer who is extremely interested in the
formation
of a standard body of fonts.  I am simply trying to give a response the the
standard  argument that fonts are so hard to make that they must cost.

If  www-font@w3.org is not for the discussion of standards for the font industry
then please remove me form the mailing  list.

I did not think that a sensible request for  development of a small set of
standard fonts would meet
with such a reaction. I hope that this is not the general feeling.
I'm glad that other areas of the computer industry are not as protective.

  Mike

mike@jmaca.com
Received on Tuesday, 24 February 1998 16:30:04 UTC

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