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Re: Public Domain Fonts for the Web

From: Clive Bruton <clive@typonaut.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 98 01:48:39 +0000
To: <www-font@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1323751011-21784969@battersea.indx.co.uk>
Michael Emmel wrote at 24/02/98 9:40 pm

>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 
>> >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 : )

I don't know where you got the ""standard practice"" quote from, I 
certainly never said that.

If you have a problem with a technology you are developing then that is 
really your problem, not the "font industry's".

Though I find it difficult to understand how, as has been stated at least 
a couple of times, this can be the case when the currently dominant font 
formats are publicly available.

>> 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 
>or the Salmon fishing industry .. I don't
>believe this correlates to the size of the group. 

I think then we have a different understanding of the English language 
"industry" from my point of view correlates with "large" or "powerful", 
the type design business is neither.

Perhaps you should have included the word "cottage" (industry).

>Naming a collection in no way determines it size.

Again we'll have to disagree, on the understanding of language.

     paul's t-shirt stall

     paul's t-shirt shop

     paul's t-shirt supermarket

     paul's t-shirt industries

Certainly imply an element of scale.

>> 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.

Really? Go to DejaNews, and browse the last couple of years of comp.fonts 
and alt.binaries.fonts.

Then go down to your local computer store and see how many useless fonts 
you can buy for $30.00, and how many high quality fonts you can buy for 
the same money, ask the manager how many he sells of each.

>Why is Apple giving away a good bit of Quicktime technology.

I don't believe Apple are giving the source code to QuickTime away, they 
give away the necessary extensions for plug-ins, licences to distribute 
and SDKs cost money.

>Where did OpenGL come from ?? TCP/IP ??  HTTPD HTML XML,PDF viewers
>Netscapes web browser, Java, C, C++ ........................  and more.

The software may be free, but in at least two of those cases it *sells* 
something else, ie free PDF viewers sell the standard and sell PDF 
editors and creators.

Again I'll add the point that the source code may not be available for 
these free pieces of software (ie Acrobat Reader), but the standard that 
it is based on is published.

>I assure you that no one has really tried to 
>"users" on the benefits of free technology except for Microsoft with Internet

Not Apple with QuickTime, not Netscape with Navigator, Adobe with 

>The internet itself is a product of free technology.

Let's try to get this straight, the standards may be freely published (as 
they are for various type technologies), but implementation costs money. 
Or may be you can sort me out a 2Mb leased line for free?

>Thus the common argument  that font development 
>is so
>costly it can't be free  is invalid.

The standards are published. Your argument is nonsensical since you 
aren't applying the known facts.

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

It isn't clear to me that as an obvious neophite you should be dictating 
the standards of the type business.

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

So you can program?

Maybe we can arrange a swap, I'll design your font, you come and sort my 
databases out?

>> 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?

Significatly you fail to answer this question.

>> If you want free fonts, you go make them.
>I can neither  play the piano nor draw or act or sing sniff .

And all of those things are controlled by demonic industries that will 
leach your last drop of blood in the name of royalty payments.

Wanna complain?

>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.

Oh poor little you!

Again I'll have to address your "font industry" line here, since you seem 
to further imply that because of your lack of resources (due at least in 
part to the size of your organisation and it's geographical location), 
you could not hope to complete this task, even if you did have the 
necessary skills. I have to deduce from that you believe that the "type 
industry" does have the necessary capacity?

Think again. Most type designers work in very small companies, ie one or 
two people, how would they have any more hope of completing such a task 
than you?

>All I can do is what I'm doing ask for a standard  and defend the concept.

*****The standards are published*****

>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 
>then I would like to here it.  

Microsoft has freely published a standardised core set of fonts, Adobe 
has done likewise with at least one font. There are many additional fonts 
that are available in core OSs.

>For my work I need standards I dont care if 
>fonts are
>some ste of currently avialable free fonts. In fact I would be happy to see a
>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.

Because it's not a technology issue, it's an aesthetic issue. Maybe you'd 
like the ISO to publish a spec for standardised patterned wallpaper, how 
many people do you think would want to decorate their houses with it?

>I did not think that a sensible request for  development of a small set of
>standard fonts would meet
>with such a reaction.

That set already exists, your request appears to require that they be 
officially blessed, by whom exactly?

>I hope that this is not the general feeling.
>I'm glad that other areas of the computer industry are not as protective.

Maybe you should ask all those programmers, you have quoted as the great 
and the good, for their source code?

-- Clive
Received on Tuesday, 24 February 1998 20:52:14 UTC

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