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Fonts

Thomas Worthington-3
Hi,
   Is anyone actually working on fixing the font problems (ie, no styles  
except the very basic ones)? This is a total show-stopper for professional  
use. If no one is working on it, is there a guide to how to start on  
working with the Inkscape code, submitting patches etcetera?

I'm not sure that I'll have much time to work on it but I am a programmer  
and I have worked with Linux fonts quite a lot over the years. I really  
like Inkscape and use it for design work (real, paid design work) quite a  
lot but it always hits a wall when a client is already using use a font  
which Inkscape can't handle but has to be incorporated, like Helvetica  
Black, which happened yesterday.

There is almost nothing else which causes me to have to revert to  
Illustrator now other than font handling and I'm starting to really resent  
Illustrator because of it.

Thomas Worthington

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Re: Fonts

J.B.C.Engelen
Thomas Worthington wrote:
>    Is anyone actually working on fixing the font problems
> (ie, no styles except the very basic ones)? This is a total
> show-stopper for professional use. If no one is working on
> it, is there a guide to how to start on working with the
> Inkscape code, submitting patches etcetera?

Hi Thomas,

AFAIK nobody is working on it. I hope you can improve things! It is really appreciated a lot :-)
I assume you are working on windows.
Although badly out of date, you can find some hints here: http://inkscape.modevia.com/win32_inkscape_org/win32buildnotes.html
I cannot access the wiki at the moment, I think there is a page there that has more up to date information.
Here is a brief list of how to get inkscape built:
1. Get the code from SVN, using for example TortoiseSVN.
   Checkout https://inkscape.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/inkscape/inkscape/trunk
2. At http://inkscape.modevia.com/win32libs/?C=M;O=D you can download the latest library packages.
   You need gtk210-070527.7z and mingw-4.2.0-070518.7z or anything newer.
   Unpack them (for ease you can unpack them to c:\gtk210 and c:\mingw but it should not matter)
3. Check the contents of mingwenv.bat (inkscape root dir) to see whether the directories are correct.
4. Go to cmdline and to the inkscape dir and enter
     mingwenv.bat
     g++ buildtool.cpp -o btool.exe
     btool
5. An inkscape dir is now created there and you have built your own inscape!
(note that if you change a lot of includes (i.e. dependencies), you should delete build.dep before running btool again; if that doesn't work you must do 'btool clean' and then run btool again.)

TortoiseSVN can easily create patches that you can submit. Note that you get SVN commit access when 2 of your patches are accepted :-)
If you have more questions, you can mail me any time; although these weeks I will probably not be able to respond.

Cheers,
Johan

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Re: Fonts

Thomas Worthington-3
On Sat, 16 Jun 2007 11:49:47 +0100, <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thomas Worthington wrote:
>>    Is anyone actually working on fixing the font problems
>> (ie, no styles except the very basic ones)? This is a total
>> show-stopper for professional use. If no one is working on
>> it, is there a guide to how to start on working with the
>> Inkscape code, submitting patches etcetera?
>
> Hi Thomas,
>
> AFAIK nobody is working on it. I hope you can improve things! It is  
> really appreciated a lot :-)
> I assume you are working on windows.

Actually, I'm in Linux. Sorry, I should have been clearer.

Thomas

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Re: Fonts

Aaron Spike-2
Thomas Worthington wrote:

> On Sat, 16 Jun 2007 11:49:47 +0100, <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Thomas Worthington wrote:
>>>    Is anyone actually working on fixing the font problems
>>> (ie, no styles except the very basic ones)? This is a total
>>> show-stopper for professional use. If no one is working on
>>> it, is there a guide to how to start on working with the
>>> Inkscape code, submitting patches etcetera?
>> Hi Thomas,
>>
>> AFAIK nobody is working on it. I hope you can improve things! It is  
>> really appreciated a lot :-)
>> I assume you are working on windows.
>
> Actually, I'm in Linux. Sorry, I should have been clearer.

We won't hold that against you. ;-)

You might also want to stop by the irc channel/jabber room sometime. At
almost any time of the day there is usually someone knowldegable around,
and even if we can't help you we can very often point you to the person
who can.

As far as how to contribute. There should be some information on the
wiki and website (I've emailed osuosl about the outage). But as Johan
said we require two accepted patches before we grant commit access.
Patches should be submitted to the sf.net patch tracker. It helps to
send a message to this list as well so that interested devs know to
review the patch.

Gail Banaszkiewicz is working in the area of text and font for Google's
Summer of Code. I'm not sure where she is focusing but you may want to
contact her.

Thanks for your interest.

Aaron Spike

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Re: Fonts

Gail Carmichael
In reply to this post by J.B.C.Engelen
Wait! Wait!

[hidden email] wrote:
Thomas Worthington wrote:
  
   Is anyone actually working on fixing the font problems 
(ie, no styles except the very basic ones)? This is a total 
show-stopper for professional use. If no one is working on 
it, is there a guide to how to start on working with the 
Inkscape code, submitting patches etcetera?
    
AFAIK nobody is working on it.
  
I may be doing something that would help.  Have a look at my Summer of Code proposal found on this page <http://www.scs.carleton.ca/~gbanaszk/code/soc07/index.htm>.  The suggested order of attack for the items in my proposal has UI Redesign at the top and Font Family Variants next.  I am currently working on a bug (making <tref> work) but will be moving to the UI when that's done.  Maybe I will get to the font family stuff before the end of the summer, but maybe not - even if I do not, I intend to work on it during school, too.

Let me know if that's the kind of work you're looking for.

Gail

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Re: Fonts

J.B.C.Engelen
Gail wrote:
> I may be doing something that would help.  
> Have a look at my Summer of Code proposal found on this page
> <http://www.scs.carleton.ca/~gbanaszk/code/soc07/index.htm>
> <http://www.scs.carleton.ca/~gbanaszk/code/soc07/index.htm> .  
> The suggested order of attack for the items in my proposal
> has UI Redesign at the top and Font Family Variants next.

Oh sorry! I thought you only worked on the text tool stuff, not
specific font things (I don't know what the problems are...).

Cheers,
Johan

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Re: Fonts

Aaron Spike-2
In reply to this post by Gail Carmichael
Gail Banaszkiewicz wrote:

> [hidden email] wrote:
>> Thomas Worthington wrote:
>>
>>> Is anyone actually working on fixing the font problems (ie, no
>>> styles except the very basic ones)? This is a total show-stopper
>>> for professional use. If no one is working on it, is there a
>>> guide to how to start on working with the Inkscape code,
>>> submitting patches etcetera?
>>>
>> AFAIK nobody is working on it.
>>
> The suggested order of attack for the items in my proposal has UI
> Redesign at the top and Font Family Variants next.

Gail, if Thomas gets to the Font variant problem before you, will you
still have enough work to do for SoC? We'd hate to discourage a new
contributor. :-)

Aaron Spike

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Re: Fonts

Gail Carmichael
Aaron Spike wrote:
Gail Banaszkiewicz wrote:
  
The suggested order of attack for the items in my proposal has UI
Redesign at the top and Font Family Variants next.
    

Gail, if Thomas gets to the Font variant problem before you, will you
still have enough work to do for SoC? We'd hate to discourage a new
contributor. :-)
  

Oh yes, of course - but let's see if what he wants is even what I was proposing there (let us know, Thomas).  Even if he gets started I can continue to work on it later.  Whatever works best :)

Gail

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Re: Fonts

Thomas Worthington-3
Gail,
   It's great to see that someone is tackling this. I wrote more in  
desperation than in hope. Although I've been a programmer for probably a  
good deal longer than you've been alive(!) I do hate C++ with a passion (I  
was exposed to Smalltalk at an early age and it spoilt me for other OO  
languages) and I've also recently started a small design business with a  
friend which is taking up time and not yet generating a lot of money.

I'm also a bit of a font obsessive and have been frustrated by the  
complexities of font handling on Linux for the last ten years. I use  
TrueType fonts under TeX for most of my personal word processing and  
having delved into the depths of these and later been beaten by the  
OpenType format I was not feeling enthusiastic about having a hack at  
Inkscape's formidable code base as my first major outing in C++!

So, in other words, I've very glad and relieved to find that someone is  
already being paid to have a look at the very thing that's bugging me. I  
would still like to help, certainly, but I'd guess that you would be more  
competant than me.

So here's some thoughts:

I did once have most fonts (Type 1, TT, and OT) working with Inkscape  
under version 1 of fontconfig. In that version the font caches were text  
files and could be easily edited. I simply wrote a Perl script which went  
through these cache files and rewrote the names of all fonts that did not  
use the CSS varient names so that the font name got the unrecognised  
varient appended. Thus "Helvetica style=Black Oblique" became  
"Helvetica-Black style=Oblique". This worked really well and exposed  
pretty well every font to Inkscape.

Sadly, this no longer works as the new cache files are binary and the  
format is, shall we say, "obscure". I spent a lot of time beating my head  
against this deadend.

I can't see that there is any way to keep CSS compatibility and not have  
some sort of translation scheme in the background (probaly wouldn't work  
anyway, now that I think of it). But I don't know to what extent the CSS  
compatibility is important to the Inkscape user base. It is certainly of  
zero interest to me - I want to design logos and letterheads for print and  
it would be no sacrifice to me to see any and all HTML/CSS support  
removed. I daresay that this is not the point of view of all Inkscape  
users.

I think the only reasonable compromise is to have a "CSS-only" button on  
the font dialogue and simply filter out any non-CSS variants when it is  
activated. Thus, people desiging for the web can be sure that they have  
not used a varient that won't work and the rest of us can have the  
unrestrained joy of our entire font collection.

I don't know how the current system enforces the varients but I guess  
there's a list somewhere which is applied to the XML and simply prevents  
any non-canonical varients appearing - I tried editing the XML and it  
simply reverted any such styles to empty strings. If that could be turned  
on and off then it might be quite a simple change.

One special, particular note: one of the most heavily used display fonts  
in the western world (and Japan) is Eurostile Extended #2, where "Extended  
#2" is the varient name. Any new system really has to be able to handle  
that name, including the hash mark. I can't stress how often this font is  
used in the real world enough, I see it literally every day somewhere or  
other. I even sold a design that used it and which was made in Inkscape  
back when I could use such fonts with it, so it's particularly galling to  
now have to break out Illustrator to edit a design which was actually  
originally done in Inkscape!

Anyway, where there is one font with odd characters there's bound to be  
others without even worrying about Unicode, so the code needs to be  
generous in what it allows.

I'd be happy to discuss/test any ideas, or to swap tales of assembler  
coding if you'd rather, and perhaps have a poke at the coding too as time  
permits but I think my schedule would be so slow as to be more of a  
hinderance than a help to someone who's got the time to really crack on.

Thomas

On Sat, 16 Jun 2007 16:58:12 +0100, Gail Banaszkiewicz  
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Aaron Spike wrote:
>
> Gail Banaszkiewicz wrote:
>
> The suggested order of attack for the items in my proposal has UI
> Redesign at the top and Font Family Variants next.
>
>
> Gail, if Thomas gets to the Font variant problem before you, will you
> still have enough work to do for SoC? We'd hate to discourage a new
> contributor. :-)
> Oh yes, of course - but let's see if what he wants is even what I was  
> proposing
> there (let us know, Thomas). Even if he gets started I can continue to  
> work on
> it later. Whatever works best :)
>
> Gail



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Re: Fonts

Gail Carmichael
Thomas Worthington wrote:
> So, in other words, I've very glad and relieved to find that someone
> is already being paid to have a look at the very thing that's bugging
> me. I would still like to help, certainly, but I'd guess that you
> would be more competant than me.

Well Thomas, I will leave it up to you.  If you feel like looking around
the codebase and trying a few things before I get to that particular
task, that would be great.  Otherwise, we can connect again once I do
get there (which may or not be during the official summer program - I
try not to predict these things).  Either way, it sounds like you have a
wealth of knowledge that will help very much.  I have worked with fonts
in the past (during my CorelDRAW dev days), but you clearly have a very
detailed knowledge of them overall.

Looking forward to working together!

Gail

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Re: Fonts

Nicu Buculei (OCAL)
In reply to this post by Gail Carmichael
Gail Banaszkiewicz wrote:
> I may be doing something that would help.  Have a look at my Summer of
> Code proposal found on this page
> <http://www.scs.carleton.ca/~gbanaszk/code/soc07/index.htm>.  The
> suggested order of attack for the items in my proposal has UI Redesign
> at the top and Font Family Variants next.  I am currently working on a
> bug (making <tref> work) but will be moving to the UI when that's done.  
> Maybe I will get to the font family stuff before the end of the summer,
> but maybe not - even if I do not, I intend to work on it during school, too.

I have an undergoing experiment about authoring websites using 100%
Inkscape and one of the problems I see is about fonts: you want the
layout to remain the same on every viewer, no matter which platform is
used, but fonts availability is a big problem.
A solution I see is to use fonts that are the metric equivalents of the
Microsoft fonts (like the recently released Liberation [2]) and set a
fall-back solution for your document to use either Liberation or
Microsoft fonts, which is available.

In HTML/CSS one would do either:
        font-family: "Liberation Sans", Arial, sans-serif ;
or
        font-family: Arial, "Liberation Sans", sans-serif ;

I think it would be incredibly cool and useful to have in Inkscape an
easy GUI to manually provide those fall-back fonts.


[1] - http://svg.nicubunu.ro/
[2] - https://www.redhat.com/promo/fonts/
     - http://www.press.redhat.com/2007/05/09/liberation-fonts/

--
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Open Clip Art Library: http://www.openclipart.org
my cool Fedora wallpapers: http://fedora.nicubunu.ro/wallpapers/
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Re: Fonts

bulia byak
In reply to this post by Thomas Worthington-3
On 6/16/07, Thomas Worthington <[hidden email]> wrote:
> One special, particular note: one of the most heavily used display fonts
> in the western world (and Japan) is Eurostile Extended #2, where "Extended
> #2" is the varient name.

In 0.45, such fonts with non-ascii names failed, but in SVN they have
more chance of working because I added proper quoting around font
family names in CSS.

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Re: Fonts

bulia byak
In reply to this post by Gail Carmichael
Gail,

>  I may be doing something that would help.  Have a look at my Summer of Code
> proposal found on this page
> <http://www.scs.carleton.ca/~gbanaszk/code/soc07/index.htm>.
>  The suggested order of attack for the items in my proposal has UI Redesign
> at the top and Font Family Variants next.  I am currently working on a bug
> (making <tref> work) but will be moving to the UI when that's done.  Maybe I
> will get to the font family stuff before the end of the summer, but maybe
> not - even if I do not, I intend to work on it during school, too.

If you are flexible on this, is there any chance you could work on the
CSS extension for font variants next, after the tref work? After all,
UI will eventually be fixed by someone sooner or later anyway, but the
CSS stuff needs more than casual understanding and determination... so
I think it's better to focus on that while you are being paid for your
work :)

--
bulia byak
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http://www.inkscape.org

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Re: Fonts

Gail Carmichael
bulia byak wrote:
> If you are flexible on this, is there any chance you could work on the
> CSS extension for font variants next, after the tref work? After all,
> UI will eventually be fixed by someone sooner or later anyway, but the
> CSS stuff needs more than casual understanding and determination... so
> I think it's better to focus on that while you are being paid for your
> work :)

I'm perfectly flexible ;)  Although I have been  embarrassingly slow
with tref, one of the reasons is that I'm working really hard to
understand how text works overall in Inkscape on a deeper level.  So
this should help me dive into the CSS stuff much more quickly.

(I have tref mostly working, just ironing out a few wrinkles...)

Gail

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Re: Fonts

Chris Lilley
In reply to this post by Gail Carmichael
On Saturday, June 16, 2007, 3:57:13 PM, Gail wrote:

GB>  I may be doing something that would help.  Have a look at my
GB> Summer of Code proposal found on this page
GB> <http://www.scs.carleton.ca/~gbanaszk/code/soc07/index.htm>.  The
GB> suggested order of attack for the items in my proposal has UI
GB> Redesign at the top and Font Family Variants next.  I am currently
GB> working on a bug (making <tref> work) but will be moving to the UI
GB> when that's done.  Maybe I will get to the font family stuff
GB> before the end of the summer, but maybe not - even if I do not, I
GB> intend to work on it during school, too.
GB>  
GB>  Let me know if that's the kind of work you're looking for.

Gail, I hope you don't mind my commenting on some aspects of your
proposal here. You write

http://www.scs.carleton.ca/~gbanaszk/code/soc07/TextImprovements.pdf

  Implementation issues to consider include the limitations of CSS
  itself. The CSS fontstyle property only takes values of normal,
  italic, and oblique. The weight property allows for bold fonts. The
  only values available for the font-variant property are normal and
  small-caps. Therefore, to support variants like outline and swash, a
  workaround is required.

To clarify, the weight property allows for up to nine weights, 100 to
900, as well as the convenience keywords normal and bold:
http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/fonts.html#font-boldness
and these are the same numbers as you will find in a truetype or
opentype font to denote the weight. So light and black weights are
already covered.

You are right that there is no support for swash and outline variants;
a new attribute in an inkscape namespace that is like font-variant but
also allows for swash and outline is exactly the right way to do this.

Note though that if a font provides multiple swash variants for a
given character, that needs to be handled in the actual text element,
using altGlyph.

--
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 Interaction Domain Leader
 Co-Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 W3C Graphics Activity Lead
 Co-Chair, W3C Hypertext CG


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Re: Fonts

bulia byak
On 7/23/07, Chris Lilley <[hidden email]> wrote:
> You are right that there is no support for swash and outline variants;
> a new attribute in an inkscape namespace that is like font-variant but
> also allows for swash and outline is exactly the right way to do this.

Yes, except that we rather want to store not just variant within a
family, but the entire font name including font family and variant -
because in some fonts, even separating the name into "family" and
"variant" parts is not trivial.

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http://www.inkscape.org

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Re: Fonts

Ted Gould
In reply to this post by Chris Lilley
On Mon, 2007-07-23 at 18:58 +0200, Chris Lilley wrote:
> You are right that there is no support for swash and outline variants;
> a new attribute in an inkscape namespace that is like font-variant but
> also allows for swash and outline is exactly the right way to do this.

Chris,

A couple of questions:

- Do you know if the SVG working group is going to pick this up at some
point?  Or is it a little too pedantic for web stuff?

- Do you know if anyone at Adobe is still working on SVG?  It'd be nice
if they could be keyed into this conversation -- interchange would be
ideal even if we implement it slightly differently internally.

Corel and others too.  I don't think we can entirely pull the data out
of the font name if everyone else is putting it in.  We can just be
"more clear" in our own files.

                --Ted


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Re: Fonts

Chris Lilley
On Tuesday, July 24, 2007, 12:34:49 AM, Ted wrote:

TG> On Mon, 2007-07-23 at 18:58 +0200, Chris Lilley wrote:
>> You are right that there is no support for swash and outline variants;
>> a new attribute in an inkscape namespace that is like font-variant but
>> also allows for swash and outline is exactly the right way to do this.

TG> Chris,

TG> A couple of questions:

TG> - Do you know if the SVG working group is going to pick this up at some
TG> point?  Or is it a little too pedantic for web stuff?

It might, but it would need to coordinate with the CSS and the XSL WGs. CSS WG in particular is already over burdened with specs that are not finished; I doubt they want to take more work on.

I think there could be interest for XSL to look at it, though.

TG> - Do you know if anyone at Adobe is still working on SVG?

They have gone quiet; this seemed to coincide with their takeover by/of Macromedia and focussing on Flash.

Their authoring products continue to export and import SVG; I don't have access to CS3 so don't know if this has continued to improve.

TG>  It'd be nice
TG> if they could be keyed into this conversation -- interchange would be
TG> ideal even if we implement it slightly differently internally.

TG> Corel and others too.

The latest release of Corel Draw (the X3 suite) *did* have improvements in SVG export, so seems to be under active development.

TG>   I don't think we can entirely pull the data out
TG> of the font name

Its a hard problem in general to get reliable metadata out of the font name. You need to read the individual bits of data from the font files.
 
TG> if everyone else is putting it in.  We can just be
TG> "more clear" in our own files.

TG>                 --Ted





--
 Chris Lilley                    mailto:[hidden email]
 Interaction Domain Leader
 Co-Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 W3C Graphics Activity Lead
 Co-Chair, W3C Hypertext CG


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