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Re: [Devel] Apple Licenses Question

From: Vadim Plessky
Subject: Re: [Devel] Apple Licenses Question
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2001 12:44:59 +0000

On Monday 03 September 2001 18:18, Daniel Migowski wrote:
|   > > There are basically two patents:
|   > > - the other targets the broader part, that is the concept of
|   > > projection vector (which almost any practical use of TrueType for
|   > > hinting use).
|   >
|   > I shall add that what is really covered by the patent is the
|   > case where the "freedom" and "projection" vectors are not in
|   > the same direction during "move" instructions..
|   >
|   > In 95% cases, they're in the same direction, and there is just
|   > tons of prior art for these operations. However, as soon as you
|   > start hinting diagonals, you need the patented behaviour.
|   >
|   > This explains the glyphs displayed in "patents.html" (those with
|   > no diagonals don't seem to suffer much from the "change"..)
|   I got the following idea as a "workaround" for the patent.
|   As far as I see at the moment, its no problem to deliever a truetype VM,
|   if it doesn't use the DELTA instructions or can handle opcodes,
|   that work on freedom and projection vectors which are not orthogonal.

well, it's rather difficult to emulate TT DELTA behavior without doing 
something very similar.

But I should tell you here that there are some other font technologies which 
support hinting for disgonal elements (diagonal stems)
Last month I have read book by Peter Karow
(Font Technology. Description and Tools. 
Springer-Verlag, 1994)
Despite it's date looks like *too old*, there is quite interesting and very 
important information in this book.
In particular, Peter Karow compares different font formats and hinting 
possibilities. Except TrueType and PS Type1, he also compares 
Agfa-Compugrapgic Intellifont, Sun/Folio F3, and URW Nimbus/IKARUS.
// he was original developer of IKARUS program in URW.
Hinting for diagonal stems is supported by TrueType, Agfa-CG Intellifont, 
Sun/Folio F3, and URW Nimbus/IKARUS - by everyone excpet Adobe...
 So I think it will be ok to add diagonal hinting to FT's AUto-Hinter, and it 
will *magically* solve many problems (including patent issues)
I found this book only now, because it was translated into Russian for the 
first time.
May be, there is newer version in Europe (al least in Germany).
I highly recommend to you to take a look on this book.

|   OK, there are fonts, which use the above technologie, but we have the
|   truetype VM, and why can't we write some code (a compiler), that decodes
|   the instructions in TrueType-fonts, and replaces them by code, that
|   does the actual projection? OK, we have to blow up existing fonts,
|   but if only the result matters, who cares?
|   Then the truetype engine is completly free. The other question is, if the
|   compiler is free then. It does not use the patentet technologie 'to
| render' fonts, it just replaces instructions, which result in new fonts,
| that look the
|   same. One could also call these fonts TuxType fonts.
|   OK, the problem is to deliver TuxType fonts directly, because they are
|   derived
|   work from copyrighted fonts (mostly) but if one lets freetype just see,
|   if the tuxtype compiler is available, and then switch to a simplified
|   truetype engine,
|   and compile truetype fonts to tuxtype fonts, would this be problematic?
|   Btw, maybe font foundrys would then just convert their fonts to TuxType,
| to make
|   them linux compatible?

I doubt font manufacturers will do it.
Note that Adobe doesn't convert its Type Collection (around 2100 fonts) to 
TrueType format, it's availble only in PostScript.
If you need Adobe Fonts - well, you need to buy them from Adobe, and buy 
printer with Adobe PostScript. That's the way these guys making money ;-))

|   Regards,
|       Daniel Migowski
|   PS: Please tell me, if I missed some point.
|   PPS: Or is it illegal for a compiler, to produce patented code?


Vadim Plessky  (English)
33 Window Decorations and 6 Widget Styles for KDE
Do you have Arial font installed? Just test it!

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