Processing Fonts Using Windows 7

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Dick Pape
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Processing Fonts Using Windows 7

Postby Dick Pape » Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:45 pm

I have come up against a processing "wall" and would like to know if there are ways around the problem.

I upgraded my PC from Windows XP to Windows 7 when I purchased a new desktop. It has a very fast cpu, 8 cores, 8gb memory and an SSD. Wonderful speed for everything except editing fonts. It is so slow, even for alphabetic fonts, that I've started to use my old XP machine as my font desk... I would like to use the updates and convenience of my new desktop of course. (I continue to use FC 6.5)

Is there a specific hardware/software problem I could investigate?

(I've probably complained about this before, but it's not getting any better...) Thanks, Dick

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Re: Processing Fonts Using Windows 7

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:02 pm

The only time I notice a problem is when Glyph Validation is enabled and I am editing or viewing complex glyphs. By complex, I mean about 20-30 contours, and 1,000-1,500 nodes.

I know that your fonts have lots of very complex glyphs, so make sure that you disable glyph validation.
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Re: Processing Fonts Using Windows 7

Postby Dick Pape » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:14 pm

Validation has been turned down (4000 pts or contours) and it really is obnoxious with larger glyphs where to change from point to contour takes 8-9 seconds without doing any work.

I've attached sample font with smaller, medium, and larger sized characters to illustrate the slowness.

In Edit window move from 1 to 2 to 3. See how slow it becomes. Move back and it shows the same characteristics.

a. On glyph #1 870 pts: Select a point 1-2 seconds to respond. Add a point (key A), 1-2 seconds. Repeat add a point, 1-2 seconds.
b. On glyph #2 1566 pts: Select a point 3-4 seconds. Add a point, 3-4 seconds. Repeat, 3-4 seconds.
c. On glyph #3 3600 pts: Select a point 8-9 seconds. Add a point, 8-9 seconds to add. Repeat 8-9 seconds.

Moving from point to point (Q or W) shows the same sloth.

It looks like it's recalculating all distances for every element of work... Adding a point should not mean recalculating all distances. Moving to the next point should neither.

Perhaps the times are linear but such larger numbers make it impossible to correct complicated figures.

Some time ago Windows Explorer was slow processing font directories because it read every file to see if it was either OTF or TTF. I was hoping there was something like that going on with Windows 7.

I'd even upgrade to Windows 8!! if it helped. Maybe.
NewFont.ttf
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Re: Processing Fonts Using Windows 7

Postby MikeW » Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:51 am

Hi Dick--running 7.5 on Windows 8, 64-bit on a now aging Toshiba laptop with 4 gigs of ram.

Slower than my typical fonts, but even on glyph #3, while not zippy to add points, alter curves, move points, it is close enough to real-time that I wouldn't be bothered by it.

Mike

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Re: Processing Fonts Using Windows 7

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:14 am

I checked with FontCreator 6.5 and there is no problem.

The default setting for validation seems to be 40 contours and 400 points, so you have not “turned it down,” unless you had previously “turned it up.”

With validation enabled, but on the default setting, all three glyphs in your font are “too complex to process” at the default setting. There is no delay in switching from point mode to contour mode, or in moving or adding nodes.

If the validation options are increase to 400 contours and 4,000 nodes so that all three of your complex glyphs are validated, and if real-time glyph validation is enabled, then as expected there is a significant delay in adding or moving points. After disabling real-time glyph validation, there is no problem.

With very complex glyphs like these, the only practical way to work is to disable real-time validation, and to use the Refesh button on the Validation toolbar to locate errors. That way, FontCreator is not reprocessing the glyph every time you add or move a point.

Refresh Validation.png
Refresh Validation.png (26.59 KiB) Viewed 3922 times
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Re: Processing Fonts Using Windows 7

Postby Erwin Denissen » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:00 am

I noticed the very same issue when I got a new computer a couple of years ago. Several things went a lot faster, but not all. The change from 32-bit to 64-bit CPU, a different graphics driver and more cores all seem to be related.

MainType has superior support for multiple cores, while FontCreator has little support for it. The only true benefit for multi-core support is on opening multiple fonts at once, when generating optical metrics, and the rare times one is editing fonts with very complex glyphs. For now we don't have a solution.
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Re: Processing Fonts Using Windows 7

Postby Dick Pape » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:25 pm

Thanks for the analyses... BP: You're right, I went the wrong way!! That's not just a "senior moment", it's plain dumb!!! Works faster with 40 and 40... I am SO embarrassed!!!!

ED: Am surprised with those results. Everything seems to be single threaded, just that it can do several different apps simultaneously using the multiple cores. New computer runs very much quieter! so there's been some benefit...

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Re: Processing Fonts Using Windows 7

Postby Erwin Denissen » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:17 am

I'm glad to know changing the validation settings did help.
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