Initial Forms Always Applied

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Initial Forms Always Applied

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:21 pm

According to Microsoft Typography, Initial Form (init) should be enabled by default, but as the name implies, they should only be used at the start of words. PagePlus correctly applies them (Word Start Alternates) only at the start of words, but the FontCreator Preview uses them in the middle or at the end of words when the feature is enabled.
initial forms.gif
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Erwin Denissen
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Re: Initial Forms Always Applied

Post by Erwin Denissen » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:39 pm

We've had a discussion about this very same issue with another customer earlier this week.

The specs have changed, and that's why we also changed the way we process the feature. Right now it says these features should only work with characters as defined in ArabicShaping.txt. Since we don't know how that should work (with non Latin scripts, first and last have a different meaning), it is now not implemented at all.

Also see this topic at our forum:
How to make a contextual cursive font
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Initial Forms Always Applied

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:53 pm

Thanks. I guess I will have to create a feature like I have used in my other fonts for decorative drop capitals, just for this one glyph.
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MikeW
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Re: Initial Forms Always Applied

Post by MikeW » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:26 pm

I'm the other customer...

I believe that as long as FC implements the init, medi and fina features, it should also display them correctly regardless of the lang used. Otherwise they cannot be tested in-application.

The exported font works per design and there is no reason not to display them properly in FC. Else it simply makes more work for testing having to export, install, activate and have a file set up to test in another application. All applications that implement these 3 features display them properly, FC ought to as well.

The issue with using a chaining context instead of the init, medi and/or fina features is that the CA is an all or nothing feature. One cannot have separate CAs. There is a long history of using these features for stylistic variance in OT latin fonts.

Hudson mentioned in his revision proposal that by limiting the scope of these 3 features to those glyphs in the ArabicShaping.txt it would clear the way for new tags to handle latin text. Great, but he did not make such a proposal and until such time as there is a replacement, I do not see applications changing how they handle the 3 features in question. In fact, they are agnostic as to the language used and I seriously doubt Adobe et al will change. If they do, I cannot imagine them changing to an explicit limitations until such time as there is the ability to have different tags for non-RTL text.

I believe FC should revert to treating these features in an agnostic manner.

Mike

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Re: Initial Forms Always Applied

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:39 am

Thanks for your input, Mike.

Since this is clearly not a bug, but the intentional behaviour, I have moved the topic to the FontCreator Discussion forum.

I think, for now, I will just leave this feature as Initial Forms, since that (Word Start Alternates) works as expected in PagePlus, etc., and is easier to implement. Initial Forms are enabled by default in Affinity Designer too, if I remember rightly, so no interaction is required from the user.

See this thread on OpenType Feature to Replace Initial Forms
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Re: Initial Forms Always Applied

Post by MikeW » Sat Dec 24, 2016 4:34 am

I believe Dave is going to be looking into seeing what Lang tag has what features and what the OS language us and modify what is on/off by default. So AD in the future may well have init, medi and fina off if conditions are met.

This would, or could, work out well. He's fixing other things I have brought to his attention and so hopefully the above can be worked out at the same time.

Mike

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Re: Initial Forms Always Applied

Post by MikeW » Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:52 pm

So a week and a half ago, I altered a font from using init, medi and fina features to using stylistic alternatives with CA lookups. It took me half a day to get the three features working properly in FC.

It's more coding than should be necessary (er, it's quite a few rules in each CA) for these features and all just to see if (1) I could do this and (2) how much work it takes. But it did work--until it came to testing outside of FC and found out that some applications trip over themselves when more than X number (sometimes only 2) rules are in a CA feature. Of course, those issues lie with the application developers all of which properly implement the three features in question.

So I am back to writing features in version 9 for testing these three features and copy/paste the code in version 10 and testing in it be damned.

Mike

(And I really wish I was offered an install folder during FC installation and update and perhaps the FC executable's name included the major version number. Well, and if one does install a previous version while a more recent version is installed, I wish it didn't set the registry to use it for opening projects.)

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Re: Initial Forms Always Applied

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:53 pm

MikeW wrote:I was offered an install folder during FC installation
See this tip to install it wherever you want.
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Re: Initial Forms Always Applied

Post by MikeW » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:15 pm

Yes, that's what I do (thank you for the tip, btw). I just believe it wouldn't be necessary if FC offered up the installation folder whenever an initial install or update is offered.

Mike

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Re: Initial Forms Always Applied

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:21 pm

MikeW wrote:Yes, that's what I do (thank you for the tip, btw). I just believe it wouldn't be necessary if FC offered up the installation folder whenever an initial install or update is offered.

Mike
It was changed in FontCreator 9.1 to make installation easier for ordinary users. One less decision for them to make.
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Re: Initial Forms Always Applied

Post by MikeW » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:28 pm

I cannot/didn't remember. So thank you for that.

I feel this is another change like the problem in this thread. Change isn't always good. As regards the path at install/update, people are use to seeing it and in my experience, just click past it and accept the defaults. Heck, I've seen some applications that have it grayed out unless a radio button is selected, and then of course some offer the Customize install option. Any of those options would be better.

But hey, I also have no indication whether Erwin is going to return the ability to test the features in FC itself for which this thread was created and discussed. So my opinion may not mean much...

Mike

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