Sunday, October 24, 2010

Briän M Zick

Briän M Zick: "Font developer"
Introducing a new site for myself!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Getting AFDKO Working on Mac OS X 10.5

I don't know if anyone else had this problem, but following the installation guide for Adobe Font Development Kit for OpenType (AFDKO) didn't work. It actually wasn't a big deal, but I'm posting this for anyone who has had the same problem, and doesn't have any idea how to make it work.

Make sure you have open. (It's in /Applications/Utilities.) Hopefully you know your way around the terminal, because this is not only what we'll be using to fix it, but how you use AFDKO. For a brief rundown, take a look at man intro, starting from "The shell". This page is for linux, but it should help you out.

On following the instructions, the final test didn't work.

  1. Download the AFDKO archive file and decompress it.
  2. You should now have a folder named "FDK". Move it to where you want.
  3. Open a Terminal window (Terminal is located in /Applications/Utilities/Terminal).
  4. Open the "FDK" folder and locate the file named "FinishInstallOSX".
  5. Select the "FinishInstallOSX" file, drag & drop it on the Terminal window, and press the "Return" key.
  6. If FinishInstallOSX complains that it does not have permission to make the changes, type "sudo " (no quotes and keep the final space) before doing step 5. The results in the command line "sudo FinishInstallOSX". This command will prompt you for the system administrator password, which will allow FinishInstallOSX to complete its work.
Close the Terminal window.
If all went well the FDK should now be ready to run. To test it, do the following:
  1. Open a Terminal window.
  2. Type "autohint -h" (no quotes) and hit "Return". This should give you the Help information about the Autohint tool.

Running that last bit results in this for me:
b@t % autohint -h
zsh: command not found: autohint
My guess was that the "FinishInstallOSX" was the problem. Opening it up, it states it does two things:
1) create a symbolic link (a Unix alias file) from the "bin" sub-directory of your home directory to wherever the FDK actually is. This is necessary for the Python-based tools to work at all.
2) edit your Terminal start-up script to add "/bin/FDK/Tools/osx" to your $PATH environment variable. If this is succesful, then you can run the FDK commands without having to type in the full path to the command.

Instead of digging through the script, I just decided to see if it did what it says it's supposed to. Checking in my home folder, a symbolic link was created to where the FDK is. So, the problem would be with the $PATH variable.

This is kept in $HOME/.profile, so we'll take a look at that.
b@t % cat $HOME/.profile
test -r /sw/bin/ && . /sw/bin/
# Initialization for FDK command line tools.Tue Oct 5 14:23:51 2010
export FDK_EXE
export PATH
So it looks OK, but it doesn't work. I find it a bit strange to separate export from PATH=${PATH}:"/Users/brianzick/bin/FDK/Tools/osx", and so on. So just open $HOME/.profile in your favorite editor (TextEdit will even work if you can't use anything else).
b@t % ed .profile
export FDK_EXE="/Users/brianzick/bin/FDK/Tools/osx"
export PATH=${PATH}:"/Users/brianzick/bin/FDK/Tools/osx"
b@t %
Make sure those last lines to look like this:
export FDK_EXE="/Users/brianzick/bin/FDK/Tools/osx"
export PATH=${PATH}:"/Users/brianzick/bin/FDK/Tools/osx"
You'll need to replace /Users/brianzick/ with your own home directory. If you're not sure what it is, use this command in the Terminal:
b@t % echo $HOME
Save it. Now to see if this worked you'll first want to source the file to actually apply the change (with .), and then echo your $PATH.
b@t % . $HOME/.profile
b@t % echo $PATH
If this worked properly, it should return something like:
Now, let's do the test from the instructions again.
b@t % autohint -h
autohint AutoHinting program v1.30 Mar 13 2009
autohint -h
autohint -u
autohint [-g <glyph list="">] [-gf <filename>] [-xg <glyph list="">] [-xgf <filename>] [-cf path] [-a] [-logOnly] </filename></glyph></filename></glyph>[-log <logfile path="">] [-r] [-q] [-c] [-nf] [-ns] [-nb] [-o <output font="" path="">]
font-path</output></logfile></pre><pre><glyph list=""><filename><glyph list=""><filename><logfile path=""><output font="" path="">
Auto-hinting program for PostScript and OpenType/CFF fonts.
Copyright (c) 2006, 2007, 2008 Adobe Systems Incorporated
Woa, it worked! Now, I'll just have to see how well the various tools work. I'm most interested in the autohinter, so I'll be testing that out first to see how it compares to the fontforge autohinter. Cheers!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Alpine Serif

Some drafts of letterforms. See how this one turns out!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Newton Text

I am currently developing Newton, a dark, abrupt, transitional text serif, for use on screen and in print.