[XeTeX] [OT] Free fonts for fontspec examples?

Alexey Kryukov anagnost at yandex.ru
Wed Jul 14 05:08:56 CEST 2010

On Tue, 13 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0930
Will Robertson wrote:

> Why? If they are "historical forms" isn't it better to give them a 
> meaningful OpenType feature name?

To my mind, an attempt to provide meaningful feature names for every
possible situation was a key mistake of the OpenType standard. It is
especially clear in case of historical forms, because it is difficult
to describe the huge number of possible glyph/character variations with
just one or two predefined tags. One problem here is that making a
historical typeface more "authentical" usually means to make it
also less readable for a modern reader. So the common solution is to
add several levels of stylization (for example, for a Latin face the
first level may include just "long s", the second also "r rotunda" and
so on).

Stylistic sets IMHO represent a better conception of smart font
programming, where the feature tag doesn't prescribe its exact usage.
As for meaningful names, it's no longer a problem, as the OT
specification currently allows to assign a friendly name (it even
can be localized) to each stylistic set. But once you have started
using stylistic sets, soon you understand you no longer need any other
"typographic" features dealing with letter forms (may be, except 'liga'
and 'calt').

> This has always been available under the "Variant=0/1/2/3/..."
> feature but this name wasn't very obvious. In more recent versions of
> fontspec you can use "StylisticSet=0/1/2...".

Ah, I missed that. Thanks for the info.

Alexey Kryukov <anagnost at yandex dot ru>

Moscow State University
Historical Faculty

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