FontMoot 01

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by Frodo7
See also FontMoot 02 by Frodo7.

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FontMoot: Font Forum [Moot: noun 1. gathering; meeting; assemby of people 2. an ancient English meeting; representative meeting of the freemen of a shire 3. an argument; debate; discussion verb (used with object) 1. to bring up, present or introduce any point, subject, etc. for debate/discussion 2.to discuss or debate. adjective 1. open to discussion or debate; debatable; doubtful: a moot point.] Do not rate the pixel font here. It is identical to Mirkwood Regular. If you want to click on stars, rate the very idea of opening this thread.
Info: Created on 15th August 2009 . Last edited on 8th January 2012.
License Creative Commons
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132 Comments

Here are my wishes:

1. To be able to copy and paste between fontstructions. It is not my idea, others had it before, but also feel the pressing need for this feature.

2. New tools for the palette: rotate, horizontal and vertical reflect. The ability to rotate a selection could make 3/4 of the bricks redundant.
Intaglio had a more elaborate idea about this on Fontfeed.

3. To be able to change licensing on a case by case basis.

4. More extra guides

5. Ruler that shows the brick count on the side

6. Drag feature inside the pixel preview panel to make it a real navigation panel.

7. Clear All (text) button in the preview window.

8. Extended capacity to accommodate more bricks. Well, it's a wish.

9. Extended range for the zoom tool.

10. Kerning pairs. Maybe it's for FS 2.5
Comment by Frodo7 15th August 2009
Comment by Frodo7 15th August 2009
Good idea, Frodo.

My wishlist would be:
1a. Make brick stacking a feature, and make it easy to make stacks. One way would be to highlight a brick and if you place another brick on it, it becomes a stack.

1b. Be able to drag a created stack into MyBricks set so you can just put the stack into place.

1c. Drag a brick out of MyBricks and get rid of all instances of that brick. I have a feeling this is doable since you can already swap one brick for another, therefore every instance of that brick is already known. Cavet: If a certain brick is used as a single as well as in stack and you drag off the single brick, the stack should not be affected.

2. Drag and reorder bricks in MyBricks.

3. Have a toggle button in Preview to turn anti-alising on/off. Same for within FontEditor.

4a. Drag characters to reorder them so you can have characters in the order you desire. (Too many variables to actually implement?)

4b. Select the order of the character subsets. UC-lc-No or lc-UC-No or lc-No-UC or No-lc-UC etc.

I'll think of more...
Comment by thalamic 15th August 2009
Well met, young Baggins. We'll all meet here at the moot ... well most will meet, a minority might miss the meaning of the moot maybe ........... HELP! Iv'e been possessed by an em.

Seriously, it's a great idea and a worthy contribution to the FS community :-)
Comment by p2pnut 15th August 2009
Very good suggestions there, Frodo!

Though, #7 can be worked around by selecting all text (cmd-a/ctrl-a) and pressing delete.
Comment by sebastianberns 15th August 2009
Thx, Frodo, for sacrificing one your FSions for the cause.

I agree with the suggestions exposed so far, even though I actually have not thought about such possibilities & they seem like pretty smart moves.

My wish list is less about the app and more about the site itself:

1. Kill the Font Troll Rating system.
A Like/Dig rating system would be more fair since no one would have the power to downgrade the value suggested by others.

2. A User Comment Tracklist.
Since we already have a user section that counts all of our comments, that could maybe redirect us to a list of the links where such comments were posted. the items in the list could also be highlighted in case some comments back or responses. This would "forumize" us a little bit.

3. A non-Fontstruction Topic Discussion Feed, we could call Forum.
As gferreira exposed in Up All Night we already have a discussion system, so maybe a Create Topic feature could be added that just uses this feature without having a FSion to start it.
These topics could then be summarized in a new tab and there: we have Forum.

But then, I will still enjoy FS anyways...
Comment by cayo 15th August 2009
thanks frodo, for starting this :)

1. revise voting.

2. provide ability to bookmark fonts - our own and others - on our myfontstruct page. include ability to create folders also and put bookmarks in folders.

3. provide ability to copy and paste lc to uc or uc to lc. this would be the entire 26 character set.

4. provide ability to group/ungroup bricks. sometimes it's tricky when working with various filter settings to always click on the actual brick area after you have selected it to move.
Comment by funk_king 15th August 2009
Ontmoot? Fentmoot? Anyway, seeing how you've set up an ad-hoc discussion forum, I'll put my two cents in here. Mr Meek asked me to elaborate on some ideas I've been throwing around elsewhere about reorganising the toolbox and adding a transform function.
Basically the toolbox would contain two types of bricks: those that transform and those that don't. Which bricks get displayed where depends upon how in-depth the transforms are going to be. If you have scale as well as rotate, all of the sub-grid bricks can become transforms as well. The idea is to include only meta-bricks in the toolbox, to de-clutter it.
The illustration shows how it would work. If you select "transform" (a new submenu in advanced features) with the brick you want highlighted in the toolbox, you get a list of options you'd like to choose for that brick. I've picked the halfround because that's one of the ones I want most! I've then picked a scale, which then appears in the document as shown. Obviously the depth of transformations available depends upon how much work poor Mr Meek is able to throw at it...
Note that you only get the bricks you need to make the compound shape. And they also appear in "my bricks" which is a whole separate pasteboard function, a saveable, transferrable file unique to each user. (Salivate here.)

The downside of this idea is that it's more complicated for a newbie. The rotated and scaled bricks don't appear in the toolbox any more. There's an extra process the user has to get his/her head around to access them. For this reason, I'd suggest an option Fontstruct Classic or Fontstruct Expert, for instance. It could be a preference.

One benefit of this approach is that brick extensions could be added incrementally. (The software we've got already has lots of transforms, it's just that at the moment they're cluttering up the toolbox.) I think this recategorising of bricks, with a beefed-up method of accessing them once chosen, would create a robust platform for further extension to Fontstruct without the need for user-generated brick-fiddling. By that, I mean beziers (make the sign of the cross here.)
Comment by intaglio 16th August 2009
Oh oh...

x. Redesign My Fontstruct. First page should only have folders. Give searching ability within.

y. tag fonts all over the site to remember which you liked.

more later...
Comment by thalamic 16th August 2009
I was thinking...Improved Gallery searches. For example, you could tag your own fonts as v0.1, v0.2, etc., depending on where you are in the development stage (your own call) and then do a search like '+thalamic, +v0.3' to get all your own fonts that are so tagged. Just throwing in the idea since this might be easier to implement than a redesign of MyFontStruct.
Comment by thalamic 16th August 2009
PS: I know that users like funk_king, intaglio, and anyone else with a lot of shared/unshared fonts could really benefit from that. I, myself, am upto 204 (most crap, BTW).
Comment by thalamic 16th August 2009
Oh yeah...voting system revision. Ratings out, Like/Dig/*/! in.

"This font has received 2!s." or "This font was liked by 2 people." or something.

And downloading of a font gets automatic Like, since the person obviously liked it to initiate download.
Comment by thalamic 16th August 2009
@thal: I was wondering how brickstacking could be accommodated. I like your idea, it's very simple at the user level but probably a gigantic headache to implement! The trouble, as far as I see it, is that there really has to be a tile for every imaginable stack in order for them to be truly cut-and-pasteable.

I love thinking about this sort of stuff. Maybe there could be a library of "most used" stacks (accessed when the transform tool is applied to a highlighted stack you've made). If your stack is one of the favoured combinations, the transform is available; if it's not, boo hoo, it's greyed out. That way we could accommodate stacks that can be copied (legal) without throwing out Williaum's method for those that don't (illegal). As well as allowing space for incremental increases of legal brickstacks to the library over time.

Re My Fontstruct: a very sensible idea. On my private page I don't need to see a preview, just the names will do. As you say, put the search functions on steroids instead. Why squander resources on your private page?
Comment by intaglio 16th August 2009
Wow. Thanks for letting us gather around your font Frodo.
There are a lot of great ideas here.
Basically we have a roadmap for adding features which is informed by input from FontStructors, from contact mails and comment threads like this one.
Most of the things which are being asked for are on that roadmap.
Implementing these changes is mostly a question of time and resources.
So keep the ideas coming, but we can't make any promises about when, and in what order features will be added.

@Frodo7 re your wishlist:

1. Copy and paste between FontStructions is just being tested at the moment.

2. Rotation and mirroring tools are on the roadmap.

3. There seems to be a bug with choosing licenses for individual fonts. I am going to look into this.

4. Extra Guides: Are on the roadmap.

5. This is not explicitly on the roadmap but makes sense and would fit well with 4.

6. I haven't heard that one before. Like the Navigator panel in Photoshop I guess you mean. Nice idea. Have to think about that one.

7. sebastianberns gives a way to do this lower down in the thread. It might also be useful to have some standard preview texts available from a dropdown- especially when we add kerning support.

8. Yes we plan to add this definitely.

9. I understand why people want this. An obstacle is that people are already working at much higher resolutions than FS was originally designed to handle
- hence, for example, the huge fonts that won't download. Things have improved since FontStruct started but until we've solved the issues
involved with high-res designs we won't increase the zoom range.

10. Yes we want to add kerning. This is on the roadmap.

@thalamic

1a. Yes we intend to add brick stacking as a feature
1b. Or whenever you create a stack it appears in MyBricks
1c. Binning bricks. I haven't heard or thought of that one before. Certainly doable but dangerous! Note taken anyway.
2. Reordering bricks in MyBricks. Yes. This is a must.
3. Alias toggle. Maybe in the right/ctrl-click menu. I'd like to keep the preview widget as simple as possible. Some FontStructions don't look good in the preview widget because a thin, dark line is drawn around each brick. This, almost invisible, line is there to prevent white gaps appearing between bricks (people who have used FontStruct from the beginning may remember those white lines from the early days). With some FontStructions this dark line causes unfortunate fuzziness in the preview and a loss of detail, for example if the design intentionally contains thin gaps. We would like to add a toggle setting for Font designers to enable them to turn off this dark line in the preview. We would also like to add a 'view grid' option to the preview widget.
4. Reordering character sets. Another new idea for me. I'll have to think about that one.

@cayo

1. Kill the troll. We are going to make changes to the voting system and add alternative ways of rating/evaluating fonts. Having said that, it's not going to be possible to please everyone on that front.

2. Yes that makes sense.

3. I'm definitely with Gustavo on this one. Isn't it nice to gather around a nice warm FontStruction to discuss things? The live feed does make it easier to follow a discussion. A forum integrated into FontStruct is still under discussion internally. Don't forget the Flickr discussion group. We're adding posts from that and images from the Flickr font pool to the live feed, so maybe that will encourage people to use these resources as well.

@funk_king

1. Re voting - see above.
2. Bookmarking. Yes, we intend to add a feature similar to this.
3. It would be nice to be able to select multiple characters (whatever group) and copy them all to different slots, in the same or a different FontStruction. Another feature which would be useful would be automatically filling all the latin accent character slots with the basic character e.g. "a" would be copied to âãåàá etc.
4. Grouping bricks. I know what you mean. We do plan to add some form of group function.

@intaglio

Yes I think we may need to add to levels to the interface - like classic and expert. If we do, the default should be saved as a user preference.

Ok. I'm running out of gas, and I should go and try and fix that licensing thing.
Thanks again for the moot!
Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 16th August 2009
YEEE!!!!
The man has spoken & has given us hope!
Thx, Mr Meek for your time & playground.
Yes. The live feed does lighten things up in that way & I did not know about the Flickr discussion group, so I'm joining in right now.
I know you can't please everybody, but you certainly make the effort to do so with such a detailed response.
Good Luck with everything!
Comment by cayo 16th August 2009
License drop down should be back now.
Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 16th August 2009
1. The ability to change all black from white and white to black on a single brick.

2. Change filter size for individual bricks.

3. The ability to make circles.

Thx,
HEJHOG
Comment by Josh Hejka (jhejka) 16th August 2009
Got one more! How about white overlays so you can make things permanently white (i.e. if you put a circle white overlay onto a black square brick, only the four angles on the square would remain, creating a type of white circle.) You could make the overlays in a variety of shapes, and it could lead to many new bricks.
Comment by Josh Hejka (jhejka) 16th August 2009
Thanks for all the encouraging info Mr M - looks like the already great FS is going to get even greater.

I don't feel that I have been a 'structor for long enough to add much to the wish list. However, I suspect the range of good ideas from the others will give you more than enough to go on with :-)
Comment by p2pnut 16th August 2009
Got one more! How about white overlays so you can make things permanently white (i.e. if you put a circle white overlay onto a black square brick, only the four angles on the square would remain, creating a type of white circle.) You could make the overlays in a variety of shapes, and it could lead to many new bricks.
Comment by Josh Hejka (jhejka) 16th August 2009
This forum seems to work fine. I don't want to comment on your suggestions, for it is not me to decide what makes it to the next version of FS. I merely want to thank you all who have brought brilliant ideas here.

I also want to express my gratitude to Rob Meek, the Master of FS Universe to take his time, and reflect to our points.

I was just like any other nerd before, with fine ideas perhaps, who dreamed to become an artist. A small one, but an artist nonetheless, who is able to create something to please others' eyes. Thank you for providing me the tools and the canvas. It has changed my life.
Comment by Frodo7 17th August 2009
The FontMoot has definitely shown it's value as a means of sharing ideas within the FS community. Many thanks Frodo for taking this initiative.

May I open a new topic for the Moot to consider ... Profiles

Perhaps it's just me, but I find it fascinating to learn more about the members of the FS community.

A few examples:

- Judging by his use of English, I would never have guessed that it wasn't Frodo's first language.

- I hadn't realised how young some of the really talented people here are (and probably they don't realise just how ancient I am :-)

For those who haven't got round to writing a profile yet ... how about a few words. Where you live; what you do; if, like many of us, you are not a design professional what attracts you to font design etc.

I feel that this can only help to enhance the FS community spirit and add some personality to the familiar names.
Comment by p2pnut 17th August 2009
Let's have a race to see who's the oldest. I was born in 1952. Favourite colour: blue.
Comment by intaglio 17th August 2009
o_O!
Well, was born in '74
I'm Peruvian, but lived in Costa Rica all my childhood (where we had direct cable TV from the US, so English was way easier and necessary than the German I learned in School) I also lived in the US a while ago (Sun Valley, Idaho) and took a student exchange program to Germany back when the wall just fell.
I skate in my free time if the bones are not aching too much & I manage to pay for my beans as a freelance graphic designer.
Nice to meet you!
Comment by cayo 17th August 2009
1986, Switzerland here... Won't win the race for the age, nor for the best english I'm afraid. How about the highest nuclear contamination during birth year? Any other Tschernobyl kiddies?;)

As for the suggestions for a better fontstruct:

1. The most bad-ass thing would definitely be a "Draw your own brick" or even a "Import SVG/EPS-brick" tool. But that would just lead to chaos and anarchy I think, so don't do it!

2. "Rotate/Reflect selection" would be awesome... Technically it might not even be too complicated.

3. Voting system/Top picks/...: The most difficult question. Be very careful with the reorganisation there... But don't make a "like"-voting system. Even if this would kill the font trolls, it would have the very undesirable effect of just cementing the ranking, giving new fontstructions that start with 0 likes no chance to get anywhere close to the top, just because of the sheer amount of "likes" that the top 10 will get from people who just pop by to check out the best-ranked fonts. The actual rating system might have it's imperfections, but honestly it doesn't work SO bad. I think a few tweaks (like ignore statistically too diverting votes) might already make it much more popular.
As for the font trolls: They're nasty creatures, they're hairy, they stink and nobody likes them. Bu they even have a nice side effect: They cause a constant refreshing of the top of the ranking by regularly voting down fonts that have been in the top 10 for some time. Of course this can be very frustrating for the creators (believe me, I know how it sucks), but for the site it might not be too bad after all.

And here I go with maybe my most controversial statement (bold, so people who don't wanna read all the other blabla read this at least): I think people give too high ratings recently! The finger's just on the 10 way too fast. That's very well-meant and encouraging and really gives one the feeling that your work is appreciated, which is one of the characteristics of the small but great community here that I appreciate the most. But it just leads to a lot of way overrated fonts.
And I do very much include my own work here: I don't think fonts like Escheresk should get 9.9. It might be a nice, even a creative font, it might also be innovative. But in my eyes a font with such a small character set, let alone usability just shouldn't be on 9.9, cause 9.9 means there's exactly a range of 0.1 for better fonts, and dude, I really hope there are still a few fonts to come that deserve a bit more distinction.
I remembre when I started here, it was almost font-trolling each other down. It was hard to get above 6 or 7. It was frustrating and discouraging, and I'm happy these days are long past, but now we're kind of in the other extreme, and maybe that's not even much better.
So: I'm happier to get honest 8s and 9s than getting 10s all over and then having the feeling I'm stealing the place on the podium with a cheap thrill from a subtler, yet much better executed and way more usable font. :)

OK, now this is so long that nobody's gonna read it anyway... Good job.:P
Comment by Tobias Sommer (shasta) 17th August 2009
Wow, I just discovered this Fontstruction Forum. Well, I really like most of the ideas, especially intaglios concept to choose between FS classic and FS expert. And it would be so cool to have the opportunity of scaling bricks...
By the way, I was born in 1986. Favorite colour: red.
Comment by Magic Sam 17th August 2009
I think I'm a strong contender for the silver plated walking frame award ... born in 1943.

To save you the maths, that makes me 66 (and I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up!)
Comment by p2pnut 17th August 2009
I was born in 1974 in Indiana, US. So, that seems to put me around the middle of the pack age-wise, so far.

There have been a lot of great ideas listed here.

Maybe some of us regulars could beta test new features before they are rolled out to the masses?
Comment by aphoria 18th August 2009
representing old school 1958 style (same year as michael jackson - rip, prince, and madonna - for um cultural reference.) favorite color: black. born at Ft. Knox, family from GA and mostly raised there, and currently live in the metro Orlando area far from Disney and other attractions :) seems we have a good mix of ages here. i have always been fascinated by type, wanted to be an architect, always intrigued by design, became a tech writer - so i guess my connection is although not a professional designer, i do use words/type professionally - although a creative occupation, tech writing is not really a very stimulating one - when was the last time you read a user's manual for entertainment :) although many of them are quite funny in a frustrating and confusing sort of way :) other passions currently in hibernation: pottery (slab not wheel), community theatre, scriptwriting (unproduced plays and screenplays.) very interesting to learn more about my fellow FSers :)
Comment by funk_king 18th August 2009
Oh here's one that's necessary. Now.

z. Sort fonts in What's New in the order the Top Picks are awarded and NOT in the order first shared. Newest TP goes to the head of the list no matter when it was first shared. This way each TP gets the full duration of exposure.

I also, kinda, agree with Shasta's evaluation of the rating system. The benefit of this system *is* that every font gets a chance to make it in the TP list. Like/Dig do not have that benefit. So, maybe, we live with the trolls. Or, as he also points out, automatically throw out the outliers—whether 1 or 10 (to be calculated when at least 3 votes are given).

And, yes, the new votes are far from realistic. 9.5s are not uncommon now. Used to be that if you had an 8.5, you would be at the top of TP list. Those votes seemed a bit more realistic. But, the argument could be that people are giving so many 10 votes because they are not seeing it as a rating scale but more of a Like/Dig situation, giving a font a 10 if they like it, 1 if they don't. And I am guilty of this myself. I stopped rating fonts on their merit a long time ago. I either give a 10 or nothing. This is partly because there are just so many fonts shared everyday, that even for someone constantly logged on [points to self], it's hard to keep up. And after seeing almost the same pixel font for the 50th beeping time, you tend to just ignore the rest. And I say this as a lover of pixel fonts.

Anyway, what I would love to see is multiple merit badges given to each font [see sample below]. Creativity badge (for overall innovative design), Usability badge (for how usable the font is), FS badge (for interesting use of FontStruct), etc. And searchable by any/each badge.

Or not. ;-)
Comment by thalamic 18th August 2009
Comment by thalamic 18th August 2009
I like the badge idea.

One possible addition: either a different colour TP or a new badge for all fonts that have been Featured. I have trouble remembering which ones have been featured, even in recent months ... perhaps it's my age ;-(
Comment by p2pnut 18th August 2009
oh, let the trolls have their fun, i suppose. i guess what we need maybe is the option to display or not display voting results and maybe an option to share but not allow voting perhaps. that would help my blood pressure tremendously :) gee thal, i like your idea and sample :)
Comment by funk_king 18th August 2009
@thalamic: I like it. We may need another one for technical merit.

For Fontstructions, five cathegories altogether to sufficiently evaluate all aspects of their complex nature:

1. for beauty and elegance
2. for creative merit (novelty, inventivenes, originality)
3. technical excellence
4. usability, applications, and
5. the Special Super-Duper Fontstruct Award, to distinguish the best of the best. One font could win all five, but the last one will be given periodically, say, only twice a year.

We can also "build" a gallery, a Hall of Fontstruct Fame to accommodate them. :))

What do you say?
Comment by Frodo7 18th August 2009
I think the multiple badge idea is great. It would help the poor people with no Top Picks (like, me) get some kind of recognition:)
Comment by starburst 18th August 2009
Hmmm... maybe there could be a race for the youngest? I was born in 1997 and my favorite color is blue:)
Comment by starburst 18th August 2009
I was born in 1995! Oh. I already lost.
And Frodo7, the extra awards would be cool.
Comment by jinx 18th August 2009
@p2pnut: Usain Bolt 100yrs dash of the FS community (until someone declares themselves older). We're almost contemporaries... you'll remember arcane stuff like Letraset... Spirograph... mattresses... artpulls... bromides... border tape... Rotring .01 (a perfect pain, mine couldn't go for more than a couple of days without getting clogged up)... bull (or cow) gum... emrulers... chinese white... opaque...
Comment by intaglio 18th August 2009
@intaglio: Ah yes, I remember them well ... tra la la :-)

I go back far enough to remember getting actual blue-prints done of technical drawings.

During the sixties I did a bit of screen-printing and used to be quite a demon stencil cutter - using blue-film and shellac pro-film.

The guys who developed Letraset had previously worked for the sceenprinting firm that I spent a year with in the late 60s.
Comment by p2pnut 19th August 2009
A thought for the FS wish list:

Would it be possible to have the option of toggling the 'Brick Cycling with the Pen Tool' on/off?

I have not found a use for this facility so far, but it frequently seems to kick in by accident.
Comment by p2pnut 19th August 2009
@Pnut: Yep, that "Brick Cycling" sucks. I would delete it.
Comment by Magic Sam 19th August 2009
Got one more. How about the ability to to change the width/height of columns/rows, like in Microsoft Excel?
Comment by Josh Hejka (jhejka) 20th August 2009
here's one i mentioned elsewhere earlier - have a clock so that we can see the elapsed time we work on a font - both for each session and in total.

@jh - like the ability to modify the grid. that might be interesting :) and in combination with the filters...hum. but please, don't refer to excess, i mean excel as your model :)

Comment by funk_king 20th August 2009
CUT & PASTE BETWEEN FONTS!!!!!

Thanks a million to the FS team ... I love you guys :-)
Comment by p2pnut 21st August 2009
1. The editor should order characters by glyphs, not by Unicode position. (Well, maybe Alpha does not need to be linked from A.) Accented characters should be accessible (only) via their base and be prefilled. For that matter there should be templates for diacritic marks. For applicable scripts, like the roman one, majuscules and minuscules should also be directly accessible from each other. This might be done by adding a second line below the current character selector. The case and accent switches could also be in the character window instead.

Base line: … A B |C| D E … → [c] (lowercase)
Comp. line: C |Ç| Č … → [¸] (diacritic)

2. The gallery could show or group similar fonts based on glyph shapes (of uppercase roman letters perhaps).

3. I expect to see all fonts in “What’s new?” by default, not only Top Picks.

4. Some simple brick types are missing. Bricks could be grouped (eg. all four perpendicular triangles) underneath one entry, ie. drop-down selection.

5. When selecting a new brick and clicking on the box you edited just before, the new brick should be used before brick cycling begins.

The other stuff has already been said, I guess.
Comment by Crissov 21st August 2009
@Crissov: When you go to the Gallery you are presented with a choice of 'Top Picks' and 'Everything'
Comment by p2pnut 21st August 2009
Yeah, I know, p2pnut, but presented with the tabs “What’s New”, “Top Picks” and “Everything” you would expect the first to be a filter or sorting only on new stuff, the second a filter or sorting only on top rated or quality labeled stuff, and the third unfiltered and arbitrarily sorted. But in reality the first includes the filter of the second, using a different sort order. That’s just counter-intuitive, and unfair for those that don’t have had their designs awarded that label (yet).
Comment by Crissov 22nd August 2009
I like the Crissov's suggestions, especially the first one. This 2-line concept with all diacritics of the selected glyph makes a lot of sense and would definitely save a lot of mouse clicks. I've already asked for a way to prefill the more latin characters a long time ago, and would still be very happy to get this feature. Of course though they can't be prefilled on default, but maybe a button "paste basic character" could do that job. Integrated in the 2-line concept it could look like that:

A B C D [E] F ...
È É [Ê] Ë ... [paste E to current] [paste E to all]

I'm sure this would also encourage people to do a bit more than just basic A to Z.

As for all the rating/ranking/quality labels issues: The multiple badges are in the core a nice idea, but the purist in me says it just makes things more complicated. Also I can't really see how Gustavo, who already has a hard job following all the releases and deciding whether to award pink badges or not, should cope with 4 or 5 possible distinctions for every font. I think I couldn't. :)

Maybe something more democratic could work (though I must admit having lost faith in internet democracy long ago), like a "top gallery" where everyone can suggest a very limited number of fonts (preferably by others) per time span for public (but anonymous) voting, and if they get a yes majority, they get in. This has worked pretty well on a photo page I used to visit, and all photos who make it to the gallery there are really high quality.
Comment by Tobias Sommer (shasta) 22nd August 2009
@Crissov: I agree about the tabs.

And I don´t think that multiple badges are absolutely necessary. But maybe we could try a different rating system...
Comment by Magic Sam 22nd August 2009
Yes! I agree shasta. Maybe it could also if your font is selected for the top gallery, they should get a 'People's Choice Badge'. But the Top Pick should stay, having a staff member pick them out just like normal. Then the other award would be given. One font could get both maybe?
Comment by jinx 22nd August 2009
I want to clear up my idea about white overlays. Adding a white circle overlay onto a black square brick would get you four curved angles. Adding a half circle white overlay onto a circle brick, you would get a half circle.
Comment by Josh Hejka (jhejka) 24th August 2009
igorrossi made a good point today on djnippa's Brick Stacking page. I mention it here in case it gets missed.

"I think it would be very useful too to open a tutorials section on Fontstruct, where we would find such explanations as djnippa brick stacking how-to."
Comment by p2pnut 27th August 2009
One tutorial I would certainly benefit from would be 'An Introduction To The Use Of Diacritics (or: Diacritics for Dummies).

As somoeone who only knows English, I would like to know more about which languages use which diactics.
Comment by p2pnut 27th August 2009
I have been lately creating some samplers and put my FSions to use to find a little bug on the ttf files:

some random glyph's letter space get spoiled one pixel closer. it's not always the same one on other FSions to say: "oh the lc r has issues", but on a certain FSion it would affect a certain glyph position and remain unfix-able, even if you copy&paste other bricks to an emptied position to check if it was carried with the former brick combo, that position will remain bugged.
The curious thing is the FS sample viewer will show a correct letter spacing, but as soon as you use the ttf file it will show this problem.

At first I though something was wrong with my crappy computer, but the I noticed it happened to Electricgator's Tester V, so I thought I should mention it in case it has been gone overseen.

I hope it's not a mayor issue.
Comment by cayo 27th August 2009
Regarding p2pnut's post about which languages use which diacritics, there are some pdfs with that information available for a number of languages.

There are links in section 1.2.2 Alphabetic index of languages in the following web page.

http://www.evertype.com/alphabets/
Comment by mathematician 28th August 2009
@mathematician: Thank you for that link ... it leads to a plethora of information. Just what I needed :)
Comment by p2pnut 28th August 2009
The following web page has links to many Unicode code charts.

http://www.unicode.org/charts/

The various pdf documents in the Latin section may be of particular interest.

They are linked from the lower part of the leftmost column of the webpage.

The web page for accessing code charts for symbols and punctuation is as follows.

http://www.unicode.org/charts/symbols.html

Comment by mathematician 29th August 2009
@mathematician: Cheers :) My education just keeps going.

There is so much knowledge held by the FS community and these are exactly the kind of links that would help 'structing neophytes in a Tutorial/How To section.
Comment by p2pnut 29th August 2009
1. new bricks requested. see image. i think these are pretty obvious and match the existing diagonals (blue) shown in width. the new bricks (red) are derived from the existing triangles (black.)

2. please put an 'add comments/image' button at the bottom of the page. when you have 58 comments like this, it would be useful :)
Comment by funk_king 29th August 2009
It would be great if there were a published format for expressing designs for new bricks in such a way as to make them easiest for adding into the FontStruct system.

It depends how bricks are coded in FontStruct.

For example, would a data list be what is needed or would a short piece of software be what is needed?

With threads like FontMoot 01, it need not necessarily be the person who suggests a new brick design being the person who codes the design into the desired format. One person could upload a graphic and another person could then use the graphic to produce the code.
Comment by mathematician 31st August 2009
Could you please consider adding a new category of bricks, hereinafter called "archbricks"?

The name arch comes from the "Elementary, Dear Data" episode of Star Trek The Next Generation, where the arch is used to set parameters in a holodeck simulation.

FontStruct could have many archbricks once the technique is introduced. I shall try to explain it using just one type of archbrick, namely "archbrick for italics".

The archbrick is placed in the space glyph.

There is the existing Font Mortar process. The FontStruct software would be adapted so that before the Font Mortar process starts, the software system scans the space glyph of the FontStruction. The space glyph of the TrueType font will always be blank, yet if an archbrick is encountered in the space glyph of the FontStruction, a flag (or even a value) is set in the arch and then the archbrick is removed from the space glyph. If the "archbrick for italics" archbrick is encountered, then the flag arch_italics is set to true. The Font Mortar process then proceeds as at present. Once the TrueType font has been prepared, it is then considered in relation to the settings of the flags and values in the arch. Those values are all such that if no archbricks have been used, then no changes will be made to the TrueType font.

If the arch_italics flag is set as true, then the x coordinate of each point in each glyph of the font is altered as follows.

x:= x + (y/8);

The y coordinate of each point in each glyph would be unaltered. There may well be some adjustment to the name of the font and the italics flag of the font needed as well. Used on a copy of a roman font, a faux italic would be produced. However, a true italic could be designed vertically in FontStruct as if it were a sort of swash roman and then processed using the archbrick so as to produce a true italic. There might need to be a convention about naming of the FontStruction with a keyword in the name so that that keyword is discarded so that there could be a FontStruction of a roman and a FontStruction of an italic and they could produce a pair of TrueType fonts with the same family name. It might well be desirable not to use the word Italic as the keyword in case someone just wants to use that word without it being altered. Maybe a keyword such as ARCHITALIC might be suitable.
Comment by mathematician 31st August 2009
Permanent and temporary points in bricks

This is an idea for an extension of the FontStruct system.

I am thinking that at present a FontStruct brick could be described using a sequence of triples, each triple describing a point, each triple consisting of an x coordinate, a y coordinate and a flag meaning on-curve or off-curve.

Suppose that in future a FontStruct brick is described as a sequence of quadruples, each quadruple describing a point, each quadruple consisting of an x coordinate, a y coordinate, a flag meaning on-curve or off-curve and a flag meaning permanent or temporary.

Conversion of the present bricks would have each quadruple being a copy of the present triple together with the designation of permanent.

The Font Mortar program would be a modified version of the present system.

For each glyph, first of all, the contour outlines would be determined, with no regard to whether the points in the bricks are permanent or temporary, though the information is retained. Each contour outline would be a sequence of quadruples. Once the contours are computed, the points that are flagged as temporary are then deleted from the contours, and a sequence of triples, as used at present, produced for use to produce a TrueType font. Just before being used to make a TrueType font, each contour is processed so that wherever there are two off-curve points in sequence, an on-curve point is placed halfway between them.

Suppose for example that a person were designing a FontStruction.

If he or she did not want to use any temporary points, then he or she could simply proceed as at present using just bricks that are all black.

If he or she did want to use a brick with a temporary point then he or she would use bricks that are all or part green.

For example, suppose that he or she produced an L-shaped arrangement of bricks as in the diagram.

Upon processing, the effect would be to leave three points only, two on-curve points with an off-curve point between them, thereby producing a large curve.
Comment by mathematician 31st August 2009
Here is the diagram.
Comment by mathematician 31st August 2009
I am trying to upload idea.png which is 240 pixels wide by 310 pixels high.

It is 3210 bytes in size and was made using a Print Screen from FontStruct that was manipulated in Microsoft Paint.

Any ideas why it will not upload please?
Comment by mathematician 31st August 2009
it's been a pretty long time since i last fumbled around with ms paint, but my guess is that you saved it as a .bmp, which is not an accepted format for image uploads...
Comment by Tobias Sommer (shasta) 31st August 2009
Comment by mathematician 31st August 2009
Thank you for replying. I checked that out but found that a .bmp was a lot bigger.

However, having made a bmp to check that out, I then made a gif from the bmp and then tried to upload the gif rather than the png, and the gif uploaded.
Comment by mathematician 31st August 2009
Thank you for replying. I checked that out but found that a .bmp was a lot bigger.

However, having made a bmp to check that out, I then made a gif from the bmp and then tried to upload the gif rather than the png, and the gif uploaded.
Comment by mathematician 31st August 2009
Mathematician you are a genius!

Not because of your discourse on new brick technique ... that just made my brain hurt (I'm just a 'fontleton' - a simpleton who attempts fonts) :) ... but because you solved the problem of uploading images for me.

I had tried everything (or so I thought), but hadn't converted the .jpeg image to .gif

Many thanks :-)
Comment by p2pnut 31st August 2009
FontStruct already allows a designer to add ligatures for fi and fl.

Could you possibly add locations for the other five Unicode precomposed Latin ligatures please?

These are ff, ffi, ffl, long s t and st.

http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/UFB00.pdf

Comment by mathematician 7th September 2009
An interesting aspect of modern font design is glyphs for ligatures and glyphs for alternates.

The leading method for using such ligatures and alternates is OpenType technology and OpenType-aware software packages. However, OpenType-aware software packages are few and tend to be very expensive.

However, a good way to be able to store glyphs for ligatures and alternates in fonts is to use the Unicode Private Use Area. Some budget packages can access the Private Use Area. The Private Use Area can be accessed from Microsoft WordPad. Using Print Screen and then pasting into Microsoft Paint and then trimming allows graphic files to be produced.

http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/UE000.pdf

Section 16.5 of The Unicode Standard includes the following sentence.

The primary Private Use Area consists of code points in the range U+E000 to U+F8FF, for
a total of 6,400 private-use characters.

http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode5.0.0/ch16.pdf

Could the management possibly add some Private Use Area locations into FontStruct please?

I am unaware of whether adding all of them is 64 times as much work as adding one hundred of them or whether the amount of work is about the same regardless of how many of them are added.

However, if some of the primary Private Use Area locations, say the first hundred from U+E000 onwards were added into FontStruct, then adding of glyphs for ligatures and alternates could be done without needing to use a location such as % or = to do so.

It would also mean that the correct glyphs for % and = could be implemented as well and that the artwork for the ligatures and alternates would be stored in the font and be readily available if, some day, an OpenType version of the font were produced.
Comment by mathematician 7th September 2009
Latin Extended Additional

http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U1E00.pdf

Could you possibly add the following eight characters for Welsh please?

U+1E80 through to U+1E85 and U+1EF2 and U+1EF3.

Also, could you possibly add the following character for German please?

U+1E9E LATIN CAPITAL LETTER SHARP S
Comment by mathematician 12th September 2009
I had a discussion with funk_king on the nature of limited exposure of works on FS and suggested some remedies. (excerp)

One would be to eliminate the 10 font per page limit, so as to be able to scroll down happily and untrammelled. The fontstructions already load dynamically. The Fontshop advert could be on the side, and perhaps more than just one at a time.

My second thought is to have real Gallery similar to those of photo galleries, showing small previews or pre-rendered shots/demo pics of the fonts. Click on them, and a large preview will appear, the rest of the screen goes dimm. It is very common solution nowadays on the web, and can be done with Flash or AJAX.

My third thought was to separate the wheat from the chaff, get rid of the rubbish as soon as possible. To do that easily we need a check box, similar to those of spam filters, labeled as "Pixel Noise", "Doodle", Scribble" or "Chaff". If you click/check that box it would remove those works from your gallery. You can recover them by selecting the "Show all" option. I know it sounds harsh, but we are already inundated by thousands of works and their number grows exponentially. How long would it take to browse through the Top Pics at the present pedestrian pace: 1709 Top Pics, 10 on a page, that is 171 pages. Or the 8419 public Fontstructions, on 842 pages? There are many good works, but not Top Picks out there you can never see, unless you've got extraordinary patience, stamina, and lots of time and provisions.

Fourth. It would be useful to sort the Fontstructions by basic categories, such as pixel/bitmap, handwriting, serif, sans serif, display, blackletter, experimental, 3D, etc. If you do mainly display fonts, you can follow the new releases in that category without having to go through the whole crop.

Comment by Frodo7 20th September 2009
This may sound extreme, but how about letting some of us regulars act as moderators in some way?

Maybe give us an "Utter Crap" button (ok, give it a nicer name), and if 3 (or 5 or 7) of us click it, the font disappears from any public listings?

Carrying the moderator idea further, maybe we could make Top Picks? If 3-7 (the best number could be debated) of us regulars give a font a "Top Pick" vote, then it would a badge. Or maybe give it a different name "Peer Pick" or something?

Just ideas...
Comment by aphoria 21st September 2009
@aphoria: an "Utter Crap" button? I fondly agree with you. Read my comment above. Yes, we can give it a less demeaning, more acceptable name, so as not to cause any physical or mental anguish.

Top Pick awarded by members: very interesting idea. Let's listen to the VOX POPULI. It would require a transparent system of nomination. We could also use the idea thalamic and others suggested to give different badges for different merits (see this thread above).

The most important question who will have the right to nominate a fontstruction for Creative Excellence (or Utter Crap, as the case may be)? "some of us regulars" - is a vague definition, but surely we can work out some criteria based on merit, performance, activity, you name it, to please most members. Without much thinking I could name the 25 most prominent members, and so could you too, I presume.

There are some implications of this process, however, we should consider before making any move or change.

One. This would divide the FS populace into an upper class and a lower class: senoir members and common members. (Should we add a visiting member status too?) Some would argue, it is undemocratic, unjust to give privileges to a selected few. But life and society teaches us a different lesson. I think it is fair to distinguish people, provided that it's based on merit (and not birth, race, gender, wealth etc.) and common members can find their way to the senior group.
Comment by Frodo7 21st September 2009
Two: From another aspect these changes would make FS actually more democratic. At present there is/are 1 (or sometimes 2) active FS Staff member(s) who make(s) decisions on who get Top Pick and who do not. Compare that to a body of senior members, say 25 strong, and it's easy to see the latter is more democratic.
Comment by Frodo7 21st September 2009
I fully agree with the "Peer Pick" idea. Thanks, aphoria, for bringing that up again. A similar idea was brought up before (jinx and shasta's "People's Choice" badge idea) but no one really supported it. THIS IS A GREAT IDEA!!!
Comment by starburst 27th September 2009
Ah...Yes. I really like the idea about the 'peer pick'. It would make it much easier for the staff members, too.
So, maybe you should be able to rate fonts like usual, but add a little check box to nominate it for 'Peer Pick'. Then, take it a step further and have all fonts that have been nominated go into a 'Nominees' gallery. Then you would vist that gallery and chose the 5 you think which should get 'Peer Pick' for that week. Then the Nominee Galery would refresh each week for new nominations. If a nominated font does not win, it still can be re-nominated the next week.
Maybe 2 fonts could get it a week?
Just an idea. :)
Comment by jinx 27th September 2009
new feature - quick typeset. provide the ability to do simple project in FS. sort of like the existing 'user input' feature in the widget, but expanded with the ability to do simple font changes like bold and italic, point size, color, etc. also maybe import images. i don't know. this was just a thought. maybe much much later :)
Comment by funk_king 4th October 2009
Ho about special spacing? Like changing the spacing in between certain letters (aa, ab, ac, etc; ba, bb, bc, etc, etc)
Comment by Josh Hejka (jhejka) 5th October 2009
i dunno about you guys, but i'd love to have my FS account linked to my Facebook and/or Twitter account, so that what I do here, get posted over there in my news feed.

i also agree with putting the comment box down the bottom :-)
Comment by Sye Robertson (SimonRobertson) 17th October 2009
is there a ‰ (double percent) character available in FS? i thought there used to be. i guess not.
Comment by funk_king 7th November 2009
@funk_king: ‰ I don't remember ever having one. There are other notable omissions including ƒ,‡,≈,∞. It's only the standard US keyboard layout.
Comment by Frodo7 7th November 2009
i think we need an ignore button on each users profile page (or somewhere) and when selected, comments and fonts by that user would not appear to the user who did the ignoring. this is a bit much.
Comment by funk_king 9th December 2009
@funk_king: It sounds harsh and discriminatory. What made you think it was a good idea?
Comment by Frodo7 10th December 2009
harsh, perhaps. discriminatory? it never occurred to me. this would just be another way to filter content. many sites have such a feature. rather than being subjected to content that one feels is distracting, this could remove it for that user. i have been registered here a while - not since the beginning - but until recently i have been fine with most everything (including dj's recent situation and most of everyone's commentary (good and bad). but i am completely over a current situation. i have seem some pretty amazing work here pass unnoticed. i have also seem what i feel is somewhat lesser work get great praise. but i am truly as a loss for this one situation that just rubs me the wrong way. so my solution, rather than continue to lambaste the particular user, would be to ignore them and let them continue to have their fun. i'm sure some would use it on me. no problem. that's all.
Comment by funk_king 10th December 2009
@funk_king: Are you referring to the samofshs fiasco?

It seems to me that he has set up multiple accounts and is just 'playing' with FS. What he doesn't seem to have realised is that the vast majority of font downloaders don't even bother to rate a font - let alone add a comment.

So, this is some lonely little kid trying to make himself feel a bit more important - but in the process he has started to upset some of the regular habitues of FS and the situation does need to be addressed.

I realise that the staff team are probably overstretched, but it should be the work of moments for one of them to check this out and take appropriate action. This could be a warning in the first instance - followed by a ban if he doesn't comply. That is how these things are normally handled in other online communities. I guess we have just been lucky (until very recently)that FS has mainly attracted people who act in a mature manner - whatever their age.
Comment by p2pnut 10th December 2009
@funk_king: Young people may change very quickly. I would not go so far as to ignore user's profiles completely. Filtering out selected works, yes, to reduce the rubbish. We have suggested this before (see above). Besides, I think, we already have that kind of Ignore Button built into our brain. I also happen to have an Ignore the -Ignore Button- Button for overdrive mode, and I casually push it to have a little amusement. These are youngsters naturally craving for attention. (I might add, just as we all do.) The fundamental difference between them and normal FS members is that while we invest countless hours, days, sometimes weeks to produce some outstanding works, and get all the respect and praise that comes with, they do not. They want to skip the hard part, the sweat, and get the reward instantly. If building fonts was good for anything - apart from making nice fonts - it was to teach these people a fundamental principle of life: No pain, no gain.

@p2pnut: Yes, he has set up multiple accounts within 3 days, with users of a single comment. We've been all duped by a young rascal. So what? We've seen more losses at Verdun.

These new phenomena you've mentioned challenge the structures of social networking sites, new formations themselves. One thing is certain: you can not eliminate them by imposing more regulations. Rules and restrictions alone never work on those who's sport is to break them. It gives them more opportunity to be a nuisance. On the other hand, the rest of the community pays the high price of limited freedom.
Comment by Frodo7 10th December 2009
i'm finding this very troubling. on one hand, i don't want to respond and give further attention to the situation. on the other, with the appearance of a 'user' who is black and implies that a font has helped his 'playa' reputation/status, this seems a little OTT for me, especially being a person of color myself. perhaps these are really fans and real people. but if this is a charade and has been allowed by FS, then i am truly disappointed. as i stated before, i have never seen such an episode occur here at FS like this. that pic is of the rapper named Nelly i believe. would FS allow such nonsense if some other group was portrayed by someone in a stereotypical manner. i try not to be overly sensitive, but FS has been a refuge. even when passions run high, i take comfort knowing that someone's heart is still in the right place. this to me is somewhat heartbreaking.
Comment by funk_king 10th December 2009
@funk_king: I see your anguish over this "domestic affair", but I can't offer much help. FS has been a refuge for me too. It is very important to keep it that way. I've seen the last thread by samofshs & co. and the comments by mobilesuit and the picture (the white T-shirt superimposed by his "font" with screaming jpeg artifacts all over). They also mentioned me and my featured download font in a provocative comment. It is obvious they're playing a game, they try to pull our legs. Zalgo has got 21 votes. It tells me there must have been more than one person, not only fake accounts. Of what are they doing and talking about, and why, I understand very little. To me the whole thing is just background noise of little significance. Perhaps, I would be more sensitive if my kin showed such poor behaviour.

I'm on my Christmas vacation and having a very good time. I'm working on my next big thing, and nothing will induce me to loose my focus. p2pnut is pobably right, FS staff is a bit overstretched. I wonder the malfunction yesterday and the blackout today on FS Live has anything to do with these. I don't want to see FS hacked and ruined.
Comment by Frodo7 10th December 2009
I also found the “playa persona” created with obviously falsified photos and posts to be an extremely racist provocation. It hurts enough to see as a “white” man – and I can make the almost certain assumption that this vapid ignoramus is also “white” – but I must know nothing of the feelings of all those directly receiving this abuse – here, and throughout history of the world. I strongly suggest that fsstaff make moderating such hate speech and violent gestures a high priority.

Speech is not free. It affects us all for both the positive and the negative. There are certainly limits of what is acceptable, and I say an official response is called for when the line is crossed.
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 11th December 2009
Mobilesuit has made some comments on HQ fontstructions including Zingaling lc, Starfokker and Bat Country. Incidentally, Bat Country has slipped from 1st to 3rd place on the TP list. Troll votes again?

Maybe, because I'm from a different country, but I missed the "racist provocation" part. I can see his avatar pic is an African, but that's not racism. I suppose there is a coded messages in his behaviour, some double meaning I'm totally blind to.
We have racism in my country, hatred fuelled largely by the extreme right towards the Jews and the Gypsies. It comes often in disguised forms, vague references, but it is crystal clear to everybody (native speakers) what they are talking about. Tell me what offended you.

If you think it is serious, you should write a formal complaint to Gustavo.
Comment by Frodo7 11th December 2009
(I'm working on it.)
Comment by gferreira_admin 11th December 2009
@Frodo7: You speak correctly on at least two accounts.

1) Several patently American stereotypes of diverse American men of African and other decent came up in these posts. They aren’t subtle or obscure at all to an American audience, and they scream intentional abuse by (consciously or not) being implicitly linked to a history of “racial” profiling, discrimination, disenfranchisement and violence.

2) I should have written to Gustavo directly as soon as I encountered the thinly veiled racist messages. It took funk_king expressing his troubled feelings for me to speak up at all. Despite agreeing with the sentiment that the offending party should not be given more fuel, sometimes I feel it is the wrong choice to just shake my head and carry on. This is one of those cases where I see my wrong choice, but only in retrospect. I have got to remember that to be passively complacent with violence – even violence coded as humor – is to be complicit with it.
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 11th December 2009
(Offensive comments deleted.)
Comment by gferreira_admin 11th December 2009
I guess we have been luck up until now - FS has been one of the few online communities that I have experienced that has been free of racism and abuse.

It pains me to have to see the likes of (Offensive comments deleted) appearing here - and to hear the hurt of respected members like funk_king.

The FS Staff will have to make their minds up soon ... either put up with more and more (Offensive comments deleted) moments, or delete the cause of this discord by banning the culprit (and by banning his ip address as he has shown himself to be prepared to set up multiple accounts). This may well lead to copycat incidents - but they will have to be dealt with swiftly as well.
Comment by p2pnut 11th December 2009
"Do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6


Yesterday, all of my works suffered a barrage of troll votes. In a desperate move I've delisted almost all of them. (Karyotype stays public until its featured download status expires). All the affected works remain unshared until this situation is resolved and previous status is restored. I'm sorry, but you have to understand this is not a game. This is serious. I couldn't take it anymore.
Comment by Frodo7 12th December 2009
I'm going to make public an idea for categorization that I already have given to Rob Meek.
Comment by ssaamm 11th March 2010
@ssaamm:
Your idea sounds very good - I'd also add a "Switch between 'Standard with Scrollbar' and 'Tabbed GUI'" button or something like that but with less words in it. :)

@all others:
Your ideas for FS are incredible, some of them have been realized with FS v2.0, but some are yet to be implemented. I'm eager to see more new additions to the already feature-filled FontStruct (and especially the FontStructor to be precise).

Some of my suggestions (see the attached image for details of how they could look):

1. Add a "Go to the Main Baseline Dot" button somewhere, that would be very useful when working on fontstructions that use lots of bricks per letter.

2. Add a "Canvas Size Used for the Current Glyph" statusbar message. This could calculate the x x y dimensions of the cubic spread of the current glyph and show the data in a manner similar to most image editors.

3. Add a View > "Draw Brick Highlight" option, it could let users select to see a color-filled spot on the blank brick space where the current cursor is when using the Pencil tool. This might be more suitable for people like me who get distracted by all the whiteness of the canvas, and by who the cursor and the grid aren't enough to concentrate on the individual empty brick spaces on the canvas.

4. Add "Ideabox", "Forums" and perhaps a "Multi-user Real-time Collaboration on a Font" buttons (and corresponding sections) to the website. The Ideabox could be a sort of dynamic database of user-submitted suggestions for FS, where FS staff members can put statuses to the individual suggestions (like: Submitted, but Not Reviewed by Staff Yet; Reviewed & Declined; Reviewed & Planned; Reviewed & Under Consideration; Reviewed and Realized at [date, FS changelog number, etc.]). The forums are probably the easiest to implement from the three. The Online Multi-user Real-Time Collaboration on a Font is just a very futuristic suggestion, but it's nevertheless good to list it here, even though it would be very resource consuming to achieve and overall impossible to be realized considering FS's already busy support and maintenance).

5. Even though the News section of FS is a great resource for information on what's new and what's underway or planned as new features to FontStruct (and the FontStructor), it sometimes get a bit hard to navigate to particular articles of interest (browsing through archives is always a bit cumbersome and boring anyway).
So, as a way to keep these short lists of new stuff more accessible for quick reference, you could make a "Features SVC" or a Roadmap or Official FS Changelog page(s).

6. More detailed documentation on some features would also be great (also, some of the links linked on FontStruct to point to some of the articles are dead links and are easy to fix). As already suggested by others, having a Tutorials page and General Typography Guidelines/Terminology articles would also be great.

P.S. Rob Meek, I know that what we all have submitted here or elsewhere on the site and off-site is practically impossible to realize in short terms, but as a user of FS, I wanted to give my own 2 cents when it comes to suggestions for future feature improvements and additions to FS.
Even as it is today, FS has already come a long way and is great to use as it is, especially considering that you're giving it for free for the whole community to use, learn and play with. Long live modular fonts and FS, long live the sharing on the Web!

(alternative link to my image, if the uploaded one is buggy or too big to load/show: http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/6061/sfontstructsuggestionsv.png or http://img443.imageshack.us/i/sfontstructsuggestionsv.png/).
Comment by sahwar 14th August 2010
I'm not sure if this has already been said but I feel that it would be useful to be able to place bricks halfway i.e. directly on gridlines. This is especially useful for fonts that use only a small number of squares, where a curve is not easily replicable halfway between gridlines.
Comment by 3moDuDe 15th August 2010
@3moDuDe
2x filtering works for that
Comment by ssaamm 15th August 2010
Oh, and also, can there be multiple pages of comments and/or replies?
Comment by ssaamm 15th August 2010
@ssaamm: well ya but it would be easier if we could do that. and anyways we can't filter only one brick, can we?
Comment by 3moDuDe 15th August 2010
Essentially, yes, because you can make your bricks work with the filtering. But I see what you're getting at.
Comment by ssaamm 15th August 2010
Multiple pages of comments sounds like a great idea, sometimes you have to scroll all the way to the bottom or top to read something. Then again, that's what the "Home" and "End" keys do in most modern web browsers today. ;)
As for the other suggestion: I haven't really used the Filtering option yet, but as ssaamm said, the effect that you desire can already be achieved with that option. :)
Comment by sahwar 15th August 2010
Thanks for your suggestions everyone. Keep them coming. FontStruct will continue to develop and integrate community suggestions. Even if your suggestion is not implemented for months (or even years) that doesn't mean it has been forgotten!

@sahwar 

Add a "Go to the Main Baseline Dot" button somewhere …

Yes. This functionality would be useful. I've also lost my dot in the past.



Add a "Canvas Size Used for the Current Glyph" statusbar message …

Coordinates in the status bar is a good idea for expert users. I'm not sure how the canvas size display would be useful.

Add a View > "Draw Brick Highlight" option, it could let users select to see a color-filled spot on the blank brick space where the current cursor is when using the Pencil tool …

That's an interesting idea. I can see the sense in that. This could be a preference, perhaps even the default. It probably won't go into the menu though.



Add "Ideabox", "Forums" and perhaps a "Multi-user Real-time Collaboration on a Font" buttons (and corresponding sections) to the website …

I'd love to have real-time, multiuser FontStructing. As you say that's quite a lot of work if you want it to work reliably.

The way that users can give feedback and discuss ideas for FontStruct is certainly always under review. We'd like to find a way of improving that side of things without incurring too much management overhead. Your ideas are getting through though - whether they appear in comments or are sent via email. We do have a bug/ticket/feature tracking system but that is private at the moment.

Even though the News section of FS is a great resource for information on what's new and what's underway or planned as new features to FontStruct (and the FontStructor), it sometimes get a bit hard to navigate to particular articles of interest (browsing through archives is always a bit cumbersome and boring anyway). So, as a way to keep these short lists of new stuff more accessible for quick reference, you could make a "Features SVC" or a Roadmap or Official FS Changelog page(s).

A changelog is not a bad idea. There is a roadmap but it's not public at the moment. We would like to get the community more involved in many aspects of FontStruct and part of that process may well be more openness about future plans.

More detailed documentation on some features would also be great (also, some of the links linked on FontStruct to point to some of the articles are dead links and are easy to fix). As already suggested by others, having a Tutorials page and General Typography Guidelines/Terminology articles would also be great.

This is true. Do let me know about any broken links! Also, anyone and everyone is invited to submit tutorials, enhancements to the documentation, or other interesting and helpful texts. If the standard is good, I'd be very happy to link to them or include them somewhere on the site.

@3moDeDe I'm not sure if this has already been said but I feel that it would be useful to be able to place bricks halfway i.e. directly on gridlines.

Yes I would like to add something like this - maybe the option to nudge bricks off the grid (could go onto a gridline). This would open up a number of new possibilities that aren't covered by filters.

@ssammm Oh, and also, can there be multiple pages of comments and/or replies?

I'd like to hear what other people think on that ( a good reason for having some place where people can vote on a wishlist). I do like the simplicity of having a complete discussion on one page. This thread is very long though. Maybe time for FontMoot 02?

Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 16th August 2010
I prefer having the comments all on one page...especially for instances like FontMoot 01. It makes it easier to read through the whole discussion.
Comment by aphoria 16th August 2010
I am not actively using FontStruct long enough to have a clue about improving the software but I´d like to have an other suggestion:
what do you think about competitions?

for example:
-typography competion with given topic by fs-staff
or
-typography t-shirt competition. Later on the best shirts get sold at the FontStruct shop. All money goes to FontStruct, and every winner gets a pack of tees.

I don´t want competitions for people who want to show they´re better or even think they´re the best and just have to show it.
I just think it would be great fun to develop a font with a given topic and even to produce head-to-head with other well known users of FontStruct on the same topic!

Just some thoughts, would love to read some other opinions on this one.
Comment by Tylo 18th August 2010
@Frodo7:
Why don´t you tag this font with "discussion" or something else? so its easier to find and check out...
just an idea
Comment by Tylo 18th August 2010
I have a tile request, well two actually. The first is a macaroni-style shape, the second a 45 degree to curve tile (top left of second picture).

As for the other aspects of fontstruct, I haven't been here long enough to really say much apart from there are so many fonts here they can be hard to find, tweaking the gallery would be nice (though I'm not really sure what to add...)

Keep up the great work, both the staff and community.
Comment by nazlfrag 18th August 2010
@Tylo Yes Yes Yes. There has been a competition and it was very successful. We will run another one. I like the T-Shirt idea a lot.

@nazlfraq the macaroni shapes are actually ready to go BUT I think if I add them there will be a logical need for a lot more bricks with the macaroni shapes are cut in half (see image) – if you wanted to connect the macaroni from the top right with the one in the bottom left for example. Do you see what I mean? And why am I feeling hungry?

There are plans to improve the gallery. You are absolutely right it can be hard to find stuff. We have a lot of great data in the database that would make it easier to find exactly the kind of fonts you are looking for - we just need to harness that data. I'd like to add more search filters (search by grid size for example), add a global site search, and add a "fonts like this" feature.

Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 18th August 2010
The last (first) competition was great. I understand things of that sort cannot be done very often. To get around that, I was thinking it might be fun to have monthly 'challenges'. No prizes. Maybe the winner of the challenge gets it Featured. Ideas could be things like fontstruct based: five brick tall only; no curved bricks; only curved bricks; all bricks except the square allowed; no brick stacks allowed, etc. Then there could be classification based: serif; sans-serif; blackletter; non-Latin glyphs; etc. Finally theme based: alien; for screen only; for Flash; nature; animal; place; futuristic; etc.
Comment by minimum 18th August 2010
@meek I see what you're saying, but I could join those cleanly with only the 4 bricks by setting the filter to 2x2. I believe the 4 bricks inclusion on their own would be of great benefit even without the continuation, I'm glad to hear you have them ready to go.

Of the competitions - no prizes is a bit boring. Aren't there t-shirts? Perhaps a free t-shirt or somesuch is in order. Competitions sound like great fun, I arrived after the last one but it seemed to have spawned dozens of excellent fonts. I like the idea of using fontstruct-based constraints, but that's probably just my bias. That way any style or theme could be used, as long as it meets constraints, though themes are probably the best way to do it.

How about a seasonal themed contest, say autumn (though it's almost spring here) or perhaps a halloween contest?
Comment by nazlfrag 23rd August 2010
@nazlfrag: well we could have both challenges and contests, so the challenges are just for fun and are probably monthly or fortnightly, then the contests are on a larger scale and probably involve some prizes.
also, the other connecting bricks of meek's are probably also quite useful as corners so it would be easier if we could manipulate them directly.
Comment by 3moDuDe 23rd August 2010
The new bricks will be released soon. Maybe someone from the community can make a little tutorial on how to work with 2x2 filters.
We will also do a challenge (great idea) or competition.
Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 24th August 2010
phat!
Comment by Tylo 24th August 2010
Just to add a request if you gonna add new bricks: what should be extremely useful would be bricks in form of "+" and "x (i mean the math symbol)", because when you use queer filterings or work in too minimal grids, composite or stacking can't help. In the same idea, a line centered in the middle of the brick, horizontally or vertically would be extremely useful. So many times i gave up ideas because these centered and crossed bricks weren't there ! Another one would be also, as we have the corner little triangles, to have corner quarter circles, these also i needed many times.
And last, if it could be possible to make composites with a blank case, we could stretch individual bricks without having to filter all the set, this would open many new possibilities.
Dear Dr Meek, are these only dreams, or could they become reality ?
Comment by Abneurone Fluid Types 24th August 2010
As long as there are new bricks in the works, I volunteer DJNippa* to get a preview of the new bricks so he can work his organizational magic on them. (I say this because I find myself using the top few bricks and the bottom angled bricks the most [and lots of scrolling in between] and it would be best if they were all placed together and in a patterned sequence. Since DJ did such a nice job of organizing MyBricks for his 2.0 custom bricks, he's well suited to apply his organizational skills to the new set of available bricks. {Sorry for the run-on sentences.}) :D
Comment by thalamic 24th August 2010
@Thal. Thanks mate, I'll do all I can to help. I find I use the my "All Composites saved in MY BRICKS" Tool, every time. Plus I'll keep updating as the stacks build up.
While I'm here I'd like to request a wider/adjustable My Bricks Panel, and a way of organising your Fontstructions into groups/ lists. I have over 360! It's a real pain to try and find one, or keep them in order. Once you make a change it goes to the top of the list, whilst this is great for Newer fonts, it's not so great for old ones that you are simply tweaking with FS2.0 bricks and advancements.
A folder system or drag list would be nicer. I feel for those really prolific designers. It must be a nightmare.
Comment by djnippa 24th August 2010
amen, dj! some alternate view just showing file names would be great, as would the use of folders to organize the fonts. while there would still be challenges, this would help tremendously. also, i was thinking about a 'display only' button for those who want to show there work, but not make it available to download. looking forward to the new bricks. oh my :)
Comment by funk_king 24th August 2010
Yes, Funk King, a "DISPLAY ONLY" button authorizing sharing but not download could be a great additition.
Comment by Abneurone Fluid Types 25th August 2010
BUT... Maybe this "display only" button could be overused by fontstructers by security and this could change the entire spirit of FS. The temptation would be grand and there would be not much downloadable i think. After all, if we want to keep some works to be used out of FS, we can just give the link for those interested. And, to be frank, the display in FS looks only good with clean and bold fonts, detailed works look always awful... so, finally, i wouldn't say it's a so good idea.
Comment by Abneurone Fluid Types 25th August 2010
@neurone_error The preview will be improved at some point.

I would also like to add an "All Rights Reserved" (display only) license for people who want to show their work on the site but not allow a download.

At the other end of the spectrum I'd also like to add a more liberal license than any of the existing CC licenses, for people who really want to give their designs away without any conditions.
Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 25th August 2010
is the display feature currently not working? or did i miss a notification? the display window is not displaying for me. anyone else?
Comment by funk_king 25th August 2010
Would it be possible to have a generic overview page of your work, where you can copy & paste entire glyphs by dragging their symbol to another character slot (you can see which slots are used and which are empty)? And include the spacing metrics as well?

I ran into this problem with "The Video Arcade Game Font". I wanted to insert a few new alternate characters in the More Latin section, but had the following problems:

A. I design my fonts keeping true to the ordering system of the ANSI 1252 ("Windows") character set.
B. Fontstruct doesn't follow that ordering scheme for the Basic Latin and More Latin sets in the design mode.

So, to insert New Characters into a previously ordered system, I had to perform the following steps (including the tedious glyph movement):

1. Determine how many characters need to be inserted.
2. Plot the new destination character for each affected glyph.
3. For each glyph to be moved:
a. Select all bricks (via mouse highlight or keyboard shortcut "A")
b. Cut the glyph ("X")
c. Paste in new character slot ("V")
d. Reset the character width for the new glyph.
4. Repeat Step 3 twenty or thirty times until reordering and the insertion of the new glyphs is complete.


I realize this would be extremely low on the priority list, as most people use the character slots for which they were designed. However, for those who want to use FontStruct for alternate characters / dingbats / artistic expressions unrelated to the designated glyph label, this would go a long in making large-scale sorting and moving much easier. And doing it on an overview page without a glyph preview for each character might make it easier to implement, since the point is to put characters in their labeled slots...

Or perhaps it will be necessary to have a glyph preview at times. Blind copy and pasting may lead to too many errors if one is not careful or doesn't know what he/she is doing.

See the following example for a mock-up...
Comment by Goatmeal 26th August 2010
As you can see, you can either move single glyphs or copy/paste the glyph into other occupied or empty slots. Of course, if the slot is occupied, there should be a "Do you want to overwrite the current glyph?" question.

Due to the small scale of the screen mock-up, I have only included the Basic Latin as an example. However, the list should include all language categories available in FontStruct so you can move/copy/paste between them all.

As mentioned above, there may also be a need for a preview of the glyph being moved/copied – similar to the preview window in the design mode.
Comment by Goatmeal 26th August 2010
Another useful feature would be shortcuts to do common copy/paste operations, e.g. copy the 'e' into the slot for 'é','ê','ë','è', etc.
Comment by LexKominek 26th August 2010
@Goatmeal. Thanks for taking the time to make the suggestion, and create the mockup. I think this is quite a specialist need, and, as you suggest, low priority. Maybe it's something that could be done without a visual interface - just a command like 'Order for ANSI 1252' or whatever.

@LexKominek this is also planned, also as a single command 'Copy to extended latin' or similar.

These commands may appear in the editor or perhaps just as buttons somewhere on the FontStruction homepages.
Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 26th August 2010
Something else I would suggest is mapping the 'backspace' or 'delete' key to the eraser as well. I.E., after selecting a whole bunch of tiles you want to delete, then just pressing backspace would clear them all. Although this seems superfluous due to the shift key already accessing the eraser, sometimes I forget and try to press 'a' then 'backspace' when trying to erase an entire glyph. It would be something rather simple to implement anyways.
Comment by 3moDuDe 26th August 2010
more buttons:

- one to create full html tag for the font or image file location that can be pasted aand used as is without having to add that html stuff.

- button or someway to save font file in 'outline view' mode. see sample image will.i.ૐ created for Allegorica as refernece.
Comment by funk_king 26th August 2010
@ ROB MEEk, something which would be absolutely, extremely useful would be to permit the zoom viewer in the Software (not the preview) to go further on the left to make possible to have the whole character on the screen when you work on very high designs. I'm sure many here shared this hell of working only seeing a fourth of what you're doing.
Comment by Abneurone Fluid Types 28th August 2010
This page is getting very long.
Frodo7 has kindly cloned the mootstruction and the discussion is continuing over at the FontMoot 02
Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 31st August 2010

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