> > From: Nicholas Bodley [mailto:nbodley@...]
> > Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2005 1:27 PM
> > From the standpoint of a type designer, does Metafont offer an
> > environment
> > that has what type designers want and like, or is it a poor fit to the
> > task? I'm presuming the best, because Knuth is a very capable fellow.
> > Nevertheless, the apparent scarcity of Metafonts might suggest that
> > designers are not flocking to use it to design fonts. Of course, that
> > might simply be because a significant amount of effort is needed to
> > it.
> Development of digital fonts is a learned skill no matter what formats
> are used.
It may still be more comfortable or more awkward depending on the
> But there's another relevant factor which I mentioned earlier
> but you failed to consider: Metafont fonts can be used with one niche
> product, whereas fonts that use TrueType or Postscript outline formats
> can be used with a wide variety of products on most platforms. There's
> also a matter of tools: lots of tools exist for working with SFNT font
> files, far more than for Metafont.
By this argument, you could terminate any discussion about any tool
that is not widely used. Rephrased, you say: it's not the industrial
standard, so it's bad. That's not what is interesting. Therefore
your argument was not considered. The question is whether Metafont
fulfils the needs of font designers regardless of what they are using
now. As I said, otherwise you could always say: aha, there's a
program, but it's bad since no-one uses it.
The final question today of whether one whould choose tool A or tool B
for pragmatic reasons is a different matter -- a manager's matter,
maybe -- we were not discussing that, I think.