What’s up with VI @ FontLab?
Things are so busy inside our team that I sometimes forget that our buzzing beehive of activity is not externally obvious. But as none of the FontLab team made it to the TypeCon and ATypI conferences of recent weeks, I thought I ought to share: below are some things that might otherwise be mentioned in presentations, Q&A afterwards, hallway conversations and over lunch, dinner or drinks. The reason we skipped these conferences is simply that we are busy finishing FontLab VI!
Behind the Scenes
Our tireless developers Yuri, Dima, Sofia and Oleg have fixed over a thousand bugs during the Public Preview period, to date. We are down to only 46 bugs on our to-do list — plus 18 fixed bugs we need to verify in our next internal build. (Usually our internal builds come once or twice a week with fewer fixes than that. But Yuri has been working on a big feature...)
Besides bug fixes, we have just a couple of key feature areas left to be implemented. Right now, Adam is working with Yuri to bring full support for Variable Fonts into FontLab VI. (Adam was one of the few visionaries who saw and evangelized the potential for reviving GX Variations in OpenType several years ago, and I did my own Master’s thesis in this area. So we are both very excited about it.) Adam and Yuri have also been working on finalizing the export of OpenType fonts in all their varieties — CFF, TrueType, various color formats, and so on. You will see fruits of these efforts in coming builds.
Our newest team members Pooja and Igor are both themselves type designers. So they are ideal people to be testing FontLab VI. They have also been working to complete the FontLab VI User Guide, alongside me, Adam, and our veterans Jim and Alex. Igor and Pooja will also become a core part of our support team when VI ships.
Sales and orders point-woman Lisa has been giving me feedback on my ideas to smooth out our ordering process before FontLab VI ships.
For my part, I have been coördinating our team efforts, working on a new support system and store changes, contributing to the User Guide, juggling all the usual administrative things, and generally preparing for the release of FontLab VI.
We’re delighted that our FontLab VI Public Preview (for both macOS and Windows) already has several thousand regular users. That’s how many people download an updated build every couple of weeks when we publish a new one. Many of you have also reported problems and suggestions on our forum, and shared your experiences using FontLab VI. Thank you all! Your feedback is important, and we’re processing it constantly. Please keep the suggestions and bug reports coming!
We can’t wait to deliver the best FontLab app ever!
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Thomas Phinney is CEO of FontLab. Previously he worked at Extensis (web fonts and font management tools) and Adobe (as product manager for global fonts and typography).
Thomas is also a type designer, teacher, writer, and consultant on fonts and typography. He has been consulted by Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, Oxford University Press, a “big three” US auto maker, the US Treasury Department, and PBS “History Detectives,” among others. He teaches type design with Crafting Type and has been a repeat guest lecturer for MA Typeface Design at the University of Reading. Since 2004 he has been a board member of ATypI, the international typography association. His typeface Hypatia Sans is an Adobe Original with over 3000 glyphs per font.