Deprecated vs. discontinued

Sometimes a particular app or utility we offer gets old, and we have no intention of updating it, generally because of lack of customer interest. Discontinued programs we do not promote at all, have no web page for, and do not appear in our regular store. Deprecated ones we have no current intention of updating, label the web page as such, but do still have a page for and store presence (ScanFont, BitFonter).

Mostly, we discontinue: just remove those product pages and discontinue the product entirely. I have done this with a number of things we have offered, such as FOGlamp (it converted Fontographer native files directly to FontLab Studio—newer versions of FontLab Studio just open those old FOG files). In such cases, if you desperately need it for some reason, contact our sales department and they may be able to hook you up.

But sometimes a product has a peculiar combination of attributes:

  1. It wasn’t selling enough units that it makes sense for us to update it or make a new version.
  2. Some people who want it or need it have no reasonable other alternative. Maybe any competing products don’t have the same features, or are not offered on the same operating systems. Or they just do not exist!

So, we keep web pages live for these programs and sell them, because we know a few people really need them. We also label them as deprecated. What does that mean?

  • We have no current plans to create a new version of this product. (Some or all functionality from this product might be folded into something else.)
  • Support for this app has some limitations. We still try to support it, but if there is a problem that is a known bug… well, there may never be a fix. Our expertise/ability to support it will likely be in a gradual decline.

Mac-specific issues for deprecated apps:

  • In some cases (BitFonter, ScanFont), the Mac version of this product no longer runs on any recent MacOS, and our solution for Mac users is to bundle the Windows app in a WINE wrapper. This makes a larger app that is running the Windows version under emulation, on a Mac.
  • Generally, the Mac version of the app has not been updated to be “retina savvy.” This means that on any recent Mac hardware with a double-res “retina” monitor, the app will still work, but some elements of the app will run at half that resolution and seem blurry. This can be worked around to some degree by running your Mac in a higher but non-retina screen resolution, but that is a compromise between blur and things getting smaller. If you run at full resolution but non-retina, everything will be very crisp but half-size. A utility such as QuickRes or DisplayMenu can help give you more choices for non-standard Mac resolutions. (Note: Even some of our non-deprecated apps are not retina-savvy. I will have a separate post about this soon.)

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Thomas Phinney

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.

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