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Eben Sorkin is working on Merriweather, a libre font project supported by Google:
The idea is to have a nice old fashioned feeling on top of the very modern structures that work well on screen.
There is also this:
I will be working on this design for the next 6 months+. Merriweather is a work in progress and will will be improved regularly. This means you can request improvements and even fund specific features if they are not already funded.
For more information and to stay updated you may want to grab the Flickr stream
and or theTwitter microblog.
Thanks Pablo! There are now 4 weights available. The fonts available now (May 16 2011) will be replaced fairly soon with a newer set and then again finally with a set which has some elementary kerning as well.
The next set will be a set of 4 upright sans serifs. After that there will be italic for both the serif and the sans.
I'm curious, how are you handling the versioning?
Are the names different, or do people have to expect reflow, or what?
People may expect some degree of re-flow until the design is really set. These fonts are betas. They will go alpha when it has all been tested together.
I realize this is very very atypical and actually Thomas Phinney made some great points online about this essentially arguing that this method of releasing a font is intrinsically flawed. I basically agree with him now but that said - for now the course is set for this project. I will see it through. And if that means some re-flow occurs then that is the price of using a font that is meant for screens in a print project!
There are now 4 weights available to use - but problems with IE mean that only two of them are absolutely reliable. I am almost thinking of using a new name for the extreme weights ( assuming Google would be OK with such a thing).
They will go alpha when it has all been tested together
But alpha comes before beta!
> Thomas Phinney made some great points online about this essentially
> arguing that this method of releasing a font is intrinsically flawed.
I don't know - it seems like reflow is a normal price to pay if you want wide-spread beta-testing of a font, which is not a bad thing (especially if it's going to be free).
> They will go alpha when it has all been tested together.
What Craig said. During my college years I made up the term "double-alpha" to mean a program that was guaranteed to crash the moment you ran it. :-) After beta you typically go "rc": release-candidate.
"There are now 4 weights available to use - but problems with IE mean that only two of them are absolutely reliable."
This means? What's unreliable about the other two. And which two are those?
Richard - It means that you can't see the lightest (thin) and the heaviest (heavy/black) weights in IE because of a flaw in the way that IE interprets weight tags. I wish I knew if I was going to be able to adopt a work around. I am sure someone wants to pressure MS into doing the right thing and allowing fonts to have more than a binary set of possible weights in IE.
RE: alpha beta - Oh! Sorry, I thought it was the other way around. I thought it was an alpha candidate when you thought it was 99.9 done. Thanks for the correction.
Free or not free having things that are fairly broken floating around for nearly ever - ( people don't update their fonts like they do software ) is a bit like making space junk. You can do it now... but eventually you will wish you had not.