FontLab Update?!!!

putmeon's picture

not sure if any of fontlab developers are around, but please please …
WHEN!?
when are you finally going to make an update?
last one you made an update was in 2007!
the actual version is hell of a buggy one, keeps crashing all the time!
come on people, do something!

.00's picture

CTFD

FL 5.0.4 is quite stable under OX 10.6.7, and very stable on WIndows since I don't know when.

putmeon's picture

FL 5.0.4 / MAC OS 10.6.7 here and i am sorry to say, but it is definatelly NOT stable.

.00's picture

Then you best trash your CurrentWorkspace.rc file. It seems to be the root cause of many of FL's instability. I have found it goes bad from time to time and trashing it every few weeks gives me a great deal of stability.

Richard Fink's picture

Using FL in Win XP. And beating it up quite a bit - no problems.

twardoch's picture

Let me reveal a bit of "kitchen secrets" here.

On Mac OS X, one of the principal reasons for the stability problems is the fact that the application is running in the Rosetta environment, which translates the PowerPC code into Intel code. That environment is not completely stable. So the only solution was to move the code from PowerPC to Intel, which turned out to be more difficult than we originally planned for various reasons: the original code was created in the PowerPlant/Metroworks environment for Mac OS 9, and then moved to Mac OS X using Carbon. Apple XCode was not around when we first developed FontLab for Mac. Unfortunately, PowerPlant/Metroworks was practically discontinued because they sold their Intel compiler to a different company a few months before Apple announced their plans to move Mac OS X to Intel (one of the worst business decisions in the software industry I've heard of, the Metroworks Intel sale, that is).

FontLab Studio is a complex application, and we're a small company (about 10 people) with limited resources. Some of our Mac developers got bored with working on font editors and left the company to try something new (developing iPhone and iPad apps). We hired some new people, but they weren't any good, so we let them go. Then, about 1.5 years ago, we hired a new team, but we were not sure how well they would manage something as important as FontLab Studio, so we put them on the Fontographer 5 project, which was a bit more experimental (and, in a way, smaller in extent). Among others, that project was a test for the new team, and it worked very well. We're very happy with Fontographer 5, the developers delivered what they promised and the result is a fast and stable application.

So we gave the team the task of rebuilding FontLab Studio for Mac Intel, while also adding some new features and fixing some bugs in the "core" code (which is shared between Mac and Windows).

There will be a new version of FontLab Studio (version 5.5) for Windows and for Mac OS X this year. The project is finally well under way, and good people are working on it. Personally, I'm very excited about it. I agree that a new version is long overdue, and I hope that the users will be pleased with the results.

Best regards,
Adam Twardoch
Fontlab Ltd.

putmeon's picture

@adam:
this sounds very promising & exciting!
thanks a lot for your reply.

J Weltin's picture

Will the new version also work on a PowerPC?

Bert Vanderveen's picture

@J Weltin - Given the fact that the upcoming OS X version (codenamed Lion) will not include Rosetta (the aforementioned Intel to PC code translator), the PowerPC-platform is almost obsolete. And I think that software developers won’t suport PPC either…

blank's picture

Will the new version also work on a PowerPC?

Apple doesn't even support PowerPC anymore. Expecting developers to is absurd.

Theunis de Jong's picture

.. So a Motorola version is totally out of the question? :-D

J Weltin's picture

There was just a glimpse of hope …

k.l.'s picture

Version 5.5? Half an update? Or inspired by Adobe? ;-)

twardoch's picture

Karsten,

FontLab has a good history of using .5 version numbers. There was FontLab 4.0, FontLab 4.5, FontLab Studio 5.0, now we'll have FontLab Studio 5.5. It could be also 5.0.7 or 7.0 -- I mean, the version number doesn't really mean anything :)

But if it does indeed mean something, then: the 5.5 version number primarily should indicate that the users of current FontLab Studio 5 will feel instantly at home with the new version. There won't be any radical changes, but some important and useful new features, bugfixes and Mac OS X Intel compatibility.

k.l.'s picture

You are right. I hope you'll excuse the weakness of my memory. 4.5 was so long ago. (To be precise, 13 December 2005, going by the date of the invoice for updating from 4.6 to 5.0.) :D

John Hudson's picture

Adam: FontLab has a good history of using .5 version numbers. There was FontLab 4.0, FontLab 4.5...

Oh, you're so young, Adam. There was FontLab 2.5, which is the first version I used, back in 1994, when I was so young.

twardoch's picture

John,

do you mean: http://vimeo.com/14759011 ? :)

John Hudson's picture

Wow! Yes. Thanks for the time trip, Adam.

Igor Freiberger's picture

Adam: considering FLS 5.5 will support mark and mkmk features, user will be able to use existing anchors to define marks? This information would be helpful as it let us antecipate marks in under-development fonts.

delve's picture

Thank you for the great insight Adam.

I can vouch for good stability of FLS 5.0.4 in OS X 10.5.8. Rarely crashes.

dezcom's picture

Thanks for the update, Adam. I assume your silence on the pre intel mac issue means it will not be supported. I might be forced to buy a new machine ahead of my usual 10-year life cycle pattern ;-P

Thomas Phinney's picture

I look forward to 5.5!

I have fond memories of FL 2.5. The handling of components was interesting. :) I still have the manual, sitting on display in my office at work.

twardoch's picture

> I assume your silence on the pre intel mac issue means it will not be supported

We have not yet decided on this issue.

.00's picture

Don't do it. Move on.

dezcom's picture

Do whatever will make it most stable and rock solid!

blank's picture

Don't do it. Move on.

Amen to that. It's been five years, and as nice as those old G5 machines are, a ten-person company needs to focus on the present.

Ken Krugh's picture

Great video Adam! We started out with Fontographer so I don't have any memories of the app but the old Windows interface brought a grin.

Thanks too for the info. Looking forward to the new version, especially if it will have the change weight like Fontographer has.

While the subject is versions, I just ralized that I'm a bit behind with 5.0.2 and will be installing 5.0.4 after I finish the project on which I'm working, not that I'm paranoid or anything. :o)

Does 5.0.4 fix the dissapearing class issue?

Thanks again,
Ken

eliason's picture

Does 5.0.4 fix the dissapearing class issue?

No, I've seen it in 5.0.4.

twardoch's picture

We have started a beta test of FontLab Studio 5.1 for Mac OS X, which will be a universal binary, running natively on Intel Macs, including Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. It will contain bugfixes, and will be a free update to all FontLab Studio 5 for Mac OS X users. We're working very hard to release 5.1 by the end of this month.

Also, we have just published a note about compatibility of FontLab products with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Go check it out if you're planning to upgrade your Mac OS X to Lion anytime soon.

Thomas Phinney's picture

I will just say one thing about FLS 5.1. Damn is it FAST. :)

T

twardoch's picture

Yeah. Same Action Set on a large font runs 2.5x faster :)

milkyway's picture

Yes, same here. I am awaiting for an update. iphone 5 case

dezcom's picture

Bug free and a bit later is better than on time and sketchy.

jordydavies's picture

Sorry, I should have put my comment/query here. When will FontLab for MAC Lion OS be ready?

twardoch's picture

We're working on it all the time. The general stability is OK, but there are still a few instances which need improvement. Please keep in mind that it's not just "making it Lion-compatible" but rather "moving the entire code from an old PowerPC-based architecture to a new Intel-based architecture". It's been a long process but we're closing on the completion.

J Weltin's picture

So, FLS 5.1 can still be used on OS X 10.5.8?

twardoch's picture

Juergen: Yes. 5.1 won't be "Lion-only". It will work everywhere where 5.0.4 works *and* on Lion.

J Weltin's picture

Ah, good news, Adam! So i can still keep my PB G4, great.

twardoch's picture

Yes, it'll be universal binary, i.e. PowerPC + Intel.

twardoch's picture

Lion-compatible FontLab Studio 5.1 Public Preview for Mac OS X is now available at http://bit.ly/fls51pp1mac

twardoch's picture

New version of FontLab Studio 5.1 Public Preview 2 for Mac OS X is now available at: http://bit.ly/fls51pp

Regards,
Adam

petersf's picture

They released a new update and it is fine iPhone 5 cases and iPhone 5 screen protectors.

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