Open Source to the Rescue

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. I came across this story in the January issue of MacTech magazine (pages
    68-75). I should point out that, for a change, there is absolutely no
    Microsoft-bashing involved. The closed-source product that doesn't come
    up to scratch is QuarkXPress 6.0 running on Macintosh OS X.

    The writer's client puts out a small-run monthly print magazine. They
    make heavy use of this custom font that consists of Bembo with capital
    letters taken from other fonts. The font was originally created for them
    by the writer using Altsys Fontographer back in about 1994, and had been
    working flawlessly ever since.

    Until they upgraded their Macs to run OS X, and their QuarkXPress to
    version 6.0.

    Two weeks before deadline, they discover that the new version of Quark
    refuses to print any documents containing this custom font, claiming it
    is "corrupted" in some unspecified way.(Yes, I know. The client didn't
    appear to test any actual printing before committing to the new version.
    For a consultant, unfortunately, that's no excuse to leave the client
    high and dry.)

    The writer calls the Quark helpline, which of course takes him to a call
    centre in India. The helpline is no help at all: the staffer keeps
    following his standard script, insisting that it must be a problem with
    the font, and that's that. This even though various other font-checking
    utilities report no problems--at least, none whose fixing makes any
    difference.

    Finally, the writer hears about this open-source font-editing tool
    called Fontforge. Well, he figures, things can't possibly get any worse.
    So he installs it under OS X using Fink, converts the font to a format
    that Fontforge can open, then uses Fontforge to export it back to a
    Mac-compatible format. That's it.

    And it worked. Quark was happy to print with the regenerated font. Other
    clients also reported similar problems with Quark refusing to print with
    certain fonts; the writer was able to use Fontforge to fix them
    all--regenerating over twenty fonts at one site.

    Normally, the artistic/publishing/content-creation types who use Macs
    would be the last people on Earth you think would have any use for geeky
    open-source tools. But this kind of incident makes me think, maybe a few
    cracks are appearing in that wall...
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Apr 1, 2005
    #1
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  2. Lawrence D¹Oliveiro

    Gordon Guest

    On Fri, 01 Apr 2005 20:59:14 +1200, Lawrence D¹Oliveiro wrote:

    > Normally, the artistic/publishing/content-creation types who use Macs
    > would be the last people on Earth you think would have any use for geeky
    > open-source tools. But this kind of incident makes me think, maybe a few
    > cracks are appearing in that wall...



    You need understand the Open Source is about, among other things, getting
    this to work on ones machine. Not about profit, power or world domination.
    Gordon, Apr 1, 2005
    #2
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  3. Lawrence D¹Oliveiro

    whoisthis Guest

    In article <>,
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro <_zealand> wrote:


    > Normally, the artistic/publishing/content-creation types who use Macs
    > would be the last people on Earth you think would have any use for geeky
    > open-source tools. But this kind of incident makes me think, maybe a few
    > cracks are appearing in that wall...


    Umm there are commercial tools that will do the same, and I remember one
    that was around for the Mac plus and system 7...well before linux...
    whoisthis, Apr 1, 2005
    #3
  4. Lawrence D¹Oliveiro

    Grizzly Guest

    On Fri, 01 Apr 2005 21:24:16 +1200, Gordon wrote:

    > On Fri, 01 Apr 2005 20:59:14 +1200, Lawrence D¹Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> Normally, the artistic/publishing/content-creation types who use Macs
    >> would be the last people on Earth you think would have any use for geeky
    >> open-source tools. But this kind of incident makes me think, maybe a few
    >> cracks are appearing in that wall...

    >
    >
    > You need understand the Open Source is about, among other things, getting
    > this to work on ones machine. Not about profit, power or world domination.



    Move the goal posts by excluding redhat in that statement i guess.


    Paul
    Grizzly, Apr 2, 2005
    #4
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