Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

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handsomegenius
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Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by handsomegenius »

I recently had a chat with Dr. Tamir Hassan from the Editable PDF Initiative about his work to develop a genuinely robust and portable document standard that can be opened and edited by any software, from word processors to desktop publishing to graphics suite.

If anyone's interested, it's at https://dxmtechsupport.com.au/editable-pdf-interview :)
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Re: Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by kc1di »

Thank you for posting, food for thought :)
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Re: Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by Portreve »

I am old enough to remember Adobe putting out the Multiple Master font format, the idea being one could have a limited number of actual typefaces which would cover the majority of use cases, and you could basically morph a font between different weights. Adobe also has PDF editing software, something which should be fully replicable by the libre software community.

How text flows in a document is a product of how leading and kerning are handled by the host OS. How Windows and Mac OS or Mac OS X handled those things was different such that there was never a good way to move files back and forth. I know I'm dating myself here, but if you created a PageMaker document on the Mac and opened it up on a Windows copy, text would reflow.

Well, Multiple Master failed since nobody cared enough to implement it. It would be great for documents to incorporate editable PDF capabilities, but I still don't see it becoming the dominant standard.
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Re: Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by absque fenestris »

Multiple Master failed since nobody cared ... ...
With Adobe Reader, Adobe has retained the Multiple Master concept internally for quite some time, but differently under OSX and Windows: The font Myriad, for example, was well protected under OSX and not completely included in the CS programs for Adobe customers.
Funnily enough, the complete OpenType sentence was unprotected in the free Adobe Reader for Windows - only a bit hidden, as a profound research of mine revealed... so that you could again complete OSX (and Windows also...) with the find.
Apparently sans serif fonts were generated in Adobe Reader from the complete Myriad typeface.
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Portreve
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Re: Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by Portreve »

absque fenestris wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:00 am
The font Myriad, for example, was well protected under OSX and not completely included in the CS programs for Adobe customers.
OMG! I remember that font! I completely forgot the name (it's been quite a few years now).
Funnily enough, the complete OpenType sentence was unprotected in the free Adobe Reader for Windows - only a bit hidden, as a profound research of mine revealed... so that you could again complete OSX (and Windows also...) with the find.
Apparently sans serif fonts were generated in Adobe Reader from the complete Myriad typeface.
Not sure what you mean by “the complete OpenType sentence” but I guess it would make sense for Adobe to include support in OpenType for Multiple Master. I mean, they'd already poured money into development efforts, so it's not like they're out anything.

I remember one of the specific, strenuous objections raised at the time is that designers wanted to use actual typefaces, not synthesized ones. Personally, I think a better use for MM, which did not exist at the time, would be for enhanced readability on the Web or for ebooks.
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Re: Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by handsomegenius »

Portreve wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:09 am
I am old enough to remember Adobe putting out the Multiple Master font format, the idea being one could have a limited number of actual typefaces which would cover the majority of use cases, and you could basically morph a font between different weights. Adobe also has PDF editing software, something which should be fully replicable by the libre software community.

How text flows in a document is a product of how leading and kerning are handled by the host OS. How Windows and Mac OS or Mac OS X handled those things was different such that there was never a good way to move files back and forth. I know I'm dating myself here, but if you created a PageMaker document on the Mac and opened it up on a Windows copy, text would reflow.

Well, Multiple Master failed since nobody cared enough to implement it. It would be great for documents to incorporate editable PDF capabilities, but I still don't see it becoming the dominant standard.
It's not in the interview that I linked to here - but on Dr. Hassan's website, he talks about something that sounds a lot like this. Where the original font is not available, this new standard will be to synthesise a new one with the right features to makes the text flow in the same way.
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Re: Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by absque fenestris »

Not sure what you mean by “the complete OpenType sentence” but I guess it would make sense for Adobe to include support in OpenType for Multiple Master. I mean, they'd already poured money into development efforts, so it's not like they're out anything.
Up to and including MacOS 9, the Adobe Type Manager used Multiple Master fonts in a large number of individual cuts or as a kind of rubber band, with which MM fonts could be stretched or compressed steplessly.
An extremely extensive font table was stored for each master font.

The mentioned OTF Myriad font folder contains at least 42 single fonts (...I would have to find the original folder). 18 of these fonts are in regular use under Linux.
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Re: Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by Portreve »

absque fenestris wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:29 am
Not sure what you mean by “the complete OpenType sentence” but I guess it would make sense for Adobe to include support in OpenType for Multiple Master. I mean, they'd already poured money into development efforts, so it's not like they're out anything.
Up to and including MacOS 9, the Adobe Type Manager used Multiple Master fonts in a large number of individual cuts or as a kind of rubber band, with which MM fonts could be stretched or compressed steplessly.
An extremely extensive font table was stored for each master font.

The mentioned OTF Myriad font folder contains at least 42 single fonts (...I would have to find the original folder). 18 of these fonts are in regular use under Linux.
You've no idea how much more comfortable it makes me knowing I'm not the only person on LMF with this particular bit of odd knowledge. :lol:

Actually, I had no idea there were any traces of Myriad floating around in GNU+Linux distros.

Guess this just proves you learn something new every day.
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Re: Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by absque fenestris »

Well yes, if you add the Adobe Caslon and the fonts of Mr. Frutiger, my font installation under Mint (or GNU/Linux) might be relatively rare...
And Scribus & Ghostscript make really good PDF's of them. LibreOffice has - depending on the version - some dropouts.

Concerning the editability of PDF's I am quite ambivalent since Adobe Acrobat Pro: with the very old (...and very small) PDF's I could be sure that no customer could tamper with it.
In addition, PDF was always my supplement to QuarkXPress and InDesign data - it worked very well with the printeries. But that was all a long time ago.
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Re: Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by absque fenestris »

If Scribus could be pretty much just like Quark, but with some of the finer, more artsy touches of InDesign, it would be the best overall desktop publishing program, period.
Hi Portreve

I took the liberty of copying your contribution here.

Of course Scribus could be today, 2019, meanwhile like Quark 3 or 4 vintage sometime around 2002 (end of Mac OS 9 - blessed). Not to forget PageMaker: The thing was shit easy to use, had a damn good typography and was of course ostracized and finally grounded by Adobe like FreeHand too...
Why not a Linux PageMaker?
Are there any very effective patents at work here? Actually I can't imagine anything else - not at least because Scribus is always absolutely the same from version to version to version - - - consequently in Linux as well as under OSX and Windows...

Somehow I have the feeling that there is no real demand for a professional desktop publishing program under Linux. And please do not advise LaTex - it sounds like bdsm and is like bdsm...

But editing PDF's - then Yes! - and forever and immediately and automatically...

Just as an idea: if Scribus would use ZIM with all preconfigurations as an input module for plain text...
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Re: Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by Portreve »

If creative types, which Apple traditionally has a lock on, were to experience GNU+Linux — particularly as delivered in a distro like LM or that other one (I'm spacing the name at the moment) which is much more deliberately targeted at Mac users — I think they'd have no issues switching over as far as the OS itself is concerned. The stumbling block would be software availability, and a lot of that is hard to get around both due in part to patent issues, and copyrights attached to specific elements like sound samples, as just one example.

Also, creative types often tend to be very materialistic and trendy, which means they have iPhones and not Android phones, and Apple Watches, and there's not a snowball's chance in hell Apple would ever allow for support in GNU+Linux and Android.

Of course, vis a vis desktop publishing itself, it's on a slow train to oblivion anyhow. The target medium of most visual design any more is the Web, and that's not so much the province of PostScript and ink and paper as it is HTML, CSS, Java, JavaScript, and coding and scripting for all the server back-end stuff. Truly, other than visual arts' involvement in the fundamental aspects of design, it's all the world of coders now. I don't think we will ever 100% not have any printing work, but look at how much of that industry is dead or dying already.

I truly miss being involved professionally in the print world, but honestly I just don't see much of a future in it. I would much rather get on with the rest of my formal education so I can teach¹ English²³.

¹ Education is, in my mind, so much more important than anything else — because it is so much more fundamental than anything else — and as it turns out, I have a passion for teaching that I've never had for any other field of endeavor.

² I love fine literature, and I love pointing people to examples of beautiful writing because it allows them to see, often for the first time, of what language is truly capable. However, I perceive the greatest need to be at the foundational level — Comp I and Comp II in the college setting, along with remedial levels — and so that's really where I want to hang my professional hat.

³ I also love working with the English-as-Second-Language crowd. It's not work for me, it's not even all that taxing and effort-laden. To me, it's almost like entertainment because it's like experiencing pure joy.
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Re: Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by absque fenestris »

Your last paragraph: no future in...
Yes - it is also my experience!
But is that true for the kids?
My 22-year-old niece sees it differently: shamelessly influenced by me throughout, she thinks all analog techniques are good.
She wants to develop photos in the darkroom. Of course she takes photos on film.
She draws. She keeps a handwritten diary...
Any operating system or program can lick her ass...
Creepy incorrect, indeed! but that's how they are... I like them :lol:
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Re: Why We Need a Universal, Open Standard for Editing Documents

Post by absque fenestris »

It does not go out of my mind: is printed mediation of knowledge and culture dying?
Of course, I first thought of my Christian occidental culture -
But!
Written and printed culture affects Muslims as well as Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Confucians and whatever - even Marxists.
Books are now worthless - and so is their production. I would like to ask a larger group here: is that so?
And if - can or could a really freely available PDF, for example, change that?

To escape my personal filter bubble, I have integrated Unifonts into all operating systems for almost 20 years. Not that I understand it, but I like to look at internet pages with, for me, exotic languages.
Just as I can appreciate an - for me - exotic book or a newspaper or a poster, simply because of their different aesthetics or design.

With Unifonts I have reached another passion: instead of annoying people worldwide with nonsensically bloated font folders: Unifont occupies about 12 MB - is huge as a font - but it's a single font... and Linux would be somehow predestined for it.
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