Questions about font packaging, hinting and non-responsive maintainer process

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at
Thu Mar 5 01:03:12 UTC 2015

Alexander Ploumistos wrote:
> 1. There are now 2 fonts, the usual Symbola.ttf plus another one,
> Symbola_hint.ttf, which includes hinting instructions. I had a really
> hard time trying to find differences between the two,

Are those hinting instructions manually tuned or autogenerated with 
ttfautohint? If it's the latter, there's no value in them because Freetype 
already uses essentially the same autohinting algorithms ttfautohint uses, 
ttfautohint was developed to provide a similar experience for platforms 
without such a smart autohinter. But if they're manually tuned, then the 
hinting instructions can be useful, depending on how well and how completely 
the work was done. (If only a small percentage of the characters are hinted, 
it will only degrade the experience because the presence of hinting bytecode 
makes Freetype disable the autohinter for the whole font.)

        Kevin Kofler

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