4 Aug 2012 yosch   » (Master)

Some promising aspects of Source Sans Pro, Adobe's recently published open font

So, it looks like Adobe's recent decision to release Source Sans Pro as an open font under the OFL has been well-received in various parts of the interwebs.

I'd like to add big congrats to Paul D Hunt, Ken Lunde, Robert Slimbach, Miguel Souza and Ernie March (and as few others at Adobe I imagine) as well for going open with all this work. May they reap many benefits for this move.

Besides the design quality and the unusual fact that Adobe-affiliated designers and font engineers are directly involved, I think there are some very promising aspects worth pointing out: Source Sans comes with an AFDKO buildpath and the corresponding full set of source files, various smart behaviours (via OpenType), initial focus on supporting languages using extended latin (like Vietnamese and Navajo) and tentative plans for newer writings systems in the published roadmap in which they invite outside participation to the project.

Seeing the authors interact and reply to community input directly in the blog discussion thread is quite promising too: making adjustments to the zip structure of the release, explaining how people can make their own branch if they want, promising more technical documentation on the buildpath, exploring the use of a DVCS and possibly fontforge, etc. IMHO it shows a great willingness to think and act beyond a simple code drop by looking at ongoing maintainership. Many miles ahead compared to somewhat similar open font releases by corporations I've been able to observe previously. Well-done.

I'm looking forward to the Monospace version in the pipeline...

Maybe Adobe will even consider making the AFDKO toolkit more open in the future? There were queries about releasing AFDKO more openly earlier (the python scripts themselves are already under the MIT license)...

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