Python FontTools vs perl FontUtils

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Clint Goss

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Feb 27, 2019, 2:05:15 PM2/27/19
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Been working with the perl FontUtils package (based on SIL's Font::TTF flock of modules). They work well, but there has been little devel work on them since 2016. We now need a new capability - a font merge - and it that's how I found this Python FontTools effort. The merge package seems spot on ... so ... could you tell me (or point me) ...

Is this Python FontTools somehow related to / derived from the perl FontUtils? Has maybe the perl version been quasi-abandoned in favor of this implementation? The perl version has not been updated to handle the latest version of some OTF table definitions ... is this python version kept closer to in-step.

Sorry for so many newbie questions, but ... I'm deeply steeped in perl and have *no* python chops, so shifting would be a*painful* process ... 

Thanks for any advice!

-Clint Goss [cl...@goss.com]

Denis Jacquerye

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Feb 27, 2019, 6:20:57 PM2/27/19
to Clint Goss, fonttools
Hi Clint,

FontUtils and fontTools are unrelated and fontTools is currently actively maintained and updated.

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Thomas Phinney

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Feb 27, 2019, 7:19:37 PM2/27/19
to Clint Goss, fonttools
FontTools, which was created by Just van Rossum back in 1999, is an integral part of many workflows and tool chains. I believe it predates FontUtils (circa 2005, I think?). Python has long been the dominant (or even the standard) language for font tools and font-related scripting. In the broader font dev community, the SIL FontUtils package is fairly obscure, while everyone knows ttx/FontTools.

Bob Hallissy

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Feb 27, 2019, 11:01:48 PM2/27/19
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For the record, the first public release of SIL's Perl font tools was March 1999.

Though we continue to use FontUtils, we have shifted our tool development efforts to Python and are glad for the momentum that has gathered behind the fonttools work.

Bob Hallissy
SIL International

Clint Goss

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Mar 1, 2019, 1:18:16 PM3/1/19
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Thank you all *so much* for the direction and pointers. I am, indeed, diving into Python ...
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