> On Dec 1, 2016, at 8:07 AM, Alastair Houghton <alast...@alastairs-place.net> 
> wrote:
> On 1 Dec 2016, at 15:57, Alex Zavatone <z...@mac.com> wrote:
>> If we are able to do it right, then we don't have to worry about waiting for 
>> it or aren't put behind an 8 ball if Apple decides to pull the rug out from 
>> under us if it decides to change the feature (which happens).
>> With these features in text styling, we have all the metrics that we need 
>> and as long as the font we want to use supports what we want, these features 
>> can be implemented without waiting for someone else to do it for us.
> Up to a point.  Sometimes there is special support in a font for some 
> particular feature, which will provide better results than naïvely moving or 
> scaling a glyph.  A case in point is small caps; you can simulate small caps 
> by using capitals from a smaller point size, but doing so will affect the 
> weight of the strokes.  Dedicated small caps support tends to look a lot 
> better — the stroke weight will match, but also sometimes changes are made to 
> the glyphs to better fit into the available space and/or to better align with 
> other characters in the font.
> Vertically centring a colon is towards the simpler end of things and should 
> be doable “by hand”, though there might still be gotchas with some fonts 
> (e.g. where digits are not the same height as capital letters or where “old 
> style” digits are in use).

Indeed, while knowing how to achieve typographic effects on any font can be 
very desirable, the system font is a very special case. Apple has tried to 
bring these typographic affects to a wider developer audience by including them 
in the font itself, and has actively encouraged developers to use these 
features. While the usage is a bit clunky right now due to primitive 
interfaces, I believe it will get easier with time. Additionally, as mentioned, 
the quality of the typographic effects should be quite good, as mentioned 
above. For example, the setting for “High Legibility” encompasses a lot of 
features (change many glyph forms, change tracking, etc.) that probably would 
be a pain to achive manually. Also, Apple did a lot of research into what makes 
things more legible and will probably improve this in the future.

With so many easy to use features available, Apple has done the developer 
community a big favor. My guess is that these features will be supported for 
some time, as they are used by many Apple apps, and Apple has publicly 
encouraged developers to use them as well.

Doug Hill


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