Nathan Willis n8@identi.ca

Inaccessible Island

Nathan Willis, Verified

  • Type Design

    2017-09-19T18:38:26Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    On the other hand, I have now completed my Masters in Typeface Design degree.

    Tyng-Ruey Chuang, Charles Stanhope, Ben Sturmfels likes this.

    (More or less. Technically, they could still tell me I have to revise my dissertation or just that I failed or something, but that almost never happens and they give you every indication along the way if you're doing something wrong that will lead to a problem)

    Nathan Willis at 2017-09-19T18:39:40Z

    This year's class's work is up for public viewing at http://typefacedesign.net/
    which is the course site. Not linking directly to mine; you should check out all of them.

    Nathan Willis at 2017-09-19T18:41:20Z

  • 2017-09-19T09:46:44Z via AndStatus To: Public

    You want to tell me the 'open source' community values all contributions equally? Try submitting a talk on a design or documentation topic to ANY conference; then we'll talk.

    Christopher Allan Webber likes this.

    Yes I am annoyed right now.

    Nathan Willis at 2017-09-19T16:24:01Z

  • Dissertated.

    2017-09-05T08:44:02Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Q.E.D.
  • 2017-08-30T08:16:28Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I don't want to startle anyone, but there have been some amazing advances in the field of Knight Rider replica-car electronics in the past two years or so.
    Finally, a Maker Movement subhobby that actually means something.

    Nathan Willis at 2017-08-30T08:17:02Z

  • 2017-08-29T08:56:14Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    That sinking feeling when you realize that a certain blog hasn't shown any new items in your feed reader for a few too many days, and you just know it means the moron web developer changed the feed URL. Why are people such morons? Do these morons understand literally nothing? Is there a cure for moronity of this level? Should we hunt the morons down for sport? All open questions.

    Blaise Alleyne likes this.

    Cool URIs should have had a cooler name.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) at 2017-08-30T02:30:15Z

  • 2017-08-24T16:28:54Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I started saying "Farfegnugen" whenever people sneezed today. No one laughed.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) likes this.

  • Licensing

    2017-08-23T08:03:59Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Yesterday somebody wrote me to ask if they could use one of my OFL-licensed fonts for commercial purposes. They can, of course. I replied with my standard brief explanation of the license and to say get in touch if they encounter any problems or missing features.

    Today they wrote back again to say thanks and that they didn't expect to encounter any missing features, since they're using it for their wedding invitations.

    All that to say I'm grateful that my friends and family have not charged me money to attend their weddings over the years.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) likes this.

  • Eyeroll

    2017-08-22T14:25:04Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I get that it's hilarious to show the picture of Trump squinting up at the eclipse, but he literally put the glasses on one second later; I saw the video on CNN. Be better than that, please. I want my squad to have credibility.

    Ever since HLN stopped being CNN Headline News, I stopped paying attention to them. I'm more likely to watch France24 or BBC World News these day than even Fox News.

    Stephen Michael Kellat at 2017-08-23T02:03:53Z

    What network it's on is irrelevant.

    As is common in my posts, what I'm concerned with is 'how we argue.'

    Nathan Willis at 2017-08-23T10:13:18Z

  • 2017-08-22T07:40:42Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    England has 'reverse eclipses' where the sun comes out when it's supposed to be dark, and they happen every morning all summer.
  • #70's album title or NFL #battleroyale

    2017-08-22T07:29:34Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    The current news sidebar I'm looking at lists the topics

    The Sun
    The Moon
    The Cleveland Browns

  • Terminology

    2017-08-18T09:13:02Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Worth reading, from the Associated Press, about the terms they use to describe neo-fascists and hate groups.

    https://blog.ap.org/behind-the-news/how-to-describe-extremists-who-rallied-in-charlottesville

    As someone who spent a decade and a half in the news business, I deeply appreciate the AP's commitment to strict adherence to specificity. As I've written about a couple of times in the past, it's all too easy to be loose and vague in one's language, especially when talking about the people you vehemently disagree with or abhor on a fundamental level.

    But you can't be lax or slack off; that's a logical fallacy that provides an opening for the hate groups to do the same, to say that you're painting them with false colors, and to say that terms like these don't really matter. They do. A commitment to meaning what you say and saying what you mean is vital.

    Charles Stanhope likes this.

    And no, I don't expect white supremacists or fascists to be precise in *their* language. It's part of their game and their propaganda playbook to be divisive and misleading. But their being deceptive does not grant you a license to be deceptive, too.

    Nathan Willis at 2017-08-18T09:15:01Z

  • 2017-08-16T19:19:56Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    It's weird being in another country when all this intra-US arguing and fighting is going on. I don't have anyone around I can actually talk to about it.
    Good?  It may be safest to say nothing.

    Stephen Michael Kellat at 2017-08-17T01:08:14Z

    I thought we foreigners in general were more than happy to weigh in on US-internal matters. :-)

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) at 2017-08-17T06:15:42Z

    I'm not worried about safety.

    Nathan Willis at 2017-08-17T10:41:14Z

  • Reeserch

    2017-08-15T18:50:04Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I continue to be amazed at the success rate I encounter for just looking someone up and emailing them to say "Hey, are you the person that worked on $project 20–25 years ago? If so would you be interested in talking to me about it?"

    Even for stuff that was highly competitive and proprietary.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) likes this.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) and 1 others shared this.

  • Inbox alert

    2017-08-15T11:47:00Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Uh-oh. First email notification of the upated Let's Encrypt cert just arrived from my hosting provider. Now bracing myself for the 800 subsequent notifications about to follow....
    #whydoiownsomanydomains

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Christopher Allan Webber likes this.

  • Flat it up

    2017-08-13T22:20:52Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Fascinating talk from GUADEC a couple of weeks ago, taking a hard, cold stare at the Flatpak train and where it's headed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPr--u4n8Xo

    (Namely, is it headed in the right direction, are there seatbelts, and are people going to learn from all the wrecked trains they're passing along the way?)
    I can tell that I'm going to like this.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) at 2017-08-14T02:34:00Z

  • Poll

    2017-08-12T13:22:40Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    (1) Would you listen to a podcast that was just me & another host arguing about the free-software related news of the week?

    (2) Who should be the other host? Sky's the limit. [I know a lot of people in the FOSS community, but I haven't actually discussed this idea with people]

    McClane, Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) likes this.

    McClane, McClane, McClane and 2 others shared this.

    I would listen to this, assuming there was a bit more to it than arguments. ;)   (I don't have a suggestion for co-host.)

    Charles Stanhope at 2017-08-12T15:24:23Z

    Ask me after September 30th. I may have quite a bit of free time on my hands if the Treasury departmental offices go ahead with the cull in my job series.

    Stephen Michael Kellat at 2017-08-12T17:14:16Z

    I don't usually listen to podcasts but your concept sounds interesting

    McClane at 2017-08-13T21:49:50Z

  • 2017-08-12T08:08:38Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Time to binge-watch this season of DebConf....

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), AJ Jordan, Stephen Sekula, Elena ``of Valhalla'' and 1 others likes this.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Stephen Michael Kellat shared this.

    POINT THE MICROPHONE AT YOUR FACE. DON'T HOLD IT AT YOUR WAIST!

    Nathan Willis at 2017-08-12T08:44:26Z

    AJ Jordan, Stephen Michael Kellat, Ben Sturmfels, Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) likes this.

    This is going to be annoying.

    Nathan Willis at 2017-08-12T08:44:43Z

    Stephen Michael Kellat likes this.

    >> Nathan Willis:

    “This is going to be annoying.”

    I could easily do classes on showmanship for events like this. Nobody would pay, though.

    Stephen Michael Kellat at 2017-08-12T17:15:08Z

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) likes this.

  • UDEC

    2017-08-07T09:24:10Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    In other news, I went to GUADEC last week in Manchester, and it was a blast. Stayed in a nice AirBNB in the trendy northwest district (just kidding; all of Manchester is trendy, and is really awesome compared to spending Yet Another Stretch in London).

    This may not seem like news; I have been to GUADEC six years in a row now, but this was my first one as a real dyed-in-the-wool civilian attendee, rather than as the token Industry Reporter. Which is not to say that being there as a reporter wasn't fun; the free software community treats everyone as a member, including people whose contribution is writing about other people's contributions.

    Nevertheless, it was fun to go and just listen to talks without feverishly taking notes, and to let yourself get drawn in to hallway conversations.

    For my part, I helped coordinate a workshop on several up-and-coming changes to font and text-rendering support. The main one, of course, is support for OpenType variable fonts (a way of encoding weight/width/slant/arbitrary variants as deltas to an existing font, allowing interpolation on the fly). But we also talked about support for layered/chromatic fonts, emoji, and some potential niceties to add to Pango Layout.

    As you might expect, there was actual work accomplished, virtually all due to the efforts of Behdad Esfahbod and Matthias Clasen. Behdad fixed emoji support in Fontconfig (which basically also buys chromatic font support for free) and Matthias got long-gestating patches into Cairo to make it all actually work.

    I also learned that Matthias started out as a TeX-and-typography dude back before he became the lead GTK+ developer, which is perhaps why it's possible for us to get him excited about font stuff to this day.

    Moving forward, we chatted a little bit with the GNOME design team; I'm trying to get them to revisit GNOME Font Viewer and the GtkFontChooser widget to expose some of these technical features. Matthias is all for this as well; the design team, though, wisely wants you to convince them that adding complexity is Actually A Good Thing, but I think we made progress on that front with Jakub Steiner. The question of improving Pango layout will probably get deferred until it gets more peoplepower, but Behdad made headway into adding variable font support to it, which is the crux of supporting the format in the GNOME text stack. I could say more on that later, but this probably needs to turn into an actual blog post first.

    Finally, I hatched a scheme to 'level up' several open font packages with some missing smart-font features that, hopefully, will make them more usable but do not introduce any compatibility-breaking problems like a redesign might.

    Then I came home. Best of all, though, it was great to see so many of my friends from the free-software world, whom I've been largely absent from for the past year as I've been buckled down studying. If you weren't there, maybe I'll see you in January when the 2018 event cycle starts up and I'll be able to travel again!

    AJ Jordan, Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) likes this.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) shared this.

  • 2017-08-07T09:08:32Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    One of these days, I'd like to corner a GMail developer in a dark alleyway and make em explain to me why their idiot interface can't open a simple PDF attachment as a PDF in Firefox like mother nature intended.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) likes this.

    "Google produce best experience in Chrome".

    In other words, Chrome is the new IE.

    Hubert Figuière at 2017-08-11T23:04:15Z

  • CFP

    2017-08-05T13:55:43Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Finally getting around to writing my LCA talk proposals today.

    The struggle is how to express the things that interest me about free software (like the possibility of variable and chromatic/layered fonts) in terms that a talk committee will feel. Which feels doubly unfair because they wouldn't be able to read any of the submissions without a working free-software text stack.

    Life would be so much simpler if I worked on hyperledger unikernel orchestration mentoring.