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Freetype Lands In... Microsoft Office?

CmdrTaco posted more than 2 years ago | from the share-well-everyone dept.

Microsoft 212

phy_si_kal writes "Now Microsoft must love free software. Indeed, Office 2011 for Mac (beta 5 at least) uses Freetype! Somehow they figured out the free software 'clean room implementation' of their own (patented) TrueType technology must better suit their needs."

cancel ×

212 comments

Must burn. (4, Insightful)

Zarf (5735) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414822)

I don't know who wrote TrueType but MS using FreeType must burn them up. I know it would tick me off.

Re:Must burn. (5, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414848)

Why would it burn them up? There is no financial justification for porting Cleartype when they can just use for Freetype for their Mac version. If they were switching the Windows version to Freetype that would actually be a story.

Re:Must burn. (1, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414962)

They're obviously using the Mac as their testbed - notice its also in a beta.

If its a success on the Mac, it'll make its way to Windows soon enough.

They wouldn't want to test it on Windows - if its a massive failure it'll hurt the Windows image... But not on a Mac!

Re:Must burn. (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414996)

If its a success on the Mac, it'll make its way to Windows soon enough.

And you make this claim based on what evidence? Oh wait, none.

They wouldn't want to test it on Windows - if its a massive failure it'll hurt the Windows image... But not on a Mac!

Well of course. The Mac ports have pretty much always been a second-class citizen to the Windows version.

Re:Must burn. (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415218)

And you make this claim based on what evidence?

The same purely speculative one you make your "financial justification" claim. I mean why would they bother developing ClearType if there was a cheap alternative to use? What evidence do you have that implementing Freetype is any easier than implementing Cleartype in a Windows Application on a Mac Environment?

Re:Must burn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415372)

it doesn't have to be easier, it's already done (by someone else).

have you had your coffee this morning?

Re:Must burn. (3, Informative)

bbk (33798) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415374)

Well of course. The Mac ports have pretty much always been a second-class citizen to the Windows version.

Only recently. Excel originated on the Mac - 1.0 was Mac-only in 1985.

 

Re:Must burn. (3, Funny)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415746)

Given that the context is desktop software, you have a very strange idea for the term "recent".

Re:Must burn. (2, Funny)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415752)

Well of course. The Mac ports have pretty much always been a second-class citizen to the Windows version.

Only recently. Excel originated on the Mac - 1.0 was Mac-only in 1985.

Mac ports have been second class citizens for no less than 15 years. In computing terms, 15 years is not "recently."

Re:Must burn. (1, Insightful)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415202)

Doubt it, the Mac version of Office is actually a port done by an external organisation.

I doubt the Mac version functions as some kind of test-bed.

Re:Must burn. (4, Insightful)

ConfusedVorlon (657247) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415282)

are you sure?

it certainly used to be built by a Mac group within MS. I have heard stories of the crazy corporate environment that surrounded them...

Re:Must burn. (4, Informative)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415502)

It's done in a Mac Business Unit separate from the Office team.

Re:Must burn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415680)

As someone who interviewed with the Mac Business Unit (they called it MacBU), I can assure you it is definitely at Microsoft's HQ, being developed by MS employees.

Re:Must burn. (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415536)

You're probably right that Office for Mac isn't a test-bed for technology to use in the Windows version, and you are correct that its developers aren't part of the Office-for-Windows development team. But the Mac Business Unit is hardly an "external organization". I'm not sure where it is in the corporate hierarchy this year, but it's headquartered at their Redmond campus, where yes: they get funny looks as they carry their MacBooks around. By the way, Excel was not ported to the Mac; it went the other way around: Excel for Mac pre-dated Excel for Windows by a couple years (delayed by the development of... Windows).

Re:Must burn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415548)

Well, Office for Mac is developed by Macintosh Business Unit of Microsoft.

Re:Must burn. (4, Insightful)

Zarf (5735) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415060)

If they were switching the Windows version to Freetype that would actually be a story.

Good point. I was presuming there already was a Mac version of TrueType. If there isn't one already, you are absolutely right.

Re:Must burn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415144)

i was under the impression that truetype was a font standard and cleartype was microsoft's proprietary rendering engine.

TrueType in Mac OS 7 (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415336)

TrueType has been in Mac OS since System 6 (as a kernel extension) and System 7 (standard). In Mac OS classic, as in Windows, the rendering engine uses a "hint" to fit the outlines to the pixel grid. These hints are stored as a bytecode program in the font that modifies the outline; the patent covers this use of bytecode. (FreeType can be configured to use these hints or, especially in jurisdictions with software patents, to create its own hints purely from the outline shapes.)

Microsoft's ClearType rendering engine stretches the outlines horizontally by a factor of 9 before applying hints, which messes up fonts that don't expect this *cough*Helvetica 14px "mnr"*cough*. But because Mac OS X uses antialiasing for all text, it ignores most hints. Perhaps Microsoft wants to make the appearance of text the same across all platforms.

Re:TrueType in Mac OS 7 (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415442)

I guess the Apple guys just got dissed on by the Microsoft guys then... but that's certainly not news.

Blame Adobe, seriously (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415724)

MS and Apple hit the panic button when they have seen relying on Adobe postscript technology to display text may have serious consequences.

Adobe validated the panic by asking for ridiculous amount of money. They also managed to drive SJobs and Apple nuts, yes both. Rest is Truetype :)

http://truetype-typography.com/tthist.htm [truetype-typography.com]

Re:TrueType in Mac OS 7 (3, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415722)

*cough*Helvetica 14px "mnr"*cough*

Ok, I'm going to get modded down, but could we stop with the "cough cough" thing? Just say, "like Helvetica 14px." Like a normal human being writing a normal forum post. The "cough cough* thing, assuming it was ever funny, hasn't been funny in years. Now it does nothing but make your post harder to read, and make me think you have no actual sense of humor.

That said, good, informative, post.

Re:Must burn. (4, Informative)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415426)

TrueType is a font standard, which has largely been succeeded by OpenType. TrueType was developed by Apple and licensed by Microsoft, while OpenType was co-developed by Adobe and Microsoft.

On Windows, Microsoft has two text APIs: Uniscribe & GDI, which combine to provide text rendering and a whole lot more, and DirectWrite, which is new to Windows 7 and has much better quality, improved OpenType support, and GPU acceleration. These technologies are so baked into Windows that I'm not surprised at all that they wouldn't want to port them to OS X.

Re:Must burn. (3, Informative)

2muchcoffeeman (573484) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415492)

If they were switching the Windows version to Freetype that would actually be a story.

Good point. I was presuming there already was a Mac version of TrueType. If there isn't one already, you are absolutely right.

Oh, there's definitely a Mac version of TrueType. Apple developed it 20 years ago [wikipedia.org] to compete with Adobe Type 1 [wikipedia.org] and licensed TrueType to Microsoft for Windows 3.1. It forced John Warnock to open Type 1 and eventually killed Adobe Type Manager [wikipedia.org] . Remember when ATM was something other than a place to get cash or something dirty?

Add To That (Re:Must burn.) (1)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415080)

The focus on "web inter-op" and publishing. If they are striving for "looks the same on PC, Mac and on the web", their chances are better if they start using a font typeset that is freely distributable to those platforms.

Re:Add To That (Re:Must burn.) (2, Insightful)

Zarf (5735) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415142)

The focus on "web inter-op" and publishing. If they are striving for "looks the same on PC, Mac and on the web", their chances are better if they start using a font typeset that is freely distributable to those platforms.

If that's the motivation and MS starts pushing back on some of its other in house technologies substituting OSS versions... if I had been an MS developer writing the original versions I might read that as a vote of "no confidence" from my own managers. That would prompt me to look for other work because what I was doing at MS would not be valuable to either MS or the industry as a whole.

But, I don't work at Microsoft. And other posters have pointed out this may not be at all what is happening in this case.

Re:Add To That (Re:Must burn.) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415854)

So if Microsoft refuses to use Open Standards, it is evil and no ethical person should work there, and if they don't it is a "vote of "no confidence"" and the empoyees should quit.
Yes, sure makes sense.

Re:Must burn. (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415146)

What I find odd is that they don't just use ATSUI – apple's built in true type font rendering, which is rather better than both freetype and cleartype.

Re:Must burn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415166)

For highly subjective opinions of “better”, you mean.

ATSUI is not for Windows 7 (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415354)

What I find odd is that they don't just use ATSUI – apple's built in true type font rendering, which is rather better than both freetype and cleartype.

ATSUI and the Core Text that replaced it in Tiger are Mac-exclusive. If Microsoft used it for Office, it wouldn't be able to ensure consistent document appearance between Mac and Windows versions of Office.

Re:Must burn. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415684)

Why would it burn them up? There is no financial justification for porting Cleartype when they can just use for Freetype for their Mac version.

So you're saying there is no financial justification for using Microsoft software when you can just use free software because it's just as good? Gee, I would think Microsoft would be wide open to that rationale.

Re:Must burn. (4, Interesting)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 2 years ago | (#33416102)

Exactly. If I recall previous statements from Microsoft properly, Office and Office for Mac are based on two completely separate source trees. This is one of the reasons that VBA was dropped in the 2008 version of Office for Mac -- they couldn't justify the enormous effort that would have been needed to port a new VBA to OS X, or to develop it from scratch. So your point about the cost of porting or reimplementing ClearType is spot on.

A more interesting question to ask is what portions of Freetype are they using and to what purpose. Rendering? Why not use Apple's native rendering engine? People have argued for years over the advantages and disadvantages of Apple's rendering tech relative to MS. MS has traditionally favored visual sharpness at the cost of precise positioning of the characters relative to each other. The cost of that is that at a detailed level, what you see on the screen may not accurately reflect what will be printed. Apple has gone the other way. The characters may look a bit fuzzier, but the positions are proper (again, at a very detailed level) relative to where they should be.

At least for some Windows applications over the years, the position inaccuracies have caused trouble when it comes to printing. Some word processing programs will (infrequently) get different line-filling results depending on whether they are writing to the display or to a printer. In the worst case, this causes a paragraph to be either one line longer or shorter in the printed document. Depending on how the app handles image placement, the results can be... interesting, as stuff gets pushed onto different pages in different ways.

How Do You Figure? (0)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414940)

I don't know who wrote TrueType but MS using FreeType must burn them up. I know it would tick me off.

That's odd, I would be kind of embarrassed of the flattery that the largest behemoth of a software company finds your code good enough to use in what is arguably the most widely used and popular suite of office software.

And if they become dependent on it ... well, FreeType won't be going away anytime soon. Did I miss some lawsuit or animosity between the two in the news?

Not a single line of the code I've given to open source has been good enough to get this kind of attention so I don't understand how anyone could be upset that Microsoft is basically promoting you (even if only to Mac users).

Not everyone is full of autohate, you know ...

Re:How Do You Figure? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414976)

That's odd, I would be kind of embarrassed of the flattery that the largest behemoth of a software company finds your code good enough to use in what is arguably the most widely used and popular suite of office software.

But not for the version for the premier platform for the software. It's used in the second-class citizen port to the Mac. This is just a way for them to save time and money.

Re:How Do You Figure? (5, Funny)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415132)

Mac users shouldn't even be allowed to be citizens.

Simply owning an Apple product is a clear statement that a person has no concern for their own rights or the future of mankind.

No better than uneducated slaves, keep them in their cages to protect the true thinkers from their short-sited views.

Re:How Do You Figure? (2, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415468)

Needs more +1 Funny. Are you going for the elusive +5 Flamebait?

Re:How Do You Figure? (1)

risinganger (586395) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415780)

wow, using Microsoft products has left you bitter!

Re:How Do You Figure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415868)

I see the truth in your wisdom. What computer, pray thee, should I "upgrade" to, in order to escape my slavery?

Mind you, the replacement, in order to be superior and free me from my slavery, must meet certain criteria. It must natively support unix (I'm an engineer and a power user). It should allow me to script applications. I should have few limitations on applications software available for it. It should support true plug 'n play of peripherals. I shouldn't have to cripple the system with malware protection and other security software. I should be able to share data with the majority of other systems out there. It must have robust and reliable networking - especially wireless.

Please enlighten me... I'm not sure what rights I've given up, but dammit I want them back!

You misread his comment. (3, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414982)

The OP was talking about the authors of TrueType, not FreeType.

Re:How Do You Figure? (3, Interesting)

Zarf (5735) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415084)

No, the FreeType guys should be proud. The original Mac TrueType team should be a bit steamed. Presumably there was some Mac TrueType team that just had all their hard work tossed out. Another poster pointed out that there may not be a TrueType implementation in house at Microsoft that works on the Mac.

If there isn't a Microsoft TrueType for Mac team then no harm no foul.

Re:How Do You Figure? (5, Funny)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415858)

Indeed. Another way to write a flame baiting title for TFS here would be "Mac text rendering sucks so much that Microsoft uses Freetype instead" ~

Re:Must burn. (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415024)

I suppose it depends on your motivations. Do you do what you do because of hate or because you have a passion about something? Or maybe you're somewhere in between and decide to make the most practical choice.

Re:Must burn. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415042)

I don't know who wrote TrueType but MS using FreeType must burn them up. I know it would tick me off.

Yeah. Presumably some poor bastard slaved their heart out over TrueType and the boss decides FreeType is better.

"Sorry for putting up with my BS all these years ... but you suck!" -- Your Boss

Re:Must burn. (4, Informative)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415072)

I don't know who wrote TrueType but MS using FreeType must burn them up. I know it would tick me off.

From Wikipedia: "TrueType is an outline font standard originally developed by Apple Computer in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobe's Type 1 fonts used in PostScript. TrueType has become the most common format for fonts on both the Mac OS and Microsoft Windows operating systems."

There was a story on Slashdot back in July talking about FreeType celebrating the expiration of the Apple's TrueType patent.

Re:Must burn. (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415182)

I don't know who wrote TrueType but MS using FreeType must burn them up. I know it would tick me off.

From Wikipedia: "TrueType is an outline font standard originally developed by Apple Computer in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobe's Type 1 fonts used in PostScript. TrueType has become the most common format for fonts on both the Mac OS and Microsoft Windows operating systems."

There was a story on Slashdot back in July talking about FreeType celebrating the expiration of the Apple's TrueType patent.

Well, I guess it's the Apple software team that should be ticked then, but, I doubt there's any love lost between the Apple and Microsoft guys.

Re:Must burn. (1)

acoopersmith (87160) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415304)

I don't know who wrote TrueType but MS using FreeType must burn them up. I know it would tick me off.

Well, I guess it's the Apple software team that should be ticked then, but, I doubt there's any love lost between the Apple and Microsoft guys.

The Apple software team that just had to put out iOS 4.0.2 to fix the FreeType security hole [apple.com] that allowed people to jailbreak their phones (or get hacked by a more evil website with a malicious PDF)? If it's good enough for the company that originally developed TrueType and held the key patents, why not use FreeType?

Re:Must burn. (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415392)

I don't know who wrote TrueType but MS using FreeType must burn them up. I know it would tick me off.

Well, I guess it's the Apple software team that should be ticked then, but, I doubt there's any love lost between the Apple and Microsoft guys.

The Apple software team that just had to put out iOS 4.0.2 to fix the FreeType security hole [apple.com] that allowed people to jailbreak their phones (or get hacked by a more evil website with a malicious PDF)? If it's good enough for the company that originally developed TrueType and held the key patents, why not use FreeType?

I'm not saying they shouldn't.

Re:Must burn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415512)

I don't know who wrote TrueType but MS using FreeType must burn them up. I know it would tick me off.

Well, I guess it's the Apple software team that should be ticked then, but, I doubt there's any love lost between the Apple and Microsoft guys.

The Apple software team that just had to put out iOS 4.0.2 to fix the FreeType security hole [apple.com] that allowed people to jailbreak their phones (or get hacked by a more evil website with a malicious PDF)? If it's good enough for the company that originally developed TrueType and held the key patents, why not use FreeType?

Interesting point: why would the Apple software team use FreeType for PDFs, when PDFs don't use TrueType? Maybe because FreeType does more than just TrueType? And the use of FreeType, both by Apple and by Microsoft has absolutely nothing to do with TrueType? Nah, if know expert "phy_si_kal" says it, it must be so.

Lars T.

Re:Must burn. (2, Insightful)

Microsift (223381) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415116)

I thought Apple invented TrueType, but maybe I'm trapped in the reality distortion field.

Re:Must burn. (1)

2muchcoffeeman (573484) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415520)

Apple's never been the best of friends with Microsoft in the first place. No big deal.

Don't be tricked by PR (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 2 years ago | (#33416038)

Apple and Microsoft doesn't "hate" eachother or they don't conspire eachother. I bet MACBU (at MS) is one of the most privileged Developer teams on Apple's OS X Development, I mean for bug reports, help etc.

MS Office is always and always on top 10 of Amazon's best selling software. Even more interesting, in current (dynamic) list, Mac version is just 1 place below Win32 version.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/software [amazon.com]

I bet not using ATSUI has something to do with Apple's "font display philosophy" and "MS font display philosophy". Yes, both companies have their own take on how fonts should be displayed on screen. Apple prefers strict display, MS prefers more relaxed/looks better on monitor display. That is why first Safari for Windows looked alien on Windows (besides widgets).

While on it, as I just "cleaned Adobe font caches" of a designer running OS X, Adobe uses their own engine which wants a perfect "cache" to work right.

Overblown (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33414828)

This is an overblown summary. Come back to us when they switch the version of Office for Windows to using Freetype over Cleartype. This is clearly nothing but a way to save money by leveraging Freetype that already runs on Macs instead of wasting time and money porting Cleartype.

gnaa (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33414832)

gnaa

Hold Me, I'm Scared (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414834)

Microsoft proclaims they love open source [slashdot.org] , rumors of Ballmer's departure [slashdot.org] ... and now this?

Maybe god does exist?

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (2, Funny)

bigpistol (1311191) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414924)

Hell is starting to get a bit chilly.

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415340)

I suggest that you read Dante's Inferno.

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (2, Funny)

o'reor (581921) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415050)

Flying pigs spotted here too.

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415122)

Flying pigs spotted here too.

Pigs are the replacement for chairs once He leaves?

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (2, Funny)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 2 years ago | (#33416100)

Is Pink Floyd recording a new album?

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415184)

Using finite terms to describe infinity is contradictory.

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415558)

The number of Turing machines for any finite alphabet is finite, yet they can easily represent infinite sets. How is this contradictory?

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415800)

Mathematically yes.

But you can no more prove a set is finite by empirical test then you can prove that pie will not at some point start repeating numbers after calculating it out to a some point. It's good for engineering at the scales people exist but does math have any hope of describing the fundamental nature beyond what we can empirically prove by experiment. Probably not.

Besides, Science is about the Natural world. Not the Supernatural one (God). Confusing the two ends up making people mad.

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (1)

Hawke666 (260367) | more than 2 years ago | (#33416072)

mmm...pie...

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415186)

Unless FreeType is actually inferior to TrueType (and the Open Source Zealots will never ever admit it) (I personally don't care if it is or not) and Microsoft is using it to make their Mac Version of Office Suck a little more and be slightly incompatible with their windows version to get people off those macs and back onto windows.

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (4, Interesting)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415478)

IIRC, FreeType with all the hinting turned on looks more like ClearType than Apple's renderer, and positioning is pixel perfect relative to ClearType - therefore, it's actually to make Mac Office look MORE like Windows Office, not less.

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415618)

You use words like "zealots" and yet you have not even bothered to minimally read up on what you are supposedly talking about... FreeType cannot be inferior to TrueType because the two are absolutely incomparable. What you said is more or less the same than saying that Apache is actually inferior to HTTP.

You do not even end up looking silly...

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (1)

david@ecsd.com (45841) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415284)

And hundreds of chairs in Redmond breathe sighs of relief.

Re:Hold Me, I'm Scared (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415642)

If God existed that would scare me too. I find the notion of a cold, uncaring universe more comforting than that of an omnipotent and omniscient deity who nonetheless runs the world like He does.

Am I missing something? (3, Insightful)

mayberry42 (1604077) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414836)

Where's the link to the source article? Or is this yet another anti-MS rant?

Re:Am I missing something? (4, Insightful)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414858)

How is this anti-Microsoft? I think it is a good thing that Microsoft is using Freetype.

Re:Am I missing something? (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414870)

Yeah, but only for the Mac version. This summary is trying to make it seem like Microsoft or the Office team is dumping Cleartype for Freetype which is not true.

Re:Am I missing something? (1, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414936)

No, it's not.

Re:Am I missing something? (3, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414956)

Yes it is. The implication is quite clear in this sentence:

Somehow they figured out the free software "clean room implementation" of their own (patented) TrueType technology must better suit their needs."

This is nothing but Microsoft saving time and money by using Freetype that is already ported to the Mac instead of doing the work to port Cleartype. This a non-story at best.

Re:Am I missing something? (4, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415030)

Yes it is. The implication is quite clear in this sentence:

Somehow they figured out the free software "clean room implementation" of their own (patented) TrueType technology must better suit their needs."

This is nothing but Microsoft saving time and money by using Freetype that is already ported to the Mac instead of doing the work to port Cleartype. This a non-story at best.

You mean, it is like FreeType "suits better Microsoft's needs" when porting MS Office to OSX??

And they indeed dumped ClearType for Freetype for this OSX version; that is a true assertion. The fact that they decided to compile others code instead of use their own is exactly that.

Re:Am I missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415100)

You keep saying ClearType when TFA says TrueType. Are you confused?

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415824)

You keep saying ClearType when TFA says TrueType. Are you confused?

No, because Office 2007 and 2010 on Windows use ClearType for font rendering. Even if you have it turned off at the OS level.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

risinganger (586395) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415874)

Assuming the wikipedia entry for TrueType hasn't been buggered about with then it's summary (there is no article) that is confused.

Re:Am I missing something? (2, Interesting)

jimshatt (1002452) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415312)

Not every story has to be about MS doing something stupid. If they do the right thing by using FreeType, that's still a story. At least, I thought it was interesting.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415486)

And this implies they're dumping Cleartype just how? I don't see it. The summary says specifically that it's about the OS X version.

Re:Am I missing something? (2, Informative)

RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415044)

Nobody gives a shit about what you think is good. The OP is talking about the summary. Did you even read it? I know it's common around here forgo reading the articles, but the fucking summary too? It's nearly 90% troll with just 10% actual fact. I should know!

Truetype is Apple's technology (4, Informative)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414888)

Their ``Royal'' font format.

http://www.microsoft.com/typography/truetypehistory.mspx [microsoft.com]

Microsoft got access to it by trading to Apple their ``TrueImage'' PostScript clone (seen that used anywhere lately?)

William

Re:Truetype is Apple's technology (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33414954)

Actually, MS got access to it the same way any Mac developer does - by linking to /usr/X11/lib/libfreetype.dylib.

Seriously Slashdot, what's next - OMG Microsoft is using GCC to compile Office for Mac!

(Oh, the irony... the captcha for this post was "obvious")

Re:Truetype is Apple's technology (2, Insightful)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415046)

Wow. So the truetype library is called "libfreetype". Interesting. Oh yes, the irony is quite thick . . .

Re:Truetype is Apple's technology (1)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415324)

please look up the word irony... this is not ironic

They included freetype (not linked) I think (3, Informative)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415428)

If you link to that particular lib, you must be using X11. Don't link to anything X11 on OS X since it is strictly optional part of OS X install. I don't think MS would require X11 client to have their office to run.

Oh if MS woke up and adopted itself today, their "Office for UNIX" (I bet they would name linux/bsd one that way) would link to it. Of course, not a chance.

I agree to whoever you reply to, pretty ironic that Apple uses/licenses freetype too. I smiled when I saw the note on iPod touch license.

And while on it, their Mac Business unit blog is one of rare MS blogs to follow, for example they had to deal with much more strict gcc coming with XCode/Leopard while compiling MS Office. It is not a "big secret" or anything, OS X Office is truly a Mac program. I heard they experimented with the "actual MS Word on win32" port to Mac OS. Their customers went nuts. They got tricked by "Why doesn't MS Word for Mac doesn't have this?" feedback originally.

Re:They included freetype (not linked) I think (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415528)

I would not wonder if "word for android" appeared in the app stores.

They can, in matter of months (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415606)

It is Microsoft's political/business choice not to ship a UNIX Office. They are clearly capable of doing it. Funny is, it could sell well, but you can only see from amazon top 10, like mac office which people keeps bitching but always on top 3.

Perhaps they could do some "cloud" fashion thing on Android but, would never ship a real thing on it.

That is the part of MS which needs to change.

EEE (2, Funny)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 2 years ago | (#33414898)

I'm confused. What is Microsoft trying to EEE by doing this?

Re:EEE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415820)

I'm confused. What is Microsoft trying to EEE by doing this?

itself?

(embrace, extend, extinguish for those of you who don't read slashdot much)

Patents expired (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415124)

Go to www.truetype.org and read the section on patents.
"All patents related to the TrueType bytecode interpreter have expired since May 2010. More information regarding this topic is available at our patents page."
All patents were originally held by Apple up to May 2010.

Whats wrong with CoreText? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415174)

If they are making a Mac version of Office, why didn't they use Apple's Core Text instead? It is much faster then FreeType. Maybe they are still targeting Tiger?

Bail out. (2, Interesting)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415210)

Has anyone noticed that when Microsoft needs help and wants to be saved all of sudden Open Source appears in there software. Once again we see right here that when they want better fonts it's Open Source to the rescue, but then again to quote there CEO "Linux is a cancer", he forgot to add, "But we need to steal from them to make our software work".

Re:Bail out. (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415638)

Except it's not all of a sudden.

You may have missed the last few years of relevant stories.

Re:Bail out. (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415666)

I know it's not all of a sudden, but they do seem to take take take and forget to give give give.

Re:Bail out. (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415892)

Freetype is under a BSD style license. If it was GPL, then the whole of MS Office for Mac would've to be GPL'ed in order to comply. I guess that's what he meant when he said that.

What actually happened (2, Interesting)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 2 years ago | (#33415296)

"shall we port truetype to mac, or let the idiots have crappy looking fonts?", "hmmn, i cant really be arsed porting truetype to a crap operating system", "hey, guys, check this out, someone has already done the hard work, and its free source too. that means our product will look good, mac users wont feel left out and we can all look cool and get some free publicity by using free software"...

What about Core Text (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415388)

Why didn't they use Core Text? It is faster then Freetype and has a similar API. Maybe this means that Microsoft is also working on a Linux version of office? Maybe they don't see Windows making the move to the tablet? ;-)

Who Cares: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33415564)

No one uses Microsoft Office anymore.

Yours In Ashgabat,
K. Trout

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