Even though I’ve been a member of this community for a while, I can’t post links…bah!
I’ve been in contact with Victor since the first version of PrimaryLines, and so I knew about the long-term plans for updated Andika.
My colleague John and I are the folks behind PrimaryLines.
It was requested here in Cameroon, and I spent some time on it. We know nothing about Graphite or OpenType, are only using free tools, and just blundered through the process. The first draft took me a couple of hours, and the second draft a couple of days, but pasting and trimming lines is a fairly trivial task.
Dots, arrows, outlines, and other decorations are far less trivial.
There is a font Called LSManuscript ( from educationalfontware) out there that has nearly a dozen different variants with dots, arrows, boxes, and outlines. Weirdly, they claim that it is under the Open Font License, but that it can only be used in Africa (where I am) without buying a license. That seems like an abuse of OFL, but I’m no expert.
There are fonts named Schoolhouse from vletter, that also have similar varieties. These are available for purchase.
Unfortunately, neither set has the special characters needed in Cameroon, so this is why we created Primarylines.
When we released PrimaryLines, I said we weren’t planning on releasing further decorations. for lack of skill and time. We are Language Technology folk, but not skilled typographers (By using free tools, I believe we broke alternate glyphs in our copy of Andika). Nevertheless, I believe that if someone could arrange 3-5 days where I was completely uninterrupted (which I don’t see in my near future), I want to believe I could cobble together an algorithm to transform block letters into evenly spaced dots and make a draft. (An article I found and a free copy of Wolfram Mathematica on my Raspberry Pi give me hope. Search wolfram Convert Pixel Image into Vector Graphics"" in Google.)
My proposition would be:
- Exporting to vector or hi-res images,
- Running binarize, thinning, and smoothing on each glyph in Wolfram Mathematica to get a skeleton path.
- Importing into Inskcape
- Finding a way to distributing dots along that path with minimal overlap
- And reimporting all glyphs back into FontForge.
Not knowing the advanced font tools that NRSI uses, or whether they have these features, I don’t know if spending several days defining a tracing and dotting process would be a worthy use of my time.
This one also seems trivial to get a first draft of the glyphs.
Arrows showing pen-direction are WAY beyond our skillset and probably need to be designed manually. It would be a significant step backward if people had handwriting as bad as mine.
After all that, any draft that I might be able to create would be far less polished and much less dynamic than what the experts over at NRSI could create. Additionally, I wouldn’t have the new characters in Andika 6. Another option would be for me to work with a typographer to develop the tracing system.
I’ve seen the “viral” nature of PrimaryLines (my blog has had it’s best month ever). Maybe if NRSI is in need of funds/staff for this work, the wider community could crowdfund the process. Any takers?