Support for OpenType advance features please!

Update: XeTeX is now based on Pango/Harfbuzz, which is the sexier, actively-developed and emerging solution for OpenType support. Possibility: let OpenOffice remain the ICU-using IBM-style suite, and let LibO embrace the future with Pango and Harfbuzz.

@CyanCG, a comment by Caolán McNamara here states, “There is an experimental use-harfbuzz patch that we should get around to applying …”, so I guess you can expect LO to eventually replace ICU with Harfbuzz at some point.

@oweng I’ve submitted a comment at Caolan’s post to which you linked; it’s still awaiting moderation. I informed him of this question and the related bug 58941 to which you linked, and also of the importance of supporting more OpenType features.

@oweng McNamara has posted my comment and responded with “LibreOffice will support them when someone writes the relatively small pieces of code, UI glue and flags to enagle [sic] them.” So, it would appear that this is an easy job.

Does anyone know if there are any updates on these simple patches and harfbuzz support?

Of course it would (will!) be wonderful to have Open Type supported by LO.

In the meantime, Graphite fonts are not to be sneered at (not that anyone here is sneering!) In addition to the complex Roman+ fonts listed at the Graphite site, there are also the beautiful (IMO) and versatile Linux Libertine and Biolinum Graphite-enabled fonts (+ link to PDF documentation).

So, if “Anonymous” original poster is still watching: while waiting for Open Type to become fully supported, at least make good use of such Graphite fonts as are available!

+1. I cannot mark this up enough. In basic terms supporting OpenType = supporting Adobe, which would seem at odds with an open source project like LO. As @dajare mentions the SIL Graphite fonts are exceptionally good. IMO it is better to have one great font than a dozen poor ones.

As I recall the OpenType specification is an open standard, so there’s nothing wrong with implementing it.

It is not that simple. OOXML is “open” too, but using it merely promotes MS and is highly contentious as indicated on the mailing list. It is in the interests of LO to promote platform agnostic solutions i.e., Graphite (over OT / AAT). PostScript outline fonts are not likely to be embeddable within an editable document e.g., ODF. Ask Adobe why that might be.

I don’t believe that implementing OpenType implies being awkwardly encumbered the way implementing OOXML does. The modern TeX engines (XeTeX and LuaTeX) implement OpenType with much success and they are both free software projects (XeTeX was actually started by a SIL employee). Yes, Graphite is an excellent technology that deserves more widespread use: right now, it is not implemented on OS X and I wish it was.

I’m interested: does the Graphite in LibreOffice not work on OS X?

That’s right, it doesn’t work. the Wikipedia article on Graphite says “ According to SIL, Mac OS X support is not planned since with AAT, Mac already provides a technology suitable for minority scripts”. I tested it, and when feature tags are applied with Libertine G the font is replaced with a generic sans serif font instead.

Now that I think about it though, when the right experimental feature is enabled in Firefox on OS X in the about:config menu, Graphite is supposed to work. I tested OpenType in this way in Firefox, but I don’t remember testing Graphite, so I can’t say yet whether it really does work.

@CyanCG re. my simplistic OOXML/OT comparison I accept your criticism. Like @Uglyface200, I was under the impression that Graphite2 was being actively developed for MacOS, although I have not looked at it for some time. This blog post by Khaled Hosny regarding LO/XeTeX porting to Harfbuzz (incl. Graphite2) is relevant.

@CyanCG, I feel that Wikipedia quotation requires a “[citation needed]” tag. If you know of evidence supporting the claim I would be interested (and saddened) to know of it. EDIT: A quick test of Graphite support for ligatures under MacOS 10.6.8 / LOv4.0.3.3 using Linux Libertine G shows this appears to be working. Which particular Graphite features are you not seeing?

@CyanCG : Re : Graphite support in Firefox (on Mac). You can get a decent test page here: Miao Unicode: documentation and scroll down a bit. (Assuming you’ve done the “about:config” search “graphite” > “enabled | true” thing, of course.) FWIW.

@oweng thanks for the links. I remember testing small caps and uppercase to small caps with Libertine G, I don’t remember whether I tested anything else. I did not know about Graphite2 being developed for OS X and now I rejoice; it seems that I was misled by this Wikipedia article and it should be updated. @dajare, Graphite indeed works with the test page you linked to in Firefox on my OS X 10.8. As for LibO’s Graphite features on my OS X install, perhaps I have a bug that’s specific to my setup.

I have added a “citation needed” tag to the Wikipedia article statement and a comment in the Talk page.

While it is not specifically mentioned in the original question I thought this thread should note that support for the OpenType locl feature (localized forms) is also now supported (FDO#62154). I imagine this feature will be available in v4.1.0.

According to this bug report OpenType/OTF ligatures are properly supported.

HOWEVER, I have not been able to get them to work at all, despite this functionality being apparently supported in the up-to-date version of LibreOffice I have. So, your mileage may vary.