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Info: Created on 26th May 2017 . Last edited on 26th May 2017.
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4 Comments

Technically OpenStep install disks' close-square-bracket is only 2 pixels wide instead of 3 but it is obviously a mistake...

Comment by Damien Guard (DamienG) 26th May 2017

Thank you, DamienG. I cannot remember this pretty one…
• Classic but a tad ambiguous ("OQ", "B8", "l1", ".," etc.);
• Light ("*" excepted, even "#") and rather tall ("|" is OK);
• Almost stylized ("&") and a little narrowed ("@" is wrong);
• Monospace "m" has the same width of "n" (spacing balance);
• A few serifs ("Iijlr"…) while the rest is sans (mono hack);
• Several pairs (odd "57" b.t.w.) which improves the logic;
• Workaround for """ and "''" dupes (unjustified as mono);
• Noticeable "A" vs "O", and many diagonals help the design;
• Not-so-easy matrix (many rules) as 6x10 (+ fair x-height).

You say you corrected the width of "]"… My suppositions:
· CRT (and/or a very low eye-sight or/and high resolution)?
· ClearType or FreeType implicated (or monochrome display)?
· Unused character (overlooked in context, even later)?
· Mis(re)calculation or mistakenly copied/added binary?
(Another example of use might help decide, its family esp.)

Anyway: good addition!

Comment by dpla 28th May 2017

I reproduced the font by running the NextStep 4.2 in VMWare. Definitely no ClearType/eye sight issues my end as it was done from screen-capped and zoomed into a pixel grid.

It could however have been overlooked at the time given the MegaPixel 1120x832 CRT display. It's also possible that if this font is used elsewhere in OpenStep it is correct there and perhaps an older (broken one) was only used on the install floppy disks.  Normally this character doesn't appear but you can type it in to any of the prompts (which is what I did to reproduce this)

Comment by Damien Guard (DamienG) 28th May 2017

Glad to know your eyesight is still fair after so many pixels and fonts accurately converted or reviewed!
---
I see: probably multiple causes provoked the bad "]", even a -frequent- rush in -unimportant- development… Funny, because the design(er) looks somehow maniac (with: a precise size of use that allowed the comma to be clear enough; a greater variety in e.g. "5"v"S", "Z"v"2", "D"v"O", "a"v"oucqd"; but self-inflicted limitations to keep the style simple, albeit coherent in e.g. "y"~"v", "Y"~"V", "G"~"C", "k"~"K").
Pertaining to the resolution, I noticed that the older systems used relatively balanced fonts and displays. E.g. the very comfy NeXTSTEP, down to the most primitive character sets from the early arcades/consoles. Actually, the legibility was a rule and a crucial necessity (often more than today if we remind of e.g. the rigid precision in the softwares - a single character changes, and thousands of people may get their salary pending for days during troubleshooting/debugging…). Nonetheless, soon the pixels boom of the graphics cards -their affordable price- permitted a malfunction to be set: one could draw/trace/plot… a dot on screen that was getting almost invisible in size…
With the relatively limited matrix of "OpenStep8", we are on the fringe of needing an outline version (the common solution since then): the dot would need to be doubled at least (which could multiply its faint difference from the comma b.t.w., and lower the ambiguity), even all the characters would benefit from gaining weight (from this 1-px thick limit, e.g. ClearType allows this and much more).

Comment by dpla 28th May 2017

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