Friday, March 23, 2007

Chortle hotfix; kerning; More on DjbDNS

OK, I thought I was done with the Chortle font for now. I was wrong. It seems that a fontforge bug ate all of the non Latin1 characters in the Chortle typeface I released yesterday. Hence, I have a hotfix to restore these characters. In addition, I have improved the metrics with the italic letters a little, and have updated the font version number in that field. As always, it's at Now, hopefully, I have a version of Chortle that doesn't need to be updated for a while.

It would seem that Microsoft Word 2000 doesn't use the kerning tables included with a font. Hence, I have to make the metrics of the letters as good as possible without using kerning. There does seem to be a way of changing the kerning in Microsoft Word, however. I'll have to experiement with this when making pages with really large text, such as title pages.

A DjbDNS user very politely asked me to detail the bugs that I pointed out in yesterday's blog. I will detail the first two bugs here and the other three in later blog entries.
  • Djbdns has the 'akamai djbdns' problem where the DjbDNS resolver can not resolve some domains.

    In January of 2006, there were known issues with resolving and with DjbDNS. They may or may not work today; djbdns certainly hasn't fixed the issue that caused the problem.


  • DjbDNS is broken when someone has to change their hosting provider, and their current hosting provider refuses to help.

    In more detail, djbdns does not periodically check the upstream DNS servers for a given domain to make sure that the domain in question is still using the same name servers. This is a problem when someone changes hosting providers, and the old hosting providers keeps the outdated DNS records in their DNS server. DjbDNS will continue pointing to the old provider until either the old ISP deleted their records, or DjbDNS is restarted.

I have had two very unpleasant experiences with DjbDNS advocates over the years, and one unpleasant experience with DJB himself. In more detail
  • The first email I got when I first announced MaraDNS in 2001 was a flame from a DjbDNS advocate, telling me it was not worth my time to write MaraDNS because DjbDNS is a good DNS server.
  • I once got in an edit war in Wikipedia over whether DjbDNS is open source. This person wanted to redefine the term "open source" to make DjbDNS open source, even though the Open Source Definition is unambiguous and doesn't cover licenses that forbid redistribution of modified programs.
  • DJB flamed the Bugtraq moderator for approving a posting describing MaraDNS on that list

So, yes, I have had some rather unpleasant experiences with DjbDNS advocates and even DJB, even though I supported DJB in some of his flame wars against the BIND developers in 2001.

Note that I'm not counting the flames I got for posting my DjbDNS rant there; I was asking for flames and I did get some productive discussion, which I feel is worth getting flamed over.

- Sam