According to Buddhist teachings, one aspect of enlightenment is freedom from dependent origination (causality). With this in mind let’s examine the journey of Apple’s advanced typography technology.
What Good Luck 1991: Apple expounds the one great vehicle QuickDraw GX to the world. Wise men in Asia comprehend the complete and profound teaching of advanced typography where all writing systems and layout directions are equal, but many westerners lack the capacity to comprehend this excellent true meaning. They become disheartened and give up seeking enlightenment. Adobe Arhats are insulted, stomp their feet and leave.
What Bad Luck 1997: Apple forsakes QuickDraw GX, the great teaching is discarded.
What Good Luck 1998: Apple expounds the lesser, easier to understand teaching of ATSUI.
What Bad Luck 1998: ATSUI is Carbon
What Good Luck 2000: The enlightened teacher Steve Jobs announces Apple Publishing Glyph Set (APGS) based on QuickDraw GX AAT at Tokyo MacWorld. Adobe Arhats are insulted, stomp their feet and leave.
What Bad Luck 2000~2006: Adobe Arhats expound many expensive Japanese font upgrades based on the Steve Job’s APGS teachings. They create Adobe Japan 1-5 and Adobe Japan 1-6 glyph sets before Japanese customers recant and spend their money elsewhere. A proposed Adobe Japan 1-7 is abandoned and dumped in a cave.
What Good Luck 2007: Apple announces the 64 bit newer-lesser teaching Core Text.
What Bad Luck 2007: Nobody uses it.
What Good Luck 2010: Apple announces Core Text for iOS 3,2/iPad and adds vertical text support to AppKit
What Bad Luck 2010: Almost nobody uses them.
What Good Luck. WWDC 2013: The easier to use TextKit layout teaching is expounded in iOS 7
What Bad Luck. WWDC 2013: Asian wise men still have to use Core Text for vertical text layout in iOS.
What Good Luck 2016: Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, and Google announce the newer-lesser teaching of OpenType Variation Fonts based on older-greater teachings TrueType GX and Open Font Architecture.
What Bad Luck 2016: Wise men in Asia shake their heads remembering a greater fuller teaching but shut up and accept Adobe marketing development money. Many westerners lack the capacity to comprehend the benefits of this new teaching. They become disheartened and give up seeking development.
What Bad Luck 2017: The newly released Pages 6.1 still does not support vertical text layout. Advanced typography enlightenment seekers still have to use Microsoft Word.
What Good Luck 2017 WWDC: Advanced typography enlightenment seekers are highly skeptical and fewer than ever but await OpenType Variation Font and text framework revelations from Apple.
Buddhists have a saying: never give up on your life or your enlightenment.
PS This is not about Buddhist style enlightenment, just an irreverent look at Apple’s advanced typography journey written in the style of Senchu Murano’s classic translation of The Lotus Sutra 😃 Have a good WWDC at San Jose or wherever you may be.