Super, Mega & Ultra OTCs

Per a suggestion by a friend named Leroy, I recently renamed the multiple-style and multiple-family OTCs (OpenType Collections) in this open source repository which includes such OTCs that are based on the Adobe-branded Source Han and Google-branded Noto CJK families. These multiple-style and multiple-family OpenType Collections were described in this article from April of this year. The purpose of this particular article is to introduce better names for them besides Super OTC.

First, some background about Super OTCs…

Shortly after Source Han Sans and Noto Sans CJK were released, I came up with the idea of creating a single OpenType Collection that includes all languages and all weights, and the name Super OTC was coined. This was included in the Version 1.001 update (2014-09-12) as a fourth deployment format for both families, and each one included 28 fonts. These were expanded to 36 fonts when the HW (half-width, ASCII-only) fonts, which covered only the Regular and Bold weights, were added as part of the Version 1.002 update (2015-04-20). Source Han Serif and Noto Serif CJK included a Super OTC in their Version 1.000 release (2017-04-03).

Earlier this year, I came up with the idea of combining Super OTCs into even larger ones that combine multiple styles of the same family and multiple families, with the main motivation being to increase the number of fonts in order to break environments that may impose limits on the number of fonts in an OpenType Collection.

Anyway, a single-style/family OTC that combines all of its fonts is called a Super OTC. When multiple styles of the same family, such as Source Han Sans (36 fonts), Source Han Serif (28 fonts), and the Japanese-only Source Han Code JP (14 fonts), are combined into a single OpenType Collection, it is called a Mega OTC, and its name is therefore Source Han Mega OTC (78 fonts). By extension, the Noto CJK Mega OTC (64 fonts) includes Noto Sans CJK (36 fonts) and Noto Serif CJK (28 fonts).

We can take this to the next level, which is to combine the Source Han Mega OTC and Noto CJK Mega OTC into an even larger OpenType Collection with 142 fonts, called Source Han & Noto CJK Ultra OTC.

Remember that one of the benefits of an OpenType Collection—besides including multiple fonts in a single file for the purpose of easing file management—is the sharing of 'sfnt' tables across fonts. Although the Source Han Mega OTC and Noto CJK Mega OTC are about 300MB and 275MB, respectively, because they use the same glyphs and differ only in their names, the Source Han & Noto CJK Ultra OTC is a mere 200K (219,616 bytes to be exact) larger than the Source Han Mega OTC.

In closing, I’d like to state that as soon as Version 2.000 of both style of both families are released, the number of fonts in the Super, Mega, and Ultra OTCs will increase by 25% as a result of the addition of a fifth language-specific font, to support the Hong Kong flavor of Traditional Chinese.

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One Response to Super, Mega & Ultra OTCs

  1. SilSinn says:

    That emoji fish at the end resembles a Pokémon named Qwilfish.

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