Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanks Given

A year of grace and blessing for a family

A family who showed him The Way

A family back together and many in it who are now Christians and
restoration with an old husband

A new church an welcome and opportunity to lead by example among young
people

God's provision of money and a job and opportunities to share the
gospel.

A safe and welcoming return home every week

A great youth group and intellectual leader and teacher for youth

Freedom in this country

Strength from God to be a leader at home, even though I fail quite
often, God is present to lift me up, and a church who encourages fathers

Conquering grace and love of God

Friends and family

A grandma recovering well from a stroke

Two cousins who have come to Christ

Being a Christian

Leadership at this Church

Refreshment and Gladness and joy of this Church

God providing plenty of work and making the work possible

Assurance that God will never abandon me even when I abandon Him, and
that He presses me to trust Him

Peace in troubled times

Trials as a proof of my faith, and of my salvation, and that God's
grace outlasts times of blessing.

Adoption of two beautiful girls

My family

A husband trusting God through a hard time, and for health and
recovery from surgery, and for this body who prayed

A church helping youth get ready to go to college

God teaching me about humility and depth of love and propitiation and
holiness

Health of a husband and healing of his heart from arythmia after a
long year of illness

-- Thanks to The One True God given by 27 people at North Wake Church
this morning.

The Battle between Good and Evil, and Christmas

Christmas is a memorial of a Huge Event in the cosmic battle.

One fighter in this battle is The Good God who created the Universe, chose Abraham and the Jewish people to carry His Message, the God who gave us the Messiah in Yeshua from Nazereth. This God is at war with Satan, the rebel angel who would enslave us all to fight against God.

After Yeshua returned to Heaven, John (Yochanan) one of His Followers, had a vision and wrote the book we call Revelation. This book, too, tells a story of Christmas. It comes from a viewpoint quite outside the normal human viewpoint of the physical world.

From the Biblical book of John's Revelation from Patmos, chapter 12:

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.

---------

This is from the Intervarsity Press commentary on Revelation 12:


The mystery of Christmas is unfolded in various ways in the New Testament. In one account it is the story of poor visitors in Bethlehem who give birth to a child "destined to cause the fall and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed," with a warning to the mother that "a sword will pierce your own soul too" (Lk 2:34-35). In another account the infant Jesus is threatened by Herod the Great and taken to Egypt by his parents when Herod "gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under" (Mt 2:16).

The third story, less well known, is a kind of transformation of the second. A pregnant woman is threatened by a great dragon that intends to "devour her child the moment it was born." But when she gives birth, the male child is "snatched up to God and to his throne," while the woman flees to the desert to "a place prepared for her by God" (Rev 12:4-6). Wherever we look, the mystery of Christmas is linked to danger and to the ancient conflict between good and evil.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Changing Internal Font names to match an MS Word Document using FontForge


A customer gave me an Microsoft Word .doc Document and wanted me to use the style as a template for others. He said I'd need to get the "FF Meta" font to render it properly.

Inside the document, the font was called "Metabook-Roman". But when I bought the "FF Meta" font from the "FontFont" online store the font family was "Meta OT" and the style was "Book". I downloaded the OpenType version from FontFont, so my file was named "MetaOT-Book.otf".

After I loaded the font using the Mac OS X FontBook Application, the font was visible as "Meta OT" in MS Word. But (apparently) because of the name mismatch, MS Word didn't recognize that I had the right font installed. It was looking for something called "Metabook-Roman".

I could think of two likely approaches:

A-1. Rename the font I had bought. You can't just change the filename; the font file has internal data that must be modified. And it's tough to find tools that just edit it directly.

A-2. Modify the MS Word document to use the "Meta OT > Book" font. If the document used styles consistently, this might not be too time consuming. But the downside is that I'd lose interoperability with the people who name the font "MetaBook-Roman", i.e., my customer. If I change the internal font to "Meta OT > Book" and send it back to him, MS Word will likely just render it as Arial.


The answer was found in the tool FontForge hosted on SourceForge. It's designed as a font editor. It can open OTF files, and export fonts to OTF files. It also allows you to edit the font metadata.

FontForge took quite a bit of work to make it run. The September 2009 Mac OS X build wouldn't work, because it was statically linked to a pango version I didn't have.

Dyld Error Message:
Symbol not found: _Arabic_Assign_Properties
Referenced from: /usr/local/lib/pango/1.6.0/modules/pango-arabic-fc.so
Expected in: flat namespace

I set about to upgrade pango hoping that'd fix things, but my MacPorts got stuck on a broken ncursesw. At the same time, I was installing Cygwin with X11 in a Windows XP virtual machine. I actually got the WinXP port to run before I got my local Mac OS X system to run. (Dynamic loadable libraries are pretty dumb in this day and age, folks.)

Within FontForge,

S-1. I opened the MetaOT-Book.otf,

S-2. In the "Font Info" dialog, I modified the Font name, family name, and "Name for Humans" to "MetaBook-Roman". In addition, I had to change the TTF Names section to apply the new name.

S-3. Allowed FontForge to regenerate the UUID for the font so nothing would confuse it with the original FontFont file.

S-4. Exported the Font as another OTF file, "MetaBook-Roman.otf".


Finally, I added the font "MetaBook-Roman" into Font Book.