[OS X TeX] Fonts included with Textures?

Christopher B Hamlin chamlin at optonline.net
Wed Mar 27 22:36:17 EST 2002

On Wednesday, March 27, 2002, at 06:40  AM, Ross Moore wrote:
>> The next question though is whether it is really necessary to convert
>> .pfa files to .pfb files since the latter are just packed versions of
>> the former and they need to be unpacked anyway every time they are sent
>> to the printer. (If .pfb files are really needed them it seems like a
>> mistake.)
> No. A binary format is necessarily smaller in size than an ascii format,
> since all the bits are significant, whereas this is not so for ascii 
> letters.
> Thus transmission times to the printer are generally reduced.
> Why do you think that the .pfb gets converted to .pfa before sending ?
> Which print-spoolers do that, and why ?
> It certainly isn't necessary, since a PostScript interpreter can read
> the binary form directly into its internal format.
> Similar it reads the (longer) ascii form directly into internals.
> There is no a priori reason why any ascii/binary conversion between
> the two forms needs to take place.

   Are you talking about the eexec portion being binary in a pfb? This
seems to make sense, but I've always thought they had to be
decompressed too. Here is some text from Adobe's Tech
Note 5040 (downloadable fonts):

> 2 Downloadable Font Programs
> A downloadable font is an executable PostScript language program. In
> particular, it is an ASCII text file transmitted to the PostScript 
> interpreter; the
> file is executed by the interpreter as it is received.


> 3 Font File Formats
> A PostScript language font program should be a 7-bit ASCII data stream
> when it is sent to a PostScript interpreter. However, the programs are 
> not
> always stored this way on the host system. In environments where disk 
> space
> is a concern, the files are compressed by some scheme to reduce their 
> size
> on the host system, but they need to be de-compressed before they can be
> understood by a PostScript interpreter.

Ignoring any compression of the entire data stream, it seems they have to
be "pfa" format when sent, according to this. A quick skim through the
Red Book (3rd edition) didn't show anything (just a L3 StartData
command, but that's not pfb), but then again, that's a big book . . .


   Chris Hamlin

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