[OS X TeX] Re: Good bye!
fstengel at mac.com
Mon Jan 31 03:57:31 EST 2005
Le 31 janv. 05, à 02:00, david craig a écrit :
>> Concerning fonts,TeX behaves like a program written in Stone Ages.
> Well, it was, but that's beside the point.
> I've been using TeX for maybe 17 years, and I'm as shocked as you are
> that the state of affairs vis a vis fonts has been permitted to remain
> as appalling as it is.
Indeed. however, font managing is a very tricky affair. As it turns out
fonts are, in many ways, very OS (even software) dependant. You simply
need to listen to the woes of those who have (tried to) transfer Word
documents across OSes or versions. The same font does not always
produce the same output in MacOS or in Windows. What I mean the font
may have the same name / optical size, but the same words will not
print out the same (different length / height)...
What makes TeX font management neolithic is
* its strict adherence to *compatibility* and *portability* across OSes
and teX engines;
* the unusual layout standard TeX fonts were designed with.
What causes the most problems is the second point. To use a non-TeX
font in TeX, one has to re-encode it. It takes a lot of work even if
one uses fontinst to help. Furthermore, fonts that can be used with
mathematics are very rare.
Font management in TeX changed radically with the arrival of LaTeX2e:
when NFSS came to be (im unsure as to exactly when, somewhere around
the mid-nineties), one coud at last choose to use a font family that
wasn't Computer Modern, but the choices were limited...
If one is ready to loose cross-OS portability, one could use XeTeX: all
the power of TeX with the multitude of OS X fonts.
Frank STENGEL (fstengel<at>mac.com)
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