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LaTeX / Metafont was Re: Arabic transliteration

From:Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>
Date:Friday, November 15, 2002, 15:24
On Friday 15 November 2002 04:35 am, Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> En réponse à Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>: > > Unless, of course, you are using LaTeX. > > But LaTeX is not really a text *editor* ;)))) .
What??? Are you saying that LaTeX is NOT the end-all, be-all of document processing? Blasphemy! While technically you are correct (it is not an editor), that's beside the point--you can use any text editor (nano, vi, notepad, even *shudder* emacs) and produce vertical text with it. Without excessive hair-pulling. Usually. :)
> > See CJK-LaTeX and MonTex (Mongolian and Manchu)--although my > > vertical (and > > horizonal, for that matter) font is languishing because I still have > > not > > figured out metafont. For all of Knuth's genius, why couldn't he have > > come up > > with a nice way to create fonts? > > Well, IMVHO, Metafont *is* a genial way to create fonts!
Swell, thanks for volunteering to help me with my fonts. ;>
> Also, Metafont does everything to make your job easy, once > you realise something: you have to begin to think of shapes as equations, > coordinates, i.e. to do some Cartesian geometry :) .
Comforting. The last time I did Cartesian geometry was eight years ago. (Hmm--second time Descartes has been mentioned on this list in a week--distrubing...)
> If you use Metafont to make a calligraphic font (i.e. a font > drawn with constant pen witdh, shape and angle), then it's extremely easy > to use. It gets a little bit more difficult only when you begin to play > with modifications in the width of lines (serifs, etc...).
That is good news indeed, since the two scripts (both the vertical "vine" script and the horizontal "Greek" script, so named not because it was based on Greek but because it was horizontal, which naturally made the people think, "Ah-ha! Greek style!") are written in such a style.
> Of course, *the* bible of Metafont is Knuth's METAFONT Book. Without it you > won't be able to really understand how Metafont works. If you want, I have > a DVI (I can make it into PS easily) version of it. Its only drawback is > that the figures are in a separate file (but I have it too ;)) ) and it > lacks a figure or two. So if you're interested I can send them to you.
I read the book and went, "Huh?" I'm more the type that learns from example--if there are any decent tutorials out there, that would be far more helpful. Although I suppose a local copy of the book wouldn't hurt, either. Is it the same as the one at Hmm--maybe we should start a separate mailing list: "LaTeX and Friends for Conlangers." Let's see, H.S. Teoh has also been threatening to create a MF font, anybody else? :Peter


H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Tim May <butsuri@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>