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Re: OT: FontForge (was: writing system)

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Monday, January 10, 2005, 22:53
On Sat, Jan 08, 2005 at 08:32:21PM +0100, Henrik Theiling wrote:
> Hi! > > "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@...> writes:
> > But that's still the easiest part of the process. The power of > > Metafont is that font programs are parametrized, and the font programs > > can act on the parameters in arbitrary ways. To truly capture the > > entire quality of a Metafont, one would have to translate the function > > of the program on its parameters into font hinting parameters. This is > > the part that's probably infeasible or impossible to implement. > > (NP-completeness or NP-hardness comes to mind... and likely > > intractability.) > > Sure, sure, but even LaTeX normally uses a set of fixed sizes. So you > could run Metafont at, say, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 18 and > 22pt, and then use the converted font that comes closest for any given > size.
Good point. Perhaps Metafont's complete generality isn't really required in all cases after all. [...]
> This ignores whether TrueType can handle this -- I don't know. I > think PostScript fonts cannot automatically handle different curves > for different sizes, but simply scale linearly on both axes..
Yeah that's a problem. Metafont allows you to completely change the glyph depending on size (although conventionally you don't do that). This is rather hard to encode as hints.
> Further, do all of these font types use cubic splines? PostScript > does, but what about TrueType. I vaguely seem to remember that it > uses quadratic splines only. To convert order 2 to order 3 would be > easy, but order 3 to order 2, is, of course, quite hard.
IIRC, TrueType does use quadratic splines only (which sucks, IMHO, but this really only makes a difference at very large font sizes, and not everyone is in the banner-making business).
> I will not claim font conversion is easy -- I know it is not. There > would probably be good tools if it was easy. I just wanted to say > that Metafont first computes cubic splines and then renders them just > like PostScript does as well. That's all. :-)
OK. :-)
> > Well, sanokí (Ebisédian's writing system) doesn't really have too > > large a number of glyphs, but it is significant, so I wrote a program > > to typeset it. :-) > > Ha, you seem to have very similar needs as I have when conlanging -- > the ligature rules of Fukhian were so hard that even LaTex could not > master them. I wrote a preprocessor for LaTeX that composes ligatures > and inserts separators (similar to an Arabic 'tatweel' U+0640).
The ligature rules for sanokí aren't *too* hard, but they're complex enough that it's easier to write a program for composing them than to code it in LaTeX. (The latter can actually be done if you grasp enough of the TeXbook.)
> And for Tyl Sjok, the font renderer also preprocesses LaTeX and > replaces romanised Tyl Sjok by an inclusion of a generated PostScript > file for each glyph. :-)
Whoa, that's quite an overkill, isn't it? Or is it really that complex there's no other way to do it?
> For both scripts, HTML support is quite bad, however. The missing > link isn't programmed yet -- but Tyl Sjok, using PostScript, will be > easier to use.
To be honest, I hate HTML because it's overly constrained and has a bad history of being abused for visual markup rather than logical markup. [...]
> Since not even I am currently willing to learn my own conlangs, you > will probably not have much chances of a nice chat. :-) But *if* you > start learning, say, Qthen|gai, I will try it, too, I think :-))) -- > I'm sure it's really hard to master, though. And since the whole > grammar is programmed in Lisp, it takes alsmost no effort to change > the grammar: all the texts will adjust automatically. This means the > language is still heavily in flux. (Relay 10 text at Jan's page must > be considered Old Qthen|gai now (at that time: Q'en|gai)...)
[...] No kidding. How do you actually store the texts? I assume what you mean is that you run the Lisp program (the "grammar") on the texts and they produce the actual texts. On Sat, Jan 08, 2005 at 09:32:29PM -0600, Herman Miller wrote:
> H. S. Teoh wrote: > >Nice. I can see how PS lends itself to this kind of thing. For > >Ebisédian, though, I've no choice but to render it in LaTeX, 'cos no > >other tool I know of can handle its painfully complex diacritic > >composition rules (even just in the orthography alone, not even actual > >sanokí). > > Have you tried Graphite / WorldPad?
[...] Unfortunately (or not), I don't have Windows at home, so I can't really make much use of it. T -- That's not a bug; that's a feature!