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:
> "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
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. :-)
> > 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
> 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
> 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.
That's not a bug; that's a feature!