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Re: Arabic transliteration

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Friday, November 15, 2002, 10:35
En réponse à Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>:

> > Unless, of course, you are using LaTeX.
But LaTeX is not really a text *editor* ;)))) .
> 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! Compared to its powerfulness, Metafont is the easiest way to create fonts I ever saw. Of course, there is the 'META' complication: a good metafont program should be able to create thousands of variants of the same font style without changing any line of code, just parameters (that's why Metafont source files look so complicated at first sight: they are extremely general). But you're not obliged to follow this style of programming when you first use Metafont ;)) . 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 :) . Then, you realise how powerful it is, because it does most of your work: solve equations automatically, calculate the coordinates of points (or instance the intersection of two lines, so you don't have to know in advance where the lines actually cross to use this point), fit nice curves to different points... 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...). 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. Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.


Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>LaTeX / Metafont was Re: Arabic transliteration