[Fontinst] The fontinst manual

Ulrich Dirr ud at art-satz.de
Mon Jul 26 07:40:18 CEST 2004

Lars Hellström wrote:
> As part of getting fontinst updated, I though I should also have a go at
> updating the manual (which has been mostly neglected since the major
> overhaul in 1998). There are quite a lot of commands which have been
> since then, and there should be some source of information about them
> is more accessible than the *.dtx files.

I would appreciate this very much!
>   setenv TEXINPUTS $TEXMF/fonts/afm//::

This also looks system dependent.
> So, what to do?
> The quick thing would be to slap a warning label "This is old and not up
> date" on the manual, with a reference to fisource.dvi for information
> new features. In view of TeXLive production schedules, I suspect I will
> this. But there is also the long run to think about.
> One thing that could be done would be to split off the first two sections
> from the manual and name that `intro98' or some such. Then the errors
> wouldn't be quite as bad.
> Those two sections are also rather tutorial-like. I vaguely recall some
> more recent tutorial being referred to. Is that something that
> could/should/might be included with the main fontinst distribution?
> Another way to reorganise things would be to have a manual that is
> organised after features and problems, while moving the more
> specification-like material (e.g. "An <integer expression> is one of the
> following:" and all that stuff) to a separate file, probably
> This would probably make it more likely that I keep it up to date, but it
> could also make it less accessible.

I would like to have a manual with an introduction explaining how fontinst
works in general. Here there should also be explained how everything is
organized in respect to texmf and in respect of mtx/etx/whatever. And maybe
how an installation of fonts works in general (probably there could be
borrowed something from the excellent font installation guide by Philipp

The easiest way to maintain the manual then would be to have a
alphabetically sorted list of commands with descriptions what they are for
and how they work, maybe be with a short example. Of course there should be
a mark to which kind of file (general, mtx, etx) the command belongs.
(There could be a summary chapter with just a listing of commands organized
by file type.)

Of course this reflects my personal taste. My biggest problems with
fontinst are (1) to get the overall picture correct when trying to install
a new font family, and (2) to find all the commands I needed.

Best regards,
Ulrich Dirr  

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