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About atomic encoding

   I just want to point out, that atomicness could be as well achieved via 
_real_ fonts. Such a scheme is halfway implemented in the fc fonts, where 
the upper 128 characters are generated only on demand, i.e. if their code 
is known to METAFONT. Another example are Tom Ridgeway's wnri fonts.
   Thus one can have a scheme as follows: METAFONT sources containing a huge 
base of atomic characters or precomposed accented letters. Different driver
files choose different encodings out of this glyph base. One only has to 
store the different tfm files and use a dvi driver which generates the 
needed pk files on the fly. No tools like dvicopy (has someone ported it to 
VMS ?) or virtual fonts are necessary.

   The main point is, however, that no compromises in quality are needed. 
It is possible to put the best a-ogonek available into the font base, one 
can specify the positions of diacritics in terms of the underlying high 
precision METAFONT coordinates and so on.

   Also, the number of `atoms' can be easily increased, there is no need to
meet just another 256 restriction. Think of expert ligatures, medium caps,
oldstyle digits, swash letters.

--J"org Knappen.