• To: vieth@convex.rz.uni-duesseldorf.de
• Subject: Re: About atomic encoding
• From: Michael Downes <MJD@MATH.AMS.ORG>
• Date: 11 Apr 1994 10:56:03 -0400 (EDT)
• Cc: math-font-discuss@cogs.susx.ac.uk, MJD@MATH.AMS.ORG

> On the other hand, I need various roman letters in upright
> type and if they are taken from the operator font rather than
> the core font, there are problems with inter-letter spacing.
> (Just consider an upright i' followed by round' letter such
> as \omega or \sigma, compared to the case when an upright i'
> is followed by a 'straight' letter such as \hbar or k'.)

Is this really a problem? The general philosophy of TeX fonts with
regard to math symbols is that adjacent symbols are normally independent
entities, so they should stand apart a little, rather than being closely
fitted like the letters in words. In order to better evaluate your
suggestions, we need to know more about your reasons for rejecting the
basic approach: making sure that each symbol has enough surrounding
space built in to keep it from running into an adjacent symbol, and then
accepting whatever intersymbol spacing results.

If you want to control intersymbol spacing for all independent symbols,
I think the only general solution is to put all 50,000 of the symbols in
a single font and specify kerns wherever necessary. That's a lot of
work, not to mention that TeX's 256-character limitation for fonts is
unlikely to be extended any time soon. (And by the way that's not
intended as sarcasm; I'm merely making some observations.)

Michael Downes
mjd@math.ams.org