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Re: Alternatives to LaTeX

Hans Aberg writes:

>   Getting a translation PS font -> METAFONT might be a partial help, but it
> will not resolve the math fonts issue, which is tied up to the problems of
> kerning, and optical scaling, font families matching, etc.

A translation type1->metafont (I presume it's type1 you're talking
about) isn't really the serious issue, IMO.  Such things exist
already, and make a good (though uninspired) job of it: Yannis
Haralambous gave a metafont tutorial in Windsor a while back, in which
the basis of the practical sessions was "adding metaness" to some
type1->mf translated things.  It was the most challenging part of the
tutorial; adding metaness is terrifically tricky.  (On a par, perhaps,
with hinting a type1 font.)

>   The sorry thing that there are not many math font families to choose
> from, and one idea of the math encoding project was trying to help changing
> that.

No: the maths font encoding project was just that: a means to sort out
the sorry mess that's arisen with umpteen fonts (from Knuth, the AMS,
Washington, St Mary's Road, Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all) each with
their own encodings of small parts of the problem, each independently
encoded, but with some duplicated glyphs.

The chances of anyone doing more than synthesis are small: J"org
Knappen, for example, has dedicated a lot of effort to improving and
extending the DC, TC, and now the EC fonts, but is he going to be
willing to go on and upward to the huge area of maths encodings?  If
not him, who?

The real problem is that Metafont experts are few and far between;
designers who are also such experts are even rarer.  And designers,
anyway, have this tendency to want to be paid for the work they do
while we're a small community that tends not to have money to throw

Robin Fairbairns