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Re: defining the script sizes via font dimens

Frank Mittelbach wrote (some days ago):
> > The size don't have to scale linear with the new system,
> > since the appropriate sizes can be specified separately for each 
> > body size (the scaling of font dimensions is only relevant if you
> > load a font 'at' a different size).
> true, but only for fonts that have different design sizes right? so
> about how many font families we are talking about?

Wouldn't the answer to this be simply: use virtual fonts having the proper
font dimensions ? We will have to use virtual fonts anyway and the
incomplete mathptm layout in mathfont 0.53 already produces virtual fonts
in the usual sizes. 

> there is one alternative that i can see which is to think about an
> interface that provides defaults unless the font already has suitable
> values e.g.
> \DeclareDefaultMathSizes{10}{10}{7}{5}
> which would load the basic font checks for the font dimens and if not
> found uses the default.
> that interface would have the advantage that it would be pramble only
> thus could be as complicated and space consuming as you like. 

Well, I have not yet done any experiments with that idea, but wouldn't
this have the side effect of loading \textfont1 in all sizes for which
such an \DeclareDefaultMathSizes statement is given, even if we never
set a formula in that size ? 

After some more thought about this, I think now that using font dimension
for stuff that does not scale linearly is causing more problems than it
solves. (And I wonder if this is not already a problem for mathptm and
exscale, since many of the extra font dimensions from appendix G probably
do not scale linearly as well)

I tend to revert to the standard LaTeX interface for script sizes and
math spacing. It will be easy enough to provide this information in
newmath.sty for every layout which needs different values here (currently
this is only mathptm). Another approach might be to invent a new
filetype (perhaps mfd - math font description. This would at the same time
give proper credit to this mailing list :-) like fd-files containing this
information, one file per math layout. We might thus have default.mfd,
mathptm.mfd, etc. Is this a sensible idea ? Perhaps even that would be 

Regards, Matthias