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Re: Inverted (=reflected) N
- To: "Y&Y, Inc." <support@YandY.com>
- Subject: Re: Inverted (=reflected) N
- From: Chris Rowley <C.A.Rowley@open.ac.uk>
- Date: Sun, 8 Feb 1998 19:49:46 GMT
- Cc: Ulrik Vieth <firstname.lastname@example.org>, BNB@MATH.AMS.ORG, email@example.com
Berthold wrote --
> For political reasons :-) Microsoft took the glyph names we used and
> replaced them with others in each case where there were two commonly
> used names.
A purely practical point: why are the glyph names in the font not
the copyright on the font, thus preventing people from changing them?
> For the basic 228 characters we have already gotten used to using
> Adobe's names just because it makes life simpler (even if some are
> misspelled, like guillemot).
> (The Adobe names even appear in LaTeX 2e as \textxyz).
Well, not quite, unfortunately: I wish we could use such a standard
name-scheme (you see, I like `not made here' as it means I can blame
someone else for misusing bird, and bad, names:-). The cases where we
do not use them for text (ie not math) entities are historical
accidents or name-clashes (eg \textfraction!!); this despite my
personal antipathy to both the principles and practice of the Adobe
In the case of math entities we do not have anything like a policy yet
since the primary internal need for these names does not arise in
math-mode. However, where we do need a name for a math-related entity
we have tended to use an established TeX name (however bad, and some
of them are as awful as the worst of Adobe's excesses). If we had to
give a rationale for this it would be the old standby `historical
reasons' plus the thought that the choice made by a random (and hence,
of course, eccentric) mathematician is likely to be a better
bet than that of any faceless corporation which consistently shows
utter contempt for the needs of mathematical typesetting:-)???.
But most importantly, in LaTeX these are, by design, primarily
internal names for elements of character streams; they exist so as
explicitly not to avoid internally using a fixed particular glyph
(rpresented either by name or slot-number) in a particular font with a
> So using the `standard' Adobe names for more glyphs is not that different.
So using the `standard' LaTeX names for most glyphs is somewhat different.
> Actually, I allow for synonyms on my end of the business, which is
> translating from glyph names to UNICODE numbers.
Those UNICODE numbers are in fact the nmubers of slots for glyphs in a
font, in this case, are they not? Just clarifying which part of the
process we are talking about.
> So in going from glyph name in an encoding to UNICODE number, this
> can easily be done. The problem is the rasterizer, which one has
> no control over (well, you can change the raw binary, as we do with
> Microsofts's buggy T1INSTAL.DLL, but that is painful).
My understanding is that this is precisely where a portable font
resource can assiste you (and potentially MS).
> It's satisfying to evangalize, but not a way to survive in business.
That I completely understand but there are other small/moiddle sized
businesses involved too (hmmm, or maybe they are all bankrupt by now:-).
I am not suggesting that this makes good business sense for you or
anyone but I think we should look at history a bit to see what has
happened with other large US corporations who got it all wrong.
I realise that in many ways it is different (and I hate arguments
based on history) but an example of bad engineering and unsound
commercial practices being changed in the largest of US corporations
is that of automobile design.
It took many decades to do but it was acheived largely by a
combination of academic research and evangelistic pressure groups
which only finally led to direct market pressure from users and also
legislation. The current attitude of MS is very similar to car makers
who used to say: we know best, cars cannot be made safer and people
would not buy them if we made them. Whereas 40 years later, safety is
second (a long way still) only to eroticism and deserts in automobile
Let's hope that similar means can ultimately affect the design of
software (that many of us use far more often than an automobile),
if only to help the TeX community's new-born twins:-).
The differences between software and automobiles, and the corporations
involved, are as interesting as the similarities but I shall not bore