[tex-live] Re: Problem with 11pt Blackboard Bold in TeXLive 2004

John Murdie john at cs.york.ac.uk
Wed Mar 2 13:18:40 CET 2005

Karl Berry wrote:
> I suspect the bug has been there "forever" and is in the original bbold
> MF code.  The bbold files haven't changed, plain.mf hasn't changed, the
> same jknappen bbold11.mf file is generated ... could always be a bug in
> MF itself, but it doesn't seem likely.

I see now that I had to work around this problem in TeXLive 2003 also. I
agree that it's likely to be a long-standing bug, but am not expert
enough to suggest where the root lies.

Akira Kakuto, referring to the bbold11.mf file that mktexfm(1) generates
and leaves in $VARTEXMF/fonts/source/jknappen/sauter, writes:
> It will succeed if you change as
> design_size := 10.95;
> input b-bbold;

TeXLive 2003 supplied b-bbold.mf in
$TEXDIR/texmf/fonts/source/public/sauter, along with the other Sauter
Metafont files - 46 in all. TeXLive 2004 supplies the other 45 Sauter
Metafont files in $TEXDIR/texmf-dist/fonts/source/public/sauter but
omits b-bbold.mf. It is necessary to put that file back in the TeXLive
2004 installation (and run 'texhash') to make Akira's work-around above
work. I think we'd all be grateful to anyone who had a proper fix,

The Blackboard Bold typeface is a historical fudge in any case - whose
origin is the pseudo-bold characters that mathematicians and others
wrote on blackboards with chalk because drawing proper bold glyphs would
have been too much effort. Some Blackboard Bold glyphs such as N, Z, R
etc. have, of course, long been adopted as symbols in their own right.

John A. Murdie
Department of Computer Science
University of York

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