[texhax] Request Some feed back on TeX

Chris Rowley C.A.Rowley at open.ac.uk
Thu Feb 10 15:33:39 CET 2005


> I think a really promising thing to research would be to create an 
> analogue to Jonathan Kew's XeTeX which isn't tied to Apple's Mac OS X 
> platform, say coupling it with Graphite rather than Apple's text 
> object.

I am fairly sure that the design of XeTeX is not tied to Apple's
technology; it is just that this is the only implememation of such a
system so far (or is it?).  It would be better to adapt XeTeX to give generic 
support for `large fonts accessable only via Unicode slot numbers'.

As Jonathan is well aware, it is also not a full extension of TeX to
the world of modern fonts since it does not extend the use of `fonts
in maths' nor does it adress the problem of glyph selection from a
range of fonts offering different glyph collections: it assumes that
every Unicode slot used will be sensibly rendered by any font used.
It also works by disabling some of TeX's abilities to typeset text in
strange ways (perhaps this should be viewed as a much needed extension
to TeX:-).

None of which is directly relevant to Atif's interesting ideas for his work.

> I don't think hinting is going to be particularly necessary in the 
> future --- at some point, people are going to figure out that Go Corp. 
> had the right idea, make _all_ user interface elements resolution 
> independent and scalable, and _finally_ start to take full advantage of 
> high-resolution displays which will eventually become ubiquitous.

Doh! Speaking as a mere technologist in this area, the abstraction of
the concept of `hinting' (rather than a particular implementation) is
central to making graphics `resolution independent and scalable'.

> Anti-aliasing ameliorates the need for hinting by a great deal as well

That sounds counter-intuitive and, anayway, why does it need ameliorating? 
Actally `ameliorating the need' increases that need, if it is a
`good need' in the first place (as I claim):-).

> --- I don't think there's been much research on optimizing hinting for 
> full-colour anti-aliased displays beyond Microsoft's ClearType, so that 
> might be an interesting thing to look into.

Yes, a very interesting area.  I am not sure that I would decribe what
Microsoft published on this as `research' but it is more like that
than a lot of their work.


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