Using fonts from the LaTeX Font Catalogue

Paulo Ney de Souza pauloney at
Wed May 5 08:09:12 CEST 2021

On Tue, May 4, 2021 at 9:49 PM Bob Tennent <rdtennent at> wrote:

> You misunderstood my question. Obviously the texlive
> collections are disjoint from the set of fonts supported by
> getnonfreefonts. But in your rant the only positive note was
> your praise of getnonfreefonts and I was wondering why you
> weren't happy with font installation in texlive.
> None of your examples are supported by texlive so it's not
> a surprise that they didn't work even in a complete texlive
> system.

I want to be very clear that I am extremely happy with TerXLive.
TeXlive is a shiny star in the TeX eco-system. I live by it, I work
with it all day long.

I am extremely unhappy with these systems that do not talk to
each other, like, for example, the Font Catalogue saying that
something should work -- while it does not on the best TeX installation
there is.

So I now understand that you're unhappy with installation
> of font families *not* in texlive and *not* supported by
> getnonfreefonts.  Also not really a surprise.

Correct. I have I have (more than one) TeX font-developer
that work for me, and when asked to do a font installation,
simply do it incorrectly.

It is not an easy task -- just like installing TeX in mid-90's
was a nightmare -- and needs to be automated and made
transparent to users.

For example I looked at the emerald package at
> The licence precludes
> distribution in texlive. At the CTAN site one can find
> a link to a zipped archive of the package which can be
> downloaded and unzipped. As explained in the README, the
> subdirectories

It is not me Bob! It is thousands of people out there that would like
to use and are reading these outdated instruction, and have no idea
of what to do.

> The next instructions in the README are somewhat obsolete.
> In current texlive, one updates the file database

You see ... this depends on people that know the history and know
exactly how it has evolved unde TeXlive, etc ...

>   texhash ~/texmf
> and then executes
>   updmap-user --enable Map
> You should then be ready to go with examples. Unfortunately,
> there are no source examples in the archive, in particular
> for the main documentation file emerald.pdf. Here is a small
> example:
> ...........................................
> The command \ECFMovieola comes from emerald.sty.

And on this situation there are some other 15 to 20 packages.

I admit this is all clumsier than one would like. The
> author should have supplied a TDS-compatible tree, should
> be keeping the README up to date, and should have supplied
> source examples.

Of course! But you can see that -- a newcomer cannot.

> But CTAN are not willing to enforce such requirements.

And that is too bad. We should be willing to re-package a
few things -- because we already do it for a number of
packages and for the easy of use of the fonts.

> Caveat emptor. TeXLive provides dozens of high
> quality fonts and getnonfreefonts supports several more.

"getnonfreefonts" has a special place here. It is the best framework
we have for font-installation -- in general. It is capable of installing
the few that they "assume" and a bunch of others  that they do not

You may have seen Reinhard's e-mail and what he said -- but in
contrast -- we use it all the time to install MTProII, MinionPro, and
several other ones. You just place the files in /tmp and a few mods
will take care of it.

We should invest on that, even if the author has abandoned the
development of his package. We should list the orphan packages
visibly on CTAN, so people that know it could help.

We do a LOT of patches on programs to include them om TeXLive,
just look at "detex". Why not do it  with fonts?

We should make TeX easier to use and a lot of that goes back
to fonts.

If you wander away from these, you'll have to learn to cope
> with what's available.

My point is -- the user should not -- if that is a part of the LaTeX
Font Catalogue.

>  >|There are both Commercial and Free versions. The Free
>  >|version could easily be dealt with by "getnonfreefonts".
If so, you should suggest it to the maintainer.

I have personally talked to Reinhard about that, but I don't
think he recognizes the difference it can make to a TeX user.

There is this "interpretation" that AFPL  says you are not
allowed to sell anything with it, including a DVD -- and that
is patent erroneous. AFPL forbids you from making money
and running a profit with it, but not for charging the cost...
but there is NO profit in making TeXLive DVS's.

 >|This is one of the reasons why the XeTeX/LuaTeX font
>  >|handling is so nice -- from the point of view of the user
>  >|-- it leaves your TL tree undisturbed.
> The texmf tree you should be disturbing is your personal
> tree ~/texmf, not the TeXLive dist tree.

Which is NOT what most of these installations do, including
the ones recommended by getnonfreefonts.

Also not what you do if you trying to build an environment
to be used by several people.

Paulo Ney

> Best,
> Bob T.
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