Re: Font design question

Subject: Re: Font design question
From: Mike Meyer (
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 10:12:45 CDT

Martin Sevior writes:
> On Thu, 8 Jun 2000, Petr Tesarik wrote:
> > Hello
> >
> > I'm back again and unsatisfied with the current Unicode state - as
> > always. :)
> I've been worrying about it too but for a much different reason. I want to
> support Mathematical Symbols properly. Right now a symbol from "Insert
> Symbol" is defined as a character in the "Standard Symbols" font. It is
> not guarenteed to be available on another non-Unix platform.

Well, I've been contemplating the PS font support - and for a
different reason. I want proper support for more font styles. I've
already mentioned oblique, but I'd like support for things like true
small caps fonts, old style figures, and ligatures.

For all but the last, "proper support" is pretty simply - recognize
that that font style is available, and add it to the Format/Font Style
list. Since PS fonts are found on Unix systems via the X11 font types
directory, X11 fonts get involved in the recognition process. I'm not
sure what the appropriate signatures (if it exists) for such are, or
where to find out about the.

The ligature fonts are more interesting, especially since the
ligatures that are included in the extended character set of many
fonts aren't used properly either. When a font with ligatures in the
font or an associated ligature font is used, an index of all the
ligatures needs to be created. Then when the user types in a character
sequence for which there is a ligature, the ligatures needs to be
displayed instead of the characters the user types. How such a thing
interacts with the selection is an interesting problem, but deleting
one or more characters of the ligature should cause the remaining
characters to be displayed in the standard font. Likewise, changing to
a font that doesn't have that ligature should cause the display to
revert to the characters of the ligature.

I hadn't planned on working on any of this at this time, as currently
such things are usable - if painful - except for being able to use
both the Italic and Oblique versions of a font. This isn't a major
loss. However, if you're going to be reworking the font code, I'd
appreciate this being kept in mind so that adding support for it later
doesn't involve reworking the font code again.


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