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From: Dmitry Kirsanov
Subject: 2 more
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 23:47:26 -0400

Here are two more problems. Both of them are also shared by TeX, which
was part of my decision to move away from that system in search of
something better (e.g. Lout :) 

1. I discovered that Lout produces horrible results when the width of
odd pages is different from that of even pages. Instead of re-breaking
each paragraph to the needed width depending on which page it falls on,
Lout leaves the paragraph breaking the same but tries to adjust the
individual lines. So if a wider 2nd page comes after a narrower 1st one,
all lines in paragraphs on the 2nd page are stertched to the new width,
wildly distorting the interword spaces. If a narrower page comes after a
wider one, Lout just complains about "too little horizontal space" and
quits. I find that this behaviour is very incorrect. Paragraphs in a
galley must always re-fit to whatever is the current horizontal space.
Even if one paragraph is broken into several galleys, each part of it
must refit to whatever is the width of each galley. For example, I may
want to start a chapter by a wide one-column page and then typeset the
rest of the text in two narrow columns. This is a very real situation,
and I would like to be able to handle it automatically without manually
breaking the text into parts.  

2. I found no way in Lout to adjust tracking in a line of text. For
example, a heading set in a large type must have its letters kerned
together more tightly than the same font in smaller size. Maybe I'm
missing something but there's nothing to this effect in Lout. On the
other hand pure Postscript allows me to do this, so in principle I can
write something like

@Display {{Helvetica Bold 22p} @Font

  { 0 0 moveto -20 0 (My Heading) ashow } @Graphic {}


and it will work, but with serious limitations. First, Lout is unaware
of the size of the object so produced, so for example @Display cannot
properly center it. And second, all kerning pairs (that are normally
taken care of by Lout) are lost in this operation, i.e. all characters
are kerned together uniformly which may look horrible if the heading
contains combinations like "WA" or "W." So again, I'm stuck with either
proper pair kerning but no tracking (Lout) or with tracking but no
kerning pairs (Postscript). Naturally I would love to have the best of
both worlds, and I think it is not too difficult to implement some
analog of "ashow" in Lout. 

Dmitry Kirsanov                               http://www.kirsanov.com

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