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Customization, OpenType features and other things...

From: ssuukk
Subject: Customization, OpenType features and other things...
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 11:48:37 +0100


Below some of my ideas and experiences I've got during a try to make
Lout typeset correctly Polish texts.

First of all - I have made almost all required changes in two hours.
It would probably take me several months to do and hundred of pages
to read in LaTeX (if such packege didn't exist), so I was really

The only two things that I couldn't sort out were:

- the gap between bottom of the list and text - while it was possible
to set upper gap to proper value, so it is equal to standard
linespacing, big ugly lower gap for the list is always present.

- linespacing for list members - it seems that list items are spaced
based not on the height of the font, but on height of each listitem's
bounding box. Imagine such list for example:






the vertical distance between o's are different between each pair of

Other thing that bothers me are different measurement types used for
different layout mechanisms. For Polish there are no additional
gaps anywhere - between paragraphs, listitems, footnotes
etc. (there's even a rule "Indenting and paragraph gap at the
same time is very sloppy"). In default setting files in all these
places there are different measurements units used. So although
intuitively I should set all these gaps to exactly same value
(equal to linespacing), in practice to get proper results all these
values are completely different, although they produce proper
interline spacing. Strange.

Now the OpenType part. I understand, that Lout is just a wrapper for
PostScript, but still maybe in some future version (will there be
one?) it will be possible to use OpenType fonts with PostScript
outlines, which now Adobe uses as a standard. They have packs of
wonderful features, such as additional ligatures, real small caps,
real sub and superscript, old style numbers, discretionary ligatures,
titling alternatives. For now, I have converted OpenType fonts to
PostScript and with proper encoding files I can get real small caps,
additional ligatures and all other goodies just by using @Font clause.
The problem with this may be, that different fonts have different
ligatures (apart from normal fi and fl you can get Th, ij, fk, fj and
so on), and instead of using one map file I would have to write one
map file per font, which is not very nice... And with OpenType it
would be enough for example to write something like this:

{AGaramondPro @Discretionary @SmallCaps @Ordinals} @Font {Test}

And the last thing: changing doc, book and report isn't really enough
to customize Lout for other languages. For Polish I had to change bsf
and dsf, other languages will probably require changes in all these
documents. Probably it would be better to make proper if...thens for
each language than creating doc_pl, bsf_pl and dsf_pl.


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