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Re: [Groff] [off] micro-typography

From: Ted Harding
Subject: Re: [Groff] [off] micro-typography
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 14:50:40 -0000 (GMT)

On 08-Feb-02 Sigfrid Lundberg, NetLab wrote:
> I read Han The Thanh's thesis. It was very interesting,
> and well written.
> The story about Gutenberg's bible, and how various
> software packages have been built to emulate the quality
> of that piece of art, opened my eyes to things I've never
> thought of before.

I read the thesis too, and was also impressed.
In fact, this inspired me to try doing the same
sort of thing in groff, on a small sample of text
(both character expansion and protruding punctuation).
It worked very well, in that the evenness of layout
was much better and there was a distinct sensation
of smoothness in physically reading it, compared
with the original.

Of course, this was done "with bare hands": first
format it without these tweaks, to see where the
line-breaks are, then go through it inserting them
explicitly. That would be very tedious in a long
document (such as Thanh's thesis). So there is scope
for macro-ising it.

The one person I know who has demonstrated a true
gift for creating the kind of macro which might
achieve it is Thomas Baruchel (he does nearly
impossible things in diversions)!

Nevertheless, even if these effects were achieved
to a good approximation by macros, I think there
would still be a need to put in the finishing touches
by hand, and any macro solution would have to allow
this to be done.


E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <address@hidden>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 167 1972
Date: 08-Feb-02                                       Time: 14:50:40
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