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[Groff] Re: Composed glyphs - quick and dirty solution

From: Michail Vidiassov
Subject: [Groff] Re: Composed glyphs - quick and dirty solution
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2006 19:50:01 +0300 (MSK)

Dear Werner,

On Sat, 4 Mar 2006, Werner LEMBERG wrote:

request to groff to activate an option so that it tries to compose
missing glyphs automatically if both the base and accent
characters are available.  On the other hand I'm not sure whether
this is a good thing from the typographical point of view.

TeX, for example, doesn't do that.  I've never seen any complaint
about this.  The problem only arises if you want to have automatic
Unicode support

TeX has huge amount of time invested in 8bit fonts, 8bit encodings,
virtual fonts - and commands to create accents by hand look natural for mathematicians who use them in formulae.
TeX is not likely to go Unicode any time soon -
 no major (money) investment and too much work for a couple of hobbyists.
Just a side note.

Admittedly, `.ps-achar' is not for end-users because it also sets
hyphenation codes.  Here a user-friendly variant.

 .de ps-accent
 .  fchar \\$1 \

Will this code work for marks below base? ;)
Why the skew is computed for 'x' and not for accent glyph ('\\$2')?

I was thinking in terms of small improvements of the current state.

Making groff understand character composition and improving ligatures
is not a "quick and dirty solution".

But we are going to handle this right now...

Adding parsing CC to afmtodit does not make sense, since
the only useful AFM files with CC are files form ognkify, AFAIK.

No.  For example, my AvantGarde-Book.afm file version 001.006
(directly from Adobe, I think) has this:

 StartComposites 56
 CC Aacute 2 ; PCC A 0 0 ; PCC acute 183 163 ;

Are there Courier/Helvetica/Times versions with CC lines?

OK, the question of composition tables for base fonts seems to be better
shelved until Bruno and you shout military style Go-go-go to testers and send them into mine fields of new features! (A "traditional" style of demining is by a herd of cattle seized from locals. Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini allegedly used human waves of untrained and fanatical youth or even children.
Software projects often use beta-testers much the same way.)

        Sincerely, Michail

PS. I did not quite follow the developments in hyphenation support.
What has to be done to, say, russian hyphentaion file to adapt it
to the next groff version?

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