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Re: [Groff] Font Composition

From: jon arbuckle
Subject: Re: [Groff] Font Composition
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 08:16:38 -0700

Dear list,

       Thank you for your swift reply, Mr. Lemberg.

       However, I am not entirely satisfied.

Of all output formats groff is supporting, only PS has support
for font-based underlining.

       I am not sure what this implies.  If PostScript
provides a font-specific underline, it should be made available
in groff devps fonts, and some simple requests to access those
values at least can be provided.  What actually to *do* with
those values can be left to the macro packages, in case groff
doesn't provide an underline request itself.

Assuming that font `foo' contains the normal fonts, and font
so that glyphs not contained in `foo-sc' are taken from `foo'.

       Many thanks for this.  Although I was aware of the
..fspecial request, I had thought it was *exclusively* for
symbol fonts.  Thanks again.

It's always problematic to add features to groff just for the
sake of PS output.
In general, I consider such features as bad.  It is against
good typographic tradition.

If you really need such features it should be straightforward
to provide some PS macros, but I strongly oppose to add this
directly to groff since it won't work with other devices.

       You are absolutely right that adding such features to
gtroff creates problems for the other post-processors.  Also, the
features provided by groff (pseudo boldify/italicise etc.) now
are bad, typographically speaking; but that is no justification
for not providing features like underlining and strikethrough.
They are precise and require a powerful typesetting engine like
groff, not PostScript macros.  The technique macro packages
currently use for such effects (diverting text, measuring its
length etc.) is very unreliable, especially across line breaks.
Underlining, at least, and strikethrough preferably, should be
provided by groff itself.  (I am not talking about the
underlining kludge currently implemented by groff---that may be
acceptable in terminal copy, but not in typeset documents).

       Anyway, this is just a suggestion for incorporation into
groff.  If the maintainers find it unacceptable, I have no
problems with that.  My own work is not affected by this problem
yet (it was by the problem solved by .fspecial), so I consider it
a long-term addition to groff, if at all deemed desirable by

       Hoping for some reconsideration,
                                                Yours sincerely.

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