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font names

Robert Withrow <spooky!witr@uunet.uu.net> posted a message to TeXhax
about font names.  I wrote back suggesting the font mapping file I
brought up before.

me> Then some scheme like X's (but I am strongly against wildcards) could be
me> developed.

Robert> I also discourage the use of wildcards, but they *do* have their uses
Robert> (especially in special applications other than normal document
Robert> generation.  I am specifically thinking of the pixel related values,
Robert> but I can imagine valid uses for wildcards in the other fields also).
Robert> I think that prohibiting the use of wildcards would be bad
Robert> engineering.

I don't think X's scheme should be adopted verbatim.  Those
pixel-related values should disappear entirely in the TeX world, I

What are the valid uses of the wildcards you can imagine?  I can think
of two reasons offhand not to allow wildcards: 1) increases complexity
of the implementation (you can probably guess that I am speaking as an
implementor here); 2) users will inevitably be lazy and specify
instead of

and then when their site gets `Avenir', their documents will suddenly
stop working.  I can't imagine any circumstances in which I, as a user,
would want to partially specify a font in my document (this might well
reflect a lack of imagination on my part).

P.S.: I know Nelson said that we shouldn't post anything to tex-fonts
until the list membership settles, but, well, I couldn't stop myself.