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gsftopk versus ps2pk, again...

I hope Joachim Schnitter won't object to me forwarding to the TeX
fonts list a portion of some email he sent me last year about this.
By the sound of things, he did some tests with the two programs, and
understands the issues better than I do.

What are the latest versions of these programs?  We're using gsftopk
1.9 and gs 3.33, which I did my spot tests on last year, rendering
Lucida fonts for xdvi.  gsftopk produced quite "ragged" characters, 
I remember, compared with ps2pk 1.4, which produces very fine results.

Of course, as Joachim Schnitter says below and others have pointed out
already, it's no big deal so long as we eventually print with a true
postscript printer.  But like Berthold, I would like to see the
technology advanced to the stage when we can comfortably *read* a TeX
document on screen, whatever fonts it may use.

 - David.

From: Joachim Schnitter <d020009@hw1219.wdf.sap-ag.de>
Subject: Re: gsftopk: ReEncode broken?
To: David Aspinall <da@dcs.ed.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 24 May 95 12:16:20 MESZ

Dear David,


Something about font rendering: In most cases I feel that ps2pk is indeed
superior to gsftopk/gs2.16 but there are some fonts which come out much
better when being rended by gs2.16, e.g. the fonts of the Linotype
StplGaramond series. No matter which renderer you use, as long as you
print through dvips/gs-xxx you will get GhostScript rendering as long
as you do not download bitmaps even for the PostScript fonts.
Finding an appropriate way to interprete the Type1 hints seems to be one
of the most difficult tasks when trying to mimic Adobe's PostScript
behavior. The code in X11 and therefore in ps2pk is very strange. On the
other hand, Peter Deutsch, the creator of GhostScript, seems to have
similar problems, too. gs-3.xx really does a very bad job on Type1
rendering. It has been reported in comp.lang.postscript several times
as has not yet been fixed. Gs-3.xx shows some other problems regarding
thin lines which sometimes disappear or bitmaps rotated by 90 degrees.
I am working on a book design where I have to print wide tables in
landscape. As long as I use bitmap fonts the single-line serifs of
ALL the fonts simply are swallowed. It seems to be due to a bug concerning
rounding up or off pixel coordinates inconsistently. This affects Type1
rendering as well.
The best way I have found is to use xdvi with gsftopk or ps2pk for
displaying TeX output and use dvips with a real PostScript printer for
printed matter - nothing I can afford at home but in the office it works
fine ;-)

 - Joachim 
- --
Joachim Schnitter                                                    SAP AG
E-Mail: joachim.schnitter@sap-ag.de