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Re: MF ==> (PS type1)

Date: Fri, 7 Mar 1997 06:36:54 +0100
From: Laurent Siebenmann <lcs@topo.math.u-psud.fr>

	 ***  Malyshev's  MF ==> (PS type1)  is important  ***

    > In replying to me (indented), Berthold Horn wrote:

Yes, you enjoy these flame wars don't you  :-)?

    >         I suspect that Malyshev has made substantial progress
    >         in automating MF ==> PS type1 conversion.  

    > You are joking right?  
    > Why would he put any effort into this, particularly now.

    >         I would hope
    >         that these improvements will mean that METAFONT can
    >         finally play a serious role as a PS type1 type design
    >         tool.  (This has not even been mooted on the MF list.
    >         Why?)

    > You are joking right? MF will never be a typographers design
    > tool. Only a few geniuses have ever more or less masters it
    > DEK is one, and maybe Yannis is another.

I had no intent for this to go to a wider audience, but so be it.

   Neena Bulawaya (sp?),  Damian Cugley, Yannis Haralambous, Doug
   Henderson, Bogislav Jakowsky, Silvio Levy, Joerg Knappen, Pierre
   Mackay, Ralph Smith, Goergia Tobin, and other accomplished metafont
   programmer-artists are surely flattered to hear they have a rare
   genius (far from me to deny it!).  However my own thought was that
   they would be happier still to have a smooth path on which to take
   their fonts to the widest possible public and so declare
   their genius where the all the world can take notice.

   From my own scientist's point of view, I note that essentially all
   math fonts usable with TeX originate in Metafont and all too

Sorry, that is just not so.  There are three choices right now, 
and two of them originated in scalable outline format, not MF.

   often remain there.  For example I want the lamstex arrow fonts in
   type1 since they are the one arrow font set I know that is
   stylisticly compatible with with CM. Also, I want
   Ralph Smith's Formal Script as a Math Caligraphic, and as a luxury
   Yannis Haralambous' math extensions. That is three small math
   "meta-fonts" important to me but marooned in Metafont format. There

I like that word `marooned' - how appropriate!

   are probably many more, especially when one widens the scope to
   logic, physics, chemistry, and beyond. If Malyshev's MF ==> (PS
   type1) conversion were fully published, such problems would be
   readily solved.

But why would he do that?  Have you asked him?  Do you realize there
is an enormous amount of hand work involved beyond the automation?

   Let me anticipate the familiar cry that we are all tired of
   sober-sided CM and its cousins and should be moving on to world
   class PostScript designs, beginning with budget-fitting Times &
   MathTime.  Well, there is one detail you all aught to know: MathTime
   was originally done in MetaFont by Georgia Tobin of MetaFoundry fame.

You will have to ask Mike Spivak whether *any* of the original MF code
survived.  For one, he was I think, not at all pleased with the design
and redid virtually all of it himself.  And then someone (Yannis?)
made the pre 1.0 version in Type 1 format.

   As absolute last resort in the small Type 1 world, one has Lucida
   Math by Biggelow & Holmes. But isn't there a Metafont ancestry
   there too?

Absolutely not.  Keep in mind that it was Bigelow and Holmes who rescued
the AMS / Euler font project by advising Knuth to give up on METAFONT
and do it as scalable outlines (Yes, they did use the MF program but they
simply described Zapf's outlines by splines - this increased
productivity one or two orders of magnitude and made the project
possibly for David Siegel to complete at the Digital Typograpphy Group
at Stanford).

   So I am saying Berthold has it quite wrong. Now that he no longer
   has substantial financial interest in type1 renditions of freely
   available Metafont series, he can afford to welcome the
   "coming-out" of Knuth's Metafont via Malyshev's MF ==> (PS type1).

Good luck.  How about Richard Kinch's METAFOG?  That seems more real.

			   Cheers Larry S