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Re: Future of the `Karl Berry Font Naming Scheme'...

As one who hardly ever ends up restricted to Karl's naming scheme,
I can without too much conflict of interest protest any suggestion
that it should be torn apart now.  The strength of the general 
TeX environment is that it does not leave our benighted 8+3 brethren
in the lurch.  That is no small virtue.  

I too am primarily interested in typesetting, and only remotely interested
in WYSIWYG word-processing.  Privately, the first thing I do with fonts
>From a foundry distribution is rename them with the full FontName.  
But I retain a link to the KB fontname, so that I can talk to the
outside world.  Microsoft and Intel are first rate clots, but they
are there.  The computing world could have learned years ago from
the TOPS-20 operating system that limited fontname space was an idiocy,
but it didn't.  

In any case, what is the advantage of names like "pkplci9dx11"?  If you
are going to break the bounds of limited name space, why not use something
you can read, like the PostScript FontName?  You will probably find
yourself aliasing it anyway to avoid typing endless strings, and if you
do, the KB scheme is a pretty good place to start.  

Call your fonts anything you want in your own private namespace, but
recognize that things like the KB scheme are set up not for us
who have virtually unlimited namespace but for the large majority
of users who have no such advantages.  I hate the 8+3 nonsense,
almost as much as I hate the related compromise that inverts the
natural $TEXMF/fonts/foundry/facename/function/. . . in favor of
$TEXMF/fonts/function[/print-engine]/foundry/facename/. . ., but I see
the wisdom of sticking with it.  The alternative is a totally
balkanized TeX.  

Around 5 years ago, an advocate of the X font naming scheme thought
that the TeX community showed its dunderheaded obstinacy by not
adopting that scheme in place of the rather ad-hoc approach we now have.
The only worse idea is to go the whole way with Macintosh and introduce
spaces into our file names.  Why not name our fonts
"Times Roman Regular with set-widths relaxed 1/8 unit and htg encoding (TeX Font Metric File)"?  Gets the whole thing right out in the open, and the
use of "" makes it work even in a command-line and shell environment.
It would make a great label on a Macintosh window, too.  One file
icon to each row of the window.  

Leave the KB naming scheme alone.  It was developed for a pressing reason,
and that reason is still valid all across the world.  You don't have to
live with the restrictions any more than I do, but that is no reason
to propose changing it in such a way that it will exclude a large number
of users of more limited systems.  At least it's better than A123____.PFB

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Email:  mackay@cs.washington.edu		Pierre A. MacKay
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