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AmS and WNCY* fonts

   *** AmS and the WNCY* fonts *** 

     Here are my first reactions to reading the basic reference on
AmS fonts, namely amsfndoc.tex and its accompanying files on

     You will find some history:

 > A cyrillic font was developed at AMS using \MF\/79 with the
 > \fontname{am} fonts as a model.  This font was organized in a
 > manner suitable for use with the transliteration scheme adopted
 > by {\sl MR\/} in 1980, and contained only those letters which
 > appear in current mathematical literature.

As we now know the AmS person involved was Barbara Beeton.
One interesting point is that AmS insisted then and insists
today on deriving both Cyrillic and its AmS Latin 
transscription from the same ascii typescript.

More history:

 > In 1988, the Humanities and Arts Computing Center of
 > the University of Washington undertook a font
 > development project for support of scholars in Slavic
 > languages.  The fonts developed through this project
 > include several different font layouts.  One layout
 > is based on that of the original AMS cyrillic
 > augmented with `{\cyr \u\i}' (cyrillic short `i'),
 > `{\cyr\"e}' (umlauted `e'), and several
 > pre-Revolutionary letters. The fonts with the AMS
 > layout are included in the AMSFonts collection with
 > the permission of the University of Washington
 > developers.  For information on cyrillic fonts with
 > other layouts, see [hyperref to following]

 >   Humanities and Arts Computing Center
 >   DR-10
 >   University of Washington
 >   Seattle, WA 98195
 >   \smallskip Phone: 206-543-4218<

     Following Vulis, the AmS is completely silent on the
implicit kern problems but eloquent on the slapstick caprices
of hyphenation engendered by the exotic AmS ligatures.

     Vigilence re hyphenation is certainly recommended but no
advice is given on automatically suppressing all but explicit
hyphenation in Russian typing. That should definitely be the
default behavior whether or not Russian patterns are available.  A
simple trick is to exploit \newlanguage\nohyphenation once and then
switch to this preudo-language for the duration of cyrillic typing
and not more. Thus a simplest use of WNCY cyrillic might thus be:

 %%% Additional macros for your article header or macro file
\input cyracc.def
\def\cyr{\tencyr \language=\nohyphenation \cyracc }
 %%% end of additive

and then typical use of \cyr would be:

<English text> {\cyr<Russian text>} <English text> 

     What the AmS in fact proposes is:

\input cyracc.def

and then 

<English text> {\cyr <Russian text>} <English text> 

which as the AmS admits is begging for hyphenation

There may be good alternatives to the \newlanguage\nohyphenation
ploy, but beware that \pretolerance=10000 is *not* one of them.

     AmS does cite Vulis but it should also say that his macros
and hyphenation patterns do give an adequate basis for good
Russian (AmS)TeX and for bilingual Russian-English (AmS)TeX.  Of
course, that assumes that the simplified Washington fonts WCY*
are finally publicly posted as indeed they should be.

     One final gripe.  Apple Incorporated --- if it has achieved
nothing else in its 20 years of activity ---  has proved to the
whole world that it is both practical and socially graceful,
even in even the biggest of corporations, to clearly and
explicitly acknowlege the creative achievements of its
employees.  I wish AmS and other organisations would follow its
excellent example. I found Barbara Beeton and Tom Ridgeway in
the buglist only!


                        Larry Siebenmann