New user question: 8r and 8y

Rebecca and Rowland
Mon, 15 Jun 1998 22:48:10 +0100

At 9:59 am +0100 15/6/98, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
>Rebecca and Rowland writes:
> > I'd rather use 8r because it wasn't developed commercially (I have a
> > distrust of commercially-developed stuff like this.  Mind you, having
> > conversed with the loons on the fontinst mailing list, I don't think 8r has
> > a particularly sensible parentage.)
>I always try to take the trouble to reply to things like this. Can I
>remind you that while Y&Y is a commercial company, Berthold Horn has
>always been very good at both working with the `free' community, and
>allowing/encouraging use of what Y&Y produces. I remind you also that
>Y&Y have commissioned  packages and then made them freely available.

Both Bertold Horn and Louis Vosloo are certainly very helpful in
comp.text.tex[1], and Y&Y is to be applauded for making various bits and
pieces freely available.  None of this makes me any more trusting.  After
all, if Y&Y didn't maintain close links with the free/shareware (La)TeX
majority, it would end up `out on a limb' and people would probably be less
inclined to use Y&Y stuff.  This is, of course, rabid paranoia on my part.

>8y is NOT "commercially-developed" in any meaningful sense. It was
>simply Berthold's pragmatic work somewhat parallel to, or earlier
>than, 8r.

Hmm.  That's not necessarily terribly relevant.  Part of my distrust of
commercially developed stuff is that it's often exactly that: a bit of
pragmatic work done by one person in response to a particular problem.  The
advantage of most development in the broader TeX community is that it tends
to be done my lots of people over a longer period of time with no
commercial constraints.  In other words, the problem is addressed from a
broader perspective without commercial time and money constraints.  Not
that this makes commercial stuff bad, but it does mean that some things
don't always get all the work they could benefit from.

>If you read 8r.enc, you'll see that Berthold Horn is listed as one of
>the authors!

I've never said there's anything wrong with Berthold's work; just that I'm
not convinced that the environment in which he developed LY1 encoded was
one that would result in the optimum solution to the problem.


[1]  Note that I am not Robin Socha.