[tex-k] Re: tug.ctan.org upload: pclnfss

Leif Harcke lharcke at stanford.edu
Thu Mar 18 20:43:42 CET 2004

On Wed, 17 Mar 2004, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
> it is quite likely that the names of your .sty files will clash with
> files people already have on their systems.

I did check for package namespace collisions in the base teTeX
distribution, but if people have installed optional font packages,
collisions are possible.  I'm not sure what the correct tradeoff is in
terms of ease of use vs. cryptic file names, especially with the 8.3
filename restriction.

> I do not expect problems with arial.sty or timesnew.sty if Monotype is
> the only supplier for those fonts, but garamond.sty will certainly be a
> problem.

Actually, the choice of garamond.sty package was based on a specific user
request from c.t.t last autumn:

  news:1559823.Hjv6nB6arC at ID-187157.news.dfncis.de

> Years ago, Thierry Bouche uploaded the support files for the Bitstream
> 500 fonts CD.  The .sty files all begin with a "b" for Bitstream (for
> instance bunivers.sty).  This scheme prevents clashes with fonts from
> other foundries.  In my opinion it's a very good idea.

The difficulties, as I'm sure you're aware, is the constant disappearance
and merging of various foundries, combined with re-release of fonts with
different metrics under the same name by the same foundries.  The 45 PCL
fonts in the LaserJet 4 ROM were originally a combination of 35
AGFA/Compugraphics fonts in Intellifont format, and 9 Monotype fonts and
one Bigelow & Holmes font in TrueType format.  The ROM fonts didn't have
kerning tables; the kerning metrics shipped in the driver from HP or were
available on the developer CD-ROM for people writing drivers for other

Today HP ships 45 TrueType fonts in their printers' ROM with the same font
names as in the LaserJet 4 fonts.  Unlike the LaserJet 4, they are now
also accessible as "Type 43" fonts when you put the printer into its
PostScript emulation mode.  The CD-ROM which ships with the newer HP PCL
printers has glyphs for the 45 TrueType fonts for on-screen use.  These
TrueType font files list "HP" as the foundry for most of the fonts, but
the fonts on the CD-ROM still don't have any kerning tables, since the
kerning tables are still in the driver!  I thought HP would have fixed
this problem in the decade since the LaserJet 4 came out, but apparently
not.  So if you want kerned PCL fonts with TeX, you have to use the
kerning tables supplied originally with dviljk, until someone gets the new
developer CD-ROM from HP and extracts the font metrics in TeX format.
When this is done, the metrics for the new 45 TrueType fonts in LaserJet
ROM's will probably be different from the metrics of the 35 Intellifont
and 10 TrueType fonts in the LaserJet 4 ROM.

The easy solution as you point out, if the condition for 8.3 character
file names has been relaxed, is to add "pcl" or "hp" to the front of each
font style file.  I don't expect PCLNFSS to be in great demand, since its
contents accidentally fell off of CTAN over the past 5 years and nobody
complained loudly. There are probably only a few people out there who will
want to use kerned ROM fonts with dviljk rather than the standard
toolchains.  Most people with PCL printers seem to be happy with AMS
Computer Modern or the URW PostScript 35 and latex|dvips or pdflatex
followed by GhostScript as the rasterizer.  If you hear any reports of
package namespace collisions, let me know.

One additional note: Artifex is shipping a set of 80 URW fonts in TrueType
format (with kerning tables) which are a decent match the current PCL 80.
These are designed for use with the GhostPCL product and are licensed
under the Aladdin Free Public License.



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