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Comments on 0.56

Following the new release, I've just updated the links on the working
group homepage at www.tug.org.

Now for some observations concerning the new release.

1. The new markers: 

Although, the new markes are potentially nice idea if you insist on
coveying the meaning unambiguosly, I personally find them a little 
too distracting to work with, especially if there are several rows of
missing glyph markers, e.g. if the lowercase upright Greek is missing.
An additional problem is that you add a dependency of scalable fonts
on a size-dependant MF font which provides the markers, while the
black boxes were generated by glyph rules at the DVI level.

I might be prepared to use the new markers for the EuroTeX paper for
clarification, but I would prefer to return to black boxes otherwise
(and preferably a bigger box for the few control glyphs and a smaller
one for those many missing glyphs.)

2. The new filenames: 

Using lowercase filenames for everything is apparently the politically
correct solution for the current LaTeX, but now I'm finding myself
getting lost in the etx and mtx directories, if the old msam, msbm 
is sorted between the new MS1, MS2, and MSP.  I'd suggest introducing
some subdirectoires below etx and mtx, along the lines

  etx/generic  (8r, ot1, t1, oml, oms, omx)
  etx/ams      (msam, msbm, lasy)
  etx/euler    (eufrak, euscr, euex)
  etx/symbol   (psy, psyupright, psyitalic)
  etx/mma      (math1, ..., math5)
  etx/mathime  (my1mtmi, my2mtsy, my3mtex, ...)
  etx/lucida   ...
  etx/newmath  (mc, mcraw, mcin, msp, mspraw, mxp, mpxraw, mxpvar)

  mtx/sizes    (size1000, size0900, ...)
  mtx/generic  (8rto8ritalic, ot1toot1upright omstomsam, ...)

An alternative arrangement would be mtx/newmath, mtx/symbol, mtx/mma,
mtx/mathime, mtx/lucida, etc.  It remains to be seen what is easier 
to manage.

3. The distribution:  

- The lasy subdirectory contains files called blasy5, ... blasy10.  
  Could these be renamed to lasyb5, ... lasyb10, so that they will
  get installed under pk/<device>/public/latex rather than udner
  pk/<device>/bitstream/unknown by MakeTeXPK?

- The bex and bams subdirectories both contain msamb10, msbmb10?
  Which version is the correct one?  (bams contains sizes 5..10,
  but bex is newer)

4. The documentation:

There is a still a problem with the gray area in the font tables in
bigdoc.dvi.  I've resent the patch for bigdoc.tex and fontchart.tex
to Matthias which I've posted here shortly after the last release.
Anyway, I've installed a modified version of bigdoc.tex at ww.tug.org.

Given the new layout-<whatever>.dvi files, I wonder if the font tables
in bigdoc.dvi are needed at all, or whether each of the layout.dvi
files now represents a chapter of bigdoc.dvi.

Yet another problem is that the layout.dvi files are generated
automatically for all font tables, including those that are
non-existent in a given math layout.  I suppose a better solution
would be to modify the LaTeX interface, so that the unavailable
versions of e.g. MS1, MS2 and MX1 in mathptm or concrete/bold
would be mapped to a dummy font rather than having the CM layout
silently substituted.  Why not use the AMS "dummy.tfm" for this?

5. The layouts:

I've noticed a couple of minor problems when looking at the font
tables on screen last night.  I'll get back to this once I have
printed them, so that I can mark the corrections on paper.
Sorry for sticking to this old-fashioned, tree-consuming method,
but sometimes it easier to work with.

Cheers, Ulrik.