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Re: rsfs slant problems

Larry and company:

I am working (slowly, alas) on enhancements to RSFS.  I would like to
hear of any particular difficulties people have noted, preferably
including TeX examples.  One thing I should point out is that the
LaTeX font definitions distributed by Joerg Knappen do not have the
correct skewchar ('177), so some users may have seen misplaced
accents.  (To fix this, put \skewchar\font'177 in the last argument to
\DeclareFontFamily in Ursfs.fd).

I am in broad agreement with your points below.

					- Ralph Smith

Dr. Ralph Smith, Arete Associates		Tel.: (818) 501-2880 x552
email: rasmith@arete.com		FAX:  (818) 501-2905
snailmail: P.O. Box 6024, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

On Sun, 15 Mar 1998, Laurent Siebenmann wrote:

> Barbara Beeton has circulated some recommendations for cursive fonts
>      I will call Ralph Smith's Formal Script a "cursive" font to
> avoid confusion with "script" as in \scriptstyle meaning "index or
> exponent style".
>      I am hoping to see Ralph Smith's rsfs enhanced and made
> available in Type1 format.
>      Barbara Beeton has circulated some desiderata for cursive
> fonts that include:...

> Let us discuss some of these.
>  >  - hairlines must be thick enough to prevent breakup in sub- and
>  >    superscripts, and in reprints from first printing; 
> OK.  But cursive in *2nd Order* sub/super positions is a typographical 
> no-no.  Such problems are as well left unsolved.
>  >    first-order
>  >    script size is approximately 70% of basic text, second-order
>  >    size, approximately 50%
> Hopefully no. Because of metaness, script *height* is only one of several
> "size" parameters that are varying.  *Height* is a constraint; the 
> other paramaters are free to solve the typographical problems that the 
> constrained height brings.
>  - although rare, some bold cursive letters are sometimes requested;
>    normal weight must be distinguishable from bold
> Well, there is only one sort of bold that should be provided,
> namely a bold for mathematics in bold titles.  If you accept this,
> then it is *untrue* that it must be easily distinguished from 
> ordinary cursive.  The constraint is that it look in balance with
> cmbx10--12.
>  - slope of letters should not be extreme, in order to minimize
>    problems in applying accents and sub/superscripts; err toward
>    the upright rather than exaggerated slope
> The advice "err toward the upright rather than exaggerated slope"
> does reduce some problems, notably those that arise when one places
> a cursive letter in a super/sub position. 
>      Maybe I am missing something basic, but I fail to see why
> slope causes serious problems with respect to any of the following:
>      --- applying math accents to cursive characters
>      --- applying (non-cursive) sub/super-scripts to cursive characters
> the reason being that TeX has adequate parameters to get the right
> placements - respectively:
>      --- the implicit kerns with the "skew character" of the cursive font
>      --- the italic corrections in the cursive font.
>      As for the problems that arise when one places a slanted letter in a
> super/sub position, I am afraid TeX has nothing to offer much better than
> "hand setting". 
>      Why? My impression is that Knuth avoided this problem by special boxy
> ad hoc design of certain letters such as y and j in cmmi.  I would
> recommend the same policy for rsfs.  On the other hand, Knuth's "skew
> character" trickery could I believe be extended to solve these problems in
> some future e-TeX.  This is a hint for Mathias Classen and friends.
>                      Cheers
>                             Larry Siebenmann
> PS.  Has someone redesigned MathTime to avoid the problem last discussed?
> I am unlikely to use  MathTime again for heavy math until that happens.
> Once burned twice shy.