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TeX fonts, part one [Was: Re: [Fedora-packaging] Proposed amendment to general packaging guidelines: no bundling of fonts in other packages]

I did not have time finish writing all the details below, I'll write
some more tonight, but before this Type 1 bashing gets out of hand,
read the stuff below. If you don't want the gory details, the bottom
line is that the mainstream TeX still works best with type-1 fonts.
And it isn't likely to go away soon. So I would not rush to deprecate
type 1 fonts, unless you want TeX users to stop using Fedora. This
isn't likely to change anytime soon. XeTeX is not as robust as the old
TeX, and still lacks some features next to pdftex. XeTeX's acceptance
with academic publishers is virtually nil today. And they, the
publishers dictate what most academics use to write papers, books etc.

The mainstream TeX (and by that I mean dvips, dvipdfm and pdftex)
cannot currently use OpenType/CFF, but only Type 1 (and some TeX font
specialties that are irrelevant in this discussion). CFF fonts need to
be converted to Type 1 using otftotfm. Several tools exist to automate
the CFF to Type 1 conversion for large font families because this can
be a LOT of work using otfotfm directly for fonts that have optical
sizes (like the Adobe Pro series). The most notable automation tools
are, in order of how complete they are: autoinst from fontools,
otfinst, and otftofd. Each has some features the other lacks, however.
Most notably fontools lacks optical size support. Some LaTeX packages,
like MinionPro, have their own otfotfm wrapper scripts, which are a
lot easier to use because some files (enc, fd) come pre-generated.

Furthermore, dvips and dvipdfm cannot use TrueType fonts directly
(regardless whether they have OpenType features), but can convert them
to bitmap PK fonts, which print ok, but may look bad on screen. In
contrast pdftex can embed TrueType as outlines in the pdf using
\DeclareTruetypeFont. Unfortunately, generating the TeX infrastructure
(tfm font metrics, encodings) for TrueType fonts requires MORE work
than generating the Type 1 from a CFF. This happens because a
different, less featured tool must be used: ttf2tfm. There are some
wrappers like ttf2tex (no longer maintained), and fontinst, which is
rather outdated. Autoinst (from fontools) is the only tool that
handles both OpenType CFF and TrueType.
Most tutorials for using TrueType with pdftex recommend using ttf2tfm directly.

FYI: XeTeX uses dvipdfmx as backend, which supports all flavors of
OpenType, but this requires xdv input that is not the same as the
traditional dvi produced by TeX. pdftex does not produce any
intermediate format.

For some simple usage examples see (note - first one is XeTeX):

A complex example using Gentium via ttf2tfm:

To be continued...

On Fri, Jul 25, 2008 at 2:33 PM, Nicolas Mailhot
<nicolas mailhot laposte net> wrote:
> On Fri, 2008-07-25 at 13:03 +0200, Patrice Dumas wrote:
>> On Fri, Jul 25, 2008 at 12:36:40PM +0200, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
>> >
>> > Frankly, the other font formats are so much less useful than modern font
>> > formats, the probability someone did creative legal restructuring is
>> > much lower.
> Anyway, I've amended the proposal in a less format-oriented version
> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/PackagingDrafts/No_bundling_of_fonts_in_other_packages
>> > The big exception are Type1 fonts but I just hope they can
>> > die die die (and if the Tex-Gyre situation is fixed and we can use OTF
>> I don't think this may happen in a while because some very interesting
>> apps (though not mainstream desktop apps, fortunately) uses type1
>> fonts, mostly using t1lib, like xfig, xdvi, grace.
> Our TEX can use TTF (OpenType TT) and OTF (OpenType CFF) now. Given that
> OTF (OpenType CFF) embeds something very close to what PDF uses, I'd be
> surprised if Ghostscript could not use the OTF TEX-Gyre fonts directly.
> Do we really have so much interecting stuff that depends on Type1 once
> TEX and GS are out of the way?
>> > In the meanwhile, it may make sense to add Type1 to the list.
>> For tex I believe that it will be too complicated to use the system
>> fonts.
> TEX now uses the same formats as everyone else (TTF and OTF). I frankly
> do not think we can afford (or have the resources) to duplicate megs of
> fonts in TEX-specific packages. If TEX can not use the fonts in
> fontconfig directories, it just has to symlink them somewhere it can.
> Regards,
> --
> Nicolas Mailhot
> --
> Fedora-packaging mailing list
> Fedora-packaging redhat com
> https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/fedora-packaging

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