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Re: the cork font encoding scheme for tex
i like the coding scheme name "extended tex latin" and will vote
for it if there isn't already an existing name.
re names for characters, i will see if i can find what the iso
and unicode folks do for the lowered zero. for the dotless j,
this should be parallel to whatever's used for dotless i. for
the hyphen, what's wrong with just plain "hyphen"? (i must be
missing something ...)
the "L with apostrophe" is actually, i believe, the accepted
rendition of the linguistic "L with hacek"; with a little research,
i can unearth a list of the languages in which it occurs. actually,
the association has already been recognized in the case of t/T.
re the usefulness of a visible space character, in a typewriter
font, it is most useful, and though it could be made from rules,
getting the weights right is a real pain -- they really should be
drawn with the uniform-weight metafont pen, and that information
isn't available within tex. (i've had to research this sort of
thing before, and it's not really fun.)
my understanding of the purpose of the extended font is to take
advantage of the ability in tex 3.0 to use 8-bit input. of course,
until we have machines and networks that can deal with 8-bit
encoding uniformly and reliably, it's either a dream or a hoax.
in the meantime, though, i guess control sequences and ligature
encodings are needed. what's really important is to design some
input scheme that can be used reliably with the hyphenation
mechanism. that's not likely to use lots of control sequences;
the german " model may be useful here.
re the matter of a corresponding math symbol encoding scheme, mike
ferguson some time ago asked the ams to undertake work on that,
which boils down to ralph youngen, mike downes and me, with
occasional other kibitzing. we've identified several problems
that are making the job much more difficult than it might be,
in particular the limit on tfm heights and widths, for which there
isn't any obvious solution nearly as nice as the one suggested for
accented letters. karl, if you have suggestions, please get in
touch with us.