[luatex] LuaTeX file almost 2.5x bigger

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Thu Aug 5 09:56:39 CEST 2010

On 5-8-2010 4:27, Will Robertson wrote:

> I doubt very much that I, at least, can spot the difference between two good-enough paragraphs with and without hz. Or even between a local line-breaking algorithm (e.g., Word) and TeX's global-per-paragraph one.

Same for me. I've seen word output that looked quite good (probably 
depends on conditions, font, etc). When in the previous century I bought


I was sutpised to see that it was done on an apple using msword 3.01 as 
it looked quite ok (including the math). Discusses interesting research 
on grayness of paragraphs (what hz is all about).

> It's in the bad examples that the differences become obvious. E.g., very wide inter-word space is a common sign of poor automatic typesetting that TeX simply wouldn't allow (by default). And overfull lines is an obvious indication of poor automatic typesetting by TeX.

Sure. but getting rid of a 20pt space by stretching shapes by .5pt can 
be a bit over the top ... texies are hooked to justified (also for 
narrow columns) just as many dtp users are hooked to ragged right (as 
their machinery does not hyphenate or look at whole paragraphs) ... it 
does not hurt to switch to ragged right occasionally.

> So while enabling hz to remove overfull lines might not be detectable, the fact that it helps to remove them in the first place is a good reason to use it, for me.

I must admit that I seldom has overfull boxes (maybe lucky with 
settings), sometimes long inline verbatim gets tricky (thinking of it 
... inline monospaced fonts can have much stretch /shrinkas squeezing is 
already part of the design.

> (I can take or leave margin kerning; I'm referring mostly to character expansion.)
>> When Thanh and I discussed that (at a Dante meeting) with Hermann Zapf he made the remark that probably 99% of the readers would not notice the difference. He also suggested that stretching lines vertically in order to get rid of widow lines was probably more effective. (I must have the tests done afterward somewhere.)
> This is a nice idea (as long as you're not interested in grid typesetting). Although with 40 lines per page, say, you'd need to stretch by a bit more than 2.5%, which seems a little high. Perhaps you'd stretch by 1% in combination with reducing the interline space to achieve the rest.

The assumption was that no one notices. And of course spreads should 
then align.

>> ps. I tend not to buy books that use expansion and inter character spacing trickery to the extreme as it distracts me too much
> Absolutely -- if you notice it then it's not done right. (Which is my one complaint with Jean-luc Doumont's book: all of the hanging punctuation is set completely into the margin, which distracts my eyes a little. I prefer margin kerning to achieve "optical straightness" instead.)

sure, but there's margin kerning (each char optimized) and hanging 
punctuation (punctuation and either or not hyphen too) and the later is 
the traditional protrusion (as mentioned in typography books).

>> ps. Keep in mind that with for instance protrusion (and to some extend expansion) changes the solution space so we don't get better output.
> Well, better output than it was -- surely :) -- but I understand what you're saying. TeX is optimal in the solution it chooses, so you can't improve on that without expanding the solution space.

Right, and as long as most designer specs I have to implement involve 
ragged right, no widows etc (so all penalties 10k) nice tricks like hz 
is not going to save my day .. I have to leave that for my own docs.


                                           Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE
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