font management simplified (was Re: [OS X TeX] Trump Mediaeval fonts_

Scott Murman smurman at
Sun Oct 3 04:08:52 CEST 2004

> Beware though: XeTeX handles fonts in Mac OS X format in a 
> straightforward way, together with OpenType fonts. It does not, 
> however, handles PostScript fonts in Unix .pfa or .pfb formats, which 
> are the formats in which PostScript fonts are handled by teTeX. This 
> means, in particular, that the common LaTeX packages for using 
> PostScript fonts, for example mathptmx.sty, mathpazo.sty, times.sty, 
> helvet.sty and courier.sty, won't work.
> You'll have to write font declarations yourself, which is not so 
> difficult. And this will allow you to activate or disactivate at will 
> the special features in each font.

big snip of really great info.

so this is the simplified font management?!!  am i only the one who 
sees the font management setup as too much complexity for everyday use? 
  i'd love to use wide characters and special ligatures and new font 
descriptions, mixing them all like a night club dj, but i'm not willing 
to go back to grad school to learn all the vagaries required by 
different applications and installations.  it was enough pain for me to 
install fontsuite 500, and even then i don't have everything working 
correctly, and i'm only trying to use it in one application on one 
platform.  right now we have a few old font descriptions that "just 
work" with all tex flavors, and few can go beyond that.   jonathon - 
and everyone else out there working on this stuff - please make it 
"just work" for advanced fonts as well.   i'm sure to you guys this 
stuff is like walking, but it makes my head spin.  i'm sure there are 
underlying technical reasons why it's difficult, but these can be 
overcome.  a couple of weeks back we had a discussion of the future of 
tex, and i think this is one key issue for the future: develop a 
consistent new font package.


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