[pdftex] Han The Thanh's thesis on microtypography

Thierry Bouche thierry.bouche at ujf-grenoble.fr
Thu Jan 31 17:15:06 CET 2002

Le mercredi 30 janvier 2002 à 21:24:12, je reçus de la part de 
Jonathan Fine le suivant & intrigant message:

JF> A cursory glance shows this to be interesting work that is
JF> tackling important questions.  Not only that, but samples
JF> were sent to Don Knuth, who responded in a long letter,
JF> parts of which are quoted in the thesis.  I like it when
JF> TUGboat renews our connection to DEK.

you really seem to be obsessed by ``Him'', no?

JF> According to my first, preliminary reading, Hanh's thesis 
JF> explores two techniques for improving quality.

According to my first reading of your mail, I think that you should read
it again.

You seem to even ignore that tex already has a boundary kern mechanism
to reduce space between words, e.g. Thanh didn't modify anything to the
H&J algorithm. He added two things: extension of the \font primitive in
a fashion inspired by the HZ program, and marginal kerning.

JF> Hanging punctuation, to
JF> achieve optical alignment, is an example of this.

What Thanh aimed at was _not_ hanging punctuation, but optical
justification. Hanging punctuation is as arbitrary as the usual way
round, it doesn't produce even margins.

JF> The second is to allow allow characters to be stretched
JF> (or squeezed) when a line would otherwise be loose
JF> (resp. overfull).  This is a bit like \emergencystretch,
JF> as introduced in TeX 3.0.

I really don't see the relationship with emergencystretch!

 Thierry Bouche                                      

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