[tex-live] libertine wrongly packaged

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Mon Jan 2 17:00:15 CET 2012

On Mon, Jan 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM, Barbara Beeton <bnb at ams.org> wrote:

> On Mon, 2 Jan 2012, Ulrike Fischer wrote:
>    [...]
>    [...] Sending ressources like local styles,
>    local fonts, local graphics etc along with a document is a standard
>    procedure.
> i wish it were!  the number of times we
> receive something incomplete from an
> author is appalling.  usually it's styles,
> not fonts, but there have been occasions
> on which we couldn't legally or morally
> produce what the author asked for without
> getting a (commercial -- expensive!)
> license for a font.  (in such a case,
> we substitute, or request the author to
> create the final pdf.)
> and some fonts have licences that restrict
> the use to what amounts to print, i.e., a
> pdf containing even a subset of such a font
> cannot be legally posted in electronic form.
> how would you handle that then, as a publisher?
>                                                -- bb

The replacement of professional resources for
authors by software (so authors are relying on
3rd party apps for preparing figures, etc.) is a major
factor contributing to the issue that provoked this
thread.   Many authors rely on "office" suites and a
statistical or matrix language, and come to TeX
either when they run up against a limitation of their
office suite or enter a collaboration with TeX users.

In my experience, many authors have very limited
understanding of font technology.  Most of the problems
I have seen are not the body of document but with
figures created or massaged using some commercial
package and often result from trying to visually match
symbols from the fonts used in the document with
something from whatever default fonts are used by
the application.

In the good old days many organizations had professional
help for authors preparing papers, but many organizations
are eliminating support staff while increasing admin
staff, so authors must get help wherever they can find it.

A publisher can't do much about the commercial
applications authors (or the IT departments of their
employers or some student employed by an author)
choose to use, and it doesn't help to tell an author
their document uses a problematic font if
the author has no clue about how to fix the issue
(and too often the problem figures were created someone,
e.g., a student, who is no longer available).

About all a publisher can do is provide more and better
feedback to authors.  Certain commercial publishers are
apt to sending such helpful replies to electronic submissions
as: "your document does not conform to our standards,
please revise and resubmit".  Usually the source of the
problem was addressed in the instructions to authors,
but the person didn't make the effort to understand the
material and has no idea how to fix the problem.

Current instructions to authors usually say:

1.  start with our template
2.  provide EPS or TIFF format figures

Authors will either ignore the template or paste in big sections
of preamble from existing documents.

A better approach would be:

1.  we can't process submissions that use fonts or LaTeX
files not provided by the "standard" TeX distribution.   Our LaTeX
template uses only "standard" files and is recommended as a
starting point.   If you make changes to the preambe, you may use the
"check-standard" program to identify any non-standard LaTeX
elements in your document.   In most cases suitable replacements
are available in the standard distribution.   Internet resources may
be useful to help identify specific replacements for non-standard

2.  submissions using fonts not on the following list will require extra
work to determine if the fonts are acceptable .   Use the "check-fonts"
program to list font usage that can not be identified on the list of
acceptable fonts.

Of course this will require new tools and also creation of lists of
acceptable fonts (by publisher?) .   It may be difficult to extract
names of fonts used in eps or pdf figures.   The main point is to
make it easier for non-expert users to check documents early
in the process while there is time to make adjustments or seek

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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