[texhax] Need help with virtual fonts

pierre.mackay at comcast.net pierre.mackay at comcast.net
Wed Jan 5 12:57:25 CET 2005

Working as I am from an internet cafe in Rimini, I can't go into detail, but I am
sure that the use of a boundary character would work.  I do something like that
for the final sigma in Ibycus, and it has to distinguish between following punctuation in+two classes, and folllowing space.  The details are in the Metafont files for Ibycus.

Pierre MacKay

-------------- Original message -------------- 

> I only want to make the 
> substitution if the next character is a space 
> If it's ok to make the substitution at the end of a word, you could 
> perhaps use word boundary ligatures. They're described in the vf and MF 
> documentation somewhere. But it seems like these putative fancy swashes 
> wouldn't go well with a comma or period following. 
> I cannot quite picture how to detect a following space at the font 
> level. I think it would have to be done at the macro level, and even 
> there it's not trivial. 
> always turn an 'n' followed by a space into a fancy 'n' and then 
> kern a little but wouldn't this interfere with the normal interword 
> spacing that TeX tries to do? 
> Yes (even if it could be done). 
> Would this part of the code even see the space? I'm guessing it 
> doesn't. 
> Right. There is no "space character" per se by the time TeX is 
> typesetting fonts, the (catcode 10) characters have turned into 
> interword glue, and you can't make a ligature with that. 
> On a related note the font also has a "ct" ligature. How can I make 
> sure it doesn't use this at the end of a word? 
> That should be doable with boundary ligatures. At a word boundary, 
> typeset c, t. At a non-boundary, typeset the ct ligature. 
> I set it up so that I need 'n', space, space (can you say ugly) to turn 
> it on? 
> With TeX macros, it could potentially be done. But TeX collapses 
> multiple spaces into one very early. So unless you typeset the whole 
> thing with \obeyspaces ... argh, it just gets worse. 
> What I don't like about this is I change the entire 
> font for the document then I need to remove all of them. 
> Well, if it's done with macros (\ct, \finaln, etc.), the macros could 
> perhaps be redefined to always do the standard thing (just insert "ct", 
> "n") with other fonts. Still a drag, though, I agree. 
> You might try posting to tex-fonts at math.utah.edu if no other leads are 
> forthcoming, there are some other font folks there who don't read texhax. 
> Happy swashing, 
> karl 
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