[texhax] Unusual documents (writing on pasture)

Gordon Haverland ghaverla at materialisations.com
Wed Aug 31 01:48:44 CEST 2016

On Tue, 30 Aug 2016 22:05:40 +0000
Karl Berry <karl at freefriends.org> wrote:

>     writing on pasture
> Wow.  Please write an article for TUGboat in the appropriate season
> (with photos)!

Hi Karl, thanks for replying.

I can't say this is something I was planning on writing up, but I can
keep notes.  I think I would really need to find someone who flies to
get a picture from the sky.  Potentially the letters could be 60 feet
tall (I think I have about 80 feet available for a "line" of text).

>     I don't know how big the "line" is
>     (distance from top of glyph to top of line,
>     distance from bottom of "x" to bottom of line,
>     inter-glyph spacing).
>     Where can a person find this?  
> In your case, the interline spacing is going to be text-specific,
> among other things.  That is, if the letters you are going to "plant"
> do not have any descenders (or ascenders), the interline spacing
> would be less than it would be for standard text.

I was thinking all capitals, or SmallCaps for the one line of text
(which is the easiest to work on).  The other I have to think about, as
I have a 2 million litre dugout and assorted trees scattered all over.
So finding places to write could be interesting.

So I probably typeset this in a minipage, with an explicit border
around the page, so that I can see the top and bottom of line more
easily?  Or is working with a LaTeX page in scribus a better idea?  I
may have to get my GPS out and go get coordinates on a bunch more stuff
in the field.

>     I am assuming some fixed width font with few fancy features is
>     probably best
> I wouldn't attempt serifs, for one thing :).

I think you need the Zero Turn Radius mower for serifs.  The mower I
have is meant to do the fairways on golf courses, it cuts 6 foot wide.
It will cut wild rose bushes with few problems.

It nominally means the width of the glyph at any point, is at least 6
feet.  Or rather, that is the width I cut.  I don't have to plant the
flowers full width.

A few installations ago, I had some stuff added to scribus.  But, just
playing with what a scribus LaTeX renderframe at 72 DPI will give me
seems a start.  It seems like I want xelatex to work with the Droid
Sans Mono typeface.  72 DPI is not enough for this.

I started up Scribus and made a (LaTeX) render frame.  I only have 4
fonts available (at the moment), so looking at 20pt Concrete with the
word "LOVE".

Magnifying the page in scribus, I get kind of fuzzy image.  From the
bottom to the top of L is 15 units.  The width of the ascender is 2

If I assume that 15 units is 60 feet, then the width of the ascender is
8 feet, which is something I can do.  The closest approach appears to
be the upper bar of V and whatever the decoration on the top left of
the E is called, and it appears to be about 6 feet.  The entire word is
57 units, which would be about 228 feet, and I have longer than that.
So it would fit.  I'll probably need a few stakes and some string to
lay things out on the ground for seeding.  The mowing and maybe the
tilling don't need to be as accurate.

But, of the fonts you thought might work, the Droid looks best to me.

> Hope that makes sense.  If I'm misunderstanding, or more
> questions/details needed, just write me ... happy planting, karl

No, I think you got it.  I have white clover and alsike clover in the
field (for species that bloom a lot), so when clover is in bloom I have
white and pink and some hybrid red in the field.  Most of the hay is
fescue, clover and alfalfa are quite minor after so many years.  The
crimson clover to plant alongside the radish, is supposed to be a
dense, pretty red.  But in the middle of the alsike and reddish clover
here, I wonder about contrast. Whereas that trefoil is supposed to be
yellow, and for the early cutting the field should be mostly green
(with the white, pink and red) and the contrast may be better.  Maybe
I'll find a better species to plant by next spring?


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