[Tuglist] Malayalam TeX.

Radhakrishnan CV tuglist@gnu.org.in
Thu, 24 May 2001 16:09:36 +0530 (IST)

On Wed, 23 May 2001 at 21:21, K N Manoj wrote:


Mohit has done a good job by explaining how to make use of `make' to
compile the preprocessor binaries.
   Can I use the .tfm and the .mf files straight-away, without
   using the preprocessor? 

Ah, you think in reverse. You cant process Malayalam in a linear way
as you do with Latin scripts, because there are very many illogical
glyphs and conjuncts.

The Malayalam package you have adopts a seven bit ASCII entry,
therefore you can only make the input entry using the normal Roman
keyboard. How will you process

 ke, kee (as in Kerala), ko, koo

where, in Roman entry the vowel signs (`e' and `ee') appear right of
the consonant (`k') while in Malayalam it should come left of the
consonant (obviously you know the glyph combination). It is here
that preprocessor takes relevance, it looks for such combinations of
characters and writes the equivalent commands (that would fetch the
right character combination from the Malayalam font table in a
linear way) to another file which again you process with TeX. Hope
this makes clear about the importance of preprocessor.

   Is there some help on how LaTeX uses the fonts?

The best available book on fonts in TeX is Alan Hoenig's `TeX
Unbound' (Oxford University Press, ~Rs. 950). Be warned, it will
take on your nerves if your are a novice.