[XeTeX] Auto-fonts

Adam Lindsay atl at comp.lancs.ac.uk
Mon May 10 17:54:50 CEST 2004

Hi all.

I really was blown away by my first look at XeTeX. Other activities have
gotten in the way of my posting to the list earlier, though.

Looking through the MacTeX archives, I found this:

>XeTeX was intended to make it simple to use the advanced typography 
>features of OS X, with no special setup required. I doubt it does 
> ...[snip]...
>If you want to simply use AAT fonts as provided, XeTeX tries to make it 

That was an interesting statement. Jonathan, have you considered enabling
automatic font (fallback) selection, a la "ATSUSetTransientFontMatching"
and related calls? Is that leaving too much to typographic chance?

When playing around with ConTeXt and Unicode earlier, I found it
frustrating that it wasn't obvious how to set up fallback fonts on a per-
glyph basis. A given font may have some glyphs missing from a needed
Unicode block. In some cases, these were abstract symbols, and could
conceivably be taken from another font. [okay, you grand wizards out
there, hand-made virtual fonts have not entered my font installation
workflow just yet.]

Seems to me that it giving an option for font fallbacks fits in with the
"simplicity/enabler" approach that seems to be behind XeTeX. "I may not
know much about the script or the text that I have in Unicode, but XeTeX
does, and it can handle it."

 Adam T. Lindsay                      atl at comp.lancs.ac.uk
 Computing Dept, Lancaster University   +44(0)1524/594.537
 Lancaster, LA1 4YR, UK             Fax:+44(0)1524/593.608

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