[XeTeX] XeTeX 0.99 released

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Mon Dec 12 12:30:16 CET 2005

On 12 Dec 2005, at 3:00 am, Will Robertson wrote:

> On 07/12/2005, at 21:58 , Jonathan Kew wrote:
>> On 7 Dec 2005, at 1:40 am, Will Robertson wrote:
>>> I'm trying to think why I wanted \ifXeTeXfontexists. And off the  
>>> top of my head I really have no clue. Do you think it's a good idea?
>> Your other option is actually doing a \font\x="...." (with the  
>> interaction set to \batchmode, to avoid error messages) and then  
>> testing whether the resulting font selector is associated with  
>> nullfont. But I suppose a built-in \ifXeTeXfontexists test might  
>> be more efficient. I'll think about it. If you can remember why  
>> you wanted it, let me know what sort of scenario is involved.
> Yeah, I remember your batchmode hack, and didn't like it very much  
> because I couldn't get it working! (Obviously user error, though,  
> since it clearly works for you.)
> I remember what I was going to use it for -- trying to "randomly"  
> query extra fonts in a family to add to the LaTeX NFSS tables.  
> E.g., when \fontspec-ing Adobe Garamond Pro, it could ping "Adobe  
> Garamond Pro Semibold" (along with a bunch of others) and realise  
> "ah-ha!" and add that to the family under the "sb" series.

Yes, that might be handy -- though anything that relies on guessing  
style names and guessing how they relate in families is inherently a  
bit shaky. Maybe we need commands that retrieve the font style  
information (weight and width values) from the OS/2 table, so that  
you don't have to rely merely on the names. And commands to find a  
font's family, and then to iterate through the other members of the  

> If there were a cleverer way of doing this (shouldn't families of  
> fonts reference each other, or something, like they do for their  
> optical sizing tables?), then that would be a much more elegant way  
> of doing things.

Well, they don't directly reference each other, they just share a  
common family name. Optical sizes are somewhat similar: the members  
of an optical series don't actually reference each other, they just  
declare what "sub-family" (e.g., weight) they belong to, and what  
their intended size range is. It's up to the application to find all  
the possible family members and choose the most appropriate one,  
based on how each describes itself.

As XeTeX does already gather font family information, though, it  
should be possible to expose this in some way; I'll need to think  
about how this could work in terms that TeX could use.


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