[XeTeX] [OT] Free fonts for fontspec examples?
psb6m at virginia.edu
Wed Jul 14 15:31:45 CEST 2010
On 07/14/2010 06:16 AM, François Charette wrote:
> In 19th-century Rome, a prince and mathematician named Baldassare
> Boncompagni ran his own publishing house and scholarly journal on
> history of mathematics and physics, the “Bullettino di bibliografia e
> di storia delle scienze mathematiche e fisiche”. Boncompagni was the
> editor of the works of Leonardo Pisano (Fibonacci) and was utterly
> obsessed with diplomatic (i.e. paleographic) accuracy. He employed a
> network of assistants throughout Europe who sent him expertly drawn
> facsimiles of historical documents (I have seen some spectacular ones
> in archives). He also attempted to reproduce sources in his journal as
> authentically as possible, and therefore his printing press eventually
> had an formidable collection of cast types at its disposal, for dozens
> of scripts, and for countless historical ligatures and abbreviations.
> In those days, printing nearly-a-manuscript-facsimile made some sense,
> as photographic or even lithographic reproductions were not yet
> possible. Yet later generations of scholars made fun of Boncompani's
> meticulous diplomatic craze. They would be quite surprised to learn
> that in the 21st century, people design digital fonts capable of doing
> exactly the kind of things cherished by Boncompagni!
I love it! I'll try to get a look at his stuff.
> This [http://openfontlibrary.org/content/psb6m/177/sample.png] is
> indeed fascinating and, I find, totally legible (so I assume it
> doesn't have 'hlig'?). Fortunately this is not a reproduction of, say,
> a 15th-century German scholar's handwriting, which would be per
> definitionem totally illegible :)
> Still, I cannot refrain from asking: what is exactly the point of such
> fonts? Any edition of an historical text should be first and foremost
> legible and intelligible to modern readers, without distracting them.
> To accurately reproduce an original source, digital color photos do a
> far better job, no?
O reason not the need!
One of the nicest things about being an amateur in the Open Source world
is that I don't have to worry about producing a thing that's useful to
enough people to generate a reliable income stream. I cheerfully admit
that I can't think of a lot of practical uses for this font in its
"historical" mode (with hist, hlig and one or two other things switched
on). But I really enjoyed making it.
Now in its default mode it has a number of compromises that make it a
perfectly decent decorative font for various purposes. I use it for
headers in Keynote presentations, and I have a scheme to use it for
chapter heads, subheads and running heads in my current book project.
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