[XeTeX] XITS Math font - first beata

Ulrik Vieth ulrik.vieth at arcor.de
Sat Jun 5 22:15:58 CEST 2010

On 06/05/2010 08:54 PM, George N. White III wrote:

> STIX is a very ambitious project for a group (scientific and technical
> publishers), some who have suffered financially since the project started.
> I think the technical work is a very minor portion of the overall effort (e.g.,
> getting the Unicode Technical Committee to accept the submissions),
> reconciling STIX with both legacy math fonts (as used in typesetters)
> and MS Office and Cambria Math.

Getting math accepted into Unicode was certainly an important step, but 
most of that was done in an early phase (something like a decade ago), 
before any work on actual fonts was started.

The work by Microsoft on Cambria Math was an equally important step to 
develop the required font technology, but that was unrelated to STIX. It 
is a pity, that they still haven't published their work as part of a new 
version of the OpenType spec, but other than that they have done a 
pretty good job, borrowing from TeX and extending TeX's concepts.

Most of what STIX has done in the past decade has been designing glyphs 
of individual math symbols. While there are an awful lot of glyphs, 
which are needed as building blocks for math fonts, they are relatively 
useless by themselves without the intelligence of the font technology.
In this area, STIX has simply failed to keep up with developments,
while TeX engines like XeTeX and LuaTeX have done the catching up.

> <http://blogs.msdn.com/b/murrays/archive/2010/01/12/special-capabilities-of-a-math-font.aspx>
> gives some insight into the difficulties in making the fonts useful with
> MS Office.

Nobody has ever claimed that designing math fonts was an easy task.
Nevertheless, it can be done, even without the support of a large 

As Khaled has shown, once the building blocks of STIX are in place,
adding the font technology in XITS can be done within a week.

Regards, Ulrik

P.S: For further reference about the background of STIX and OpenType 
Math technology, you might want to check out the following links:


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