Archive for September, 2007

Fonts and Encodings

My wrists have started giving me some trouble, but when I discovered that O'Reilly has published a book called Fonts and Encodings, I had to write something up. At least from the table of contents looks like a promising resource. I'll have to see if Barnes and Noble has it while I'm out this afternoon.  Update:  while the O'Reilly web site says published in »September«, Amazon says that it has not been released yet.  And no, I do not get any money if you visit that link.

Other news in brief, I've finished writing I think, now it is just down to revising my dissertation. I've also finally started on Gentzen Symbol seriously; I'll have more on that before too long.

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I come bearing links

While I have been in hiding, toiling on my dissertation, a rather large number of links have been accumulating in my to-do list. I'll hopefully write more on the status of my dissertation soon.


A few weeks ago I became frustrated with the capabilities of FontBook on Mac OS X and Gnome Specimen and gucharmap under X11. I spent some time searching and came across Linotype's FontExplorer X. My best description of it would be iTunes for fonts. Not only does it let you manage, examine, and compare the fonts you do have, it lets your preview and purchase fonts from Linotype.

I also came across the UnicodeChecker application (again MacOS X only) which perhaps provides a more detailed examination and exploration of the properties of Unicode glyphs.


I'm not sure where I read about it, but I recently came across, "The Online Encyclopedia of Western Signs and Ideograms". I haven't needed to consult it yet, but it is fairly interesting just to see what it gives you when asking for a random sign.

I've known about this for a while, but didn't think to mention it until now: the entirety of the Fifteenth edition of the Chicago Manual of Style can be found online. Useful when you don't want to carry around the hardcopy, and searchable. Unfortunately, looking at it again now, the fact that it says in the corner »University of Pennsylvania« makes me believe that is this probably not a free service. And indeed, I just verified this with my desktop, which does not have a cached cookie from inside the Penn network.


From Lambda the Ultimate, I learned about a paper giving a functional description of the »galleys« layout algorithm used by the lout document processing system.

This also reminded me of the earlier post, also by Neel, on a functional description of TeX's formula layout algorithm.

I also went looking and Kingston has a nice paper on the design of lout, and website on the eventual successor to lout, Nonpareil. lout is an interesting system, though for some reason when I first encountered it many years ago I didn't seem to think it produced as nice of output as TeX. I haven't tried to reevaluate this at the moment, and see whether it has changed or I was simply wrong in the first place.

Also, something else on Lambda the Ultimate led to me to discover the Juno-2 structured drawing editor. I've only had a chance to read about it briefly, but it sounds quite a bit like what I have envisioned for the font editor I've been thinking about for a while, but haven't found the time to seriously start yet.

Finally, while writing this section, I came across another Lambda the Ultimate post on Skribe, a Scheme based document formatting system. It however it seems to be more of a macro layer on top on HTML and LaTeX, rather than a fully integrated system.

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