5.0062 Fonts; Soviet Keyboard Layout; Cyrillic (3/186)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 15 May 91 21:12:36 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0062. Wednesday, 15 May 1991.

(1) Date: Wed, 15 May 91 10:26:29 CDT (150 lines)
From: Claudia Lynch <AS04@UNTVM1>
Subject: Foreign Fonts

(2) Date: Wed, 15 May 91 17:04:04 +0100 (16 lines)
From: John.Slatter@durham.ac.uk
Subject: Re: 5.0035 Qs: ... Cyrillic Coding; Coptic Fonts

(3) Date: Tue, 14 May 91 10:54:00 PST (20 lines)
From: Michael_Kessler.Hum@mailgate.sfsu.edu
Subject: Cyrillic

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 15 May 91 10:26:29 CDT
From: Claudia Lynch <AS04@UNTVM1>
Subject: Foreign Fonts

The following was posted to Desk Top Publishing (DTP-L, Volume 1: Issue
22 Tue, 14 May 91). I thought it might be of interest to this group.

Date: Mon, 6 May 91 22:12:59 pdt
From: ari@well.sf.ca.us (Ari Davidow)
Subject: Foreign fonts

For Sanskrit, as well as an amazing selection of other languages,
there are two good sources for fonts on the Mac:

Linguists Software, PO Box 580, Edmonds, WA 98020-0580
(206) 775-1130

Ecological Linguistics, PO Box 15156, Washington, DC 20003
(202) 546-5862; Internet: ECOLING@APPLELINK.APPLE.COM

Both specialize in fonts that serve the academic community. This
means that both companies provide fonts with all possible
imaginable characters, but that neither company produces fonts
that are necessarily exciting. Of the two, Philip Payne at
Linguists Software tends to be more thorough about creating a
complete set of characters, but has a smaller catalog of
languages, whereas Lloyd Anderson of Ecological Linguistics has a
broader range of selections and, has spent a lot more time
creating customized systems with multiple foreign languages.
I have had nothing but good experiences with both vendors.

There is also a company called Snow Lion that does the most
beautiful Tibetan (related to Devanagari). They are in Toronto,
but I have misplaced the particulars.

(If memory serves me correctly, both EL and LS also make IPA
fonts modeled on the Linotype Times Roman 12pt master built into
most postscript printers. Another source for IPA, I believe, is
NeoScribe International, although I don't recall if it is likwise
based on Times. Neoscribe can be reached as (of course)
neoscribe@applelink.apple.com. You can also send mail to:
NeoScribe International Inc., PO Bo 469, Middletown, CT 06457.
[Michael Ross, an excellent colleague & reader of this digest,
is the proprietor of NeoScribe, by the way. - - gf]
* * * * * *
I second the recommendation of FontMonger. It did, indeed, ship
last month. I was a beta tester for the program. It is sort of a
cross between ParaFont (in that it can create small caps, small
shilling and nut fractions, and some composite characters) and
Metamorphosis (in that it can convert fonts, in single or batch
mode, from just about all formats to just about all formats). The
interface can be confusing (although I don't know of a better
one), but the basic metaphor is an actual keyboard that you see
on your screen, which makes placing the characters where you want
them (and finding the ones you want) incredibly simple and
straightforward. Given a choice, I would have to recommend
FontMonger over Metamorphosis, if only because it is a more
useful all-around tool. On the other hand, if all you want to do
is to convert between type 1, type 3, true type, etc.,
Metamorphosis is easier to use.

As Dave Martin noted, FontMonger is available from Ares
(Foster City, Calif. (415) 578-9090). It retails for $99, with
street prices around $60-$65. Ares is also the company that does
Font Studio for LetraSet, and the long-delayed version 2.0 of
that product is also about to ship (it's now finished and moving
through the Letraset release bureaucracy). Font Studio is a font
design program competing with Fontographer and the new ATF
product. I find Fontographer's user interface easier to use until
I get to the actual character shaping tools, where Font Studio is
several orders of magnitude (imho) much easier and saner. I
should also note that in my specialty (non-Latin alphabets) Font
Studio actually supports FOND IDs outside the range for English,
whereas Fontographer does not (leading to some tedious
workarounds). In short, it's easier to set up a font with
Fontographer, but far, far easier to actually design or modify
the font with Font Studio (imho).
* * * * * *
Those interested in Hebrew may be interested to know that my own
e-mail newsletter (which focuses on all aspects of using Hebrew
on micros) is now based at a listserv @ Dartmouth. To subscribe,
send e-mail to LISTSERV@DARTCMS1 with the one-line message,
SUB E-HUG Your_first_name Your_last_name
For more information, send me e-mail, or send a message to the
listserv with the message: REVIEW E-HUG
(E-HUG stands for "Electronic Hebrew Users Group".)
* * * * * *
People interested in Russian may be interested in the following

The Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union at
Columbia University publishes an annual report entitled:

"Teaching Your Computer Russian: A Guide to Cyrillic Software."

It costs $8.00 postpaid and covers mainly word processors and
add-ons for IBMs, but also has a small Mac section. It can be
obtained from:

Publications Office
Harriman Institute
420 W. 118th St., New York, NY 10027
(212) 854-6218.
* * * * * *
And now, I have a question. I am talking with a textbook
manufacturer about ways to facilitate the typesetting of math. We
are looking for ways that will let us take advantage of desktop
publishing, and let the authors use their own word processing
tools to produce copy that we can actually typeset without
rekeying. As those who have dealt with math already know, this is
not a simple problem. Many technical word processors are based on
the assumption that characters are monospaced, and with each
stacked equation or matrix we end up with stuff that simply
doesn't translate sanely. Other people use tools such as TeX,
which is wonderful, but doesn't have the typographic control or
ease-of-use, of, say, XPress.

The problem is that mathematics is a complex language. Instead of
a zillion ligatures or accents or compound characters, we have
complex equations that are best input as descriptions, rather
than as diagrams. The dtp programs that I have seen to handle
complex math conceptualize math as a series of graphic elements.
Aside from the editing problems created by trying to work with a
manuscript composed of EPS files, (not to mention the conceptual
problems) there are some very basic, practical, import and export
problems to and from authors' word processing programs. Remember
that authors use everything from Chi-Writer on the PC to MS Word
to TeX. If we can figure out a reasonable typesetting back end,
we can work forward, I hope, to figuring out which of a set of
programs we can recommend to authors and commit ourselves to
supporting over the next few years.

I'm open to any suggestion, and certainly won't mind being shown
wrong about any of what I think I know in the preceding paragraphs.
* * * * * *
ari davidow
"If there were a computer for the rest of us, it would know how to
work in the languages other than English that the rest of us speak."

| /+++++++++++
Claudia Lynch | | |
Documentation Services Manager | | ^ () |
Academic Computing Services | | - |
University of North Texas Computing Center | | O |
UNT Box 13495 | |---------/|
Denton, Texas 76203 |
Voice: 817-565-2324 FAX: 817-565-4060 | Standard disclaimer
| graffito
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------22----
Date: Wed, 15 May 91 17:04:04 +0100
From: John.Slatter@durham.ac.uk
Subject: Re: 5.0035 Qs: ... Cyrillic Coding; Coptic Fonts

re standard Cyrillic character table.

If by this is meant a table to correspond to the ASCII character table,
then I am unaware of one.

There is, however, a standard Soviet (not Cyrillic as used elsewhere)
keyboard layout. It is documented in an issue of the Slavic and East
European Journal of a few years (fewer than 10) back. It should be
possible to remap this onto the ASCII table by substitution of less used
characters for the Cyrillic ones. It is high time that Cyrillic
characters were placed officially in the ASCII table: computing is more
anglophone, less international than it ought to be!
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------30----
Date: Tue, 14 May 91 10:54:00 PST
From: Michael_Kessler.Hum@mailgate.sfsu.edu
Subject: Cyrillic

>In a recent submission Michael Kessler suggests that HUMANISTs might like
>to subscribe to the RUSTEX-L list. What is this?

Rustex-L is a list to which one can subscribe by sending the SUB RUSTEX-
L [YOUR NAME] message to UBVM.CC.Buffalo.EDU. It is a Russian TeX and
Cyrillic text processing list.

>Subject: Russian concordance package for Mac.

My previous answer about Cyrillic character location is obviously
useless, since I did not notice those three little letters (Mac) which
rule out references to DOS systems.