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RE: [PPLetterpress] letterpress optimised digital type - HZ microtypographic enhancements

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  • Ludwig M. Solzen
    Paul If the patent rights were bought, of what use then is the software code? Besides, I wonder what exactly could be patented: perhaps some algorithms that
    Message 1 of 44 , Jul 24, 2005
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      Paul

      If the patent rights were bought, of what use then is the software code?
      Besides, I wonder what exactly could be patented: perhaps some algorithms
      that were developed, but the HZ-principles you rehearsed, sure could never
      be subject to patent or copyright laws? That would be the same as patenting
      Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto or the Then Commandments. And as for software
      code: those patents will be always "pending" and thus remain undefined. So,
      let's not bother about these legal issues and continue the research.

      > they have obviously
      > just expanded/condensed entire glyphs rather than "parts of glyphs" for
      > certain characters as the original HZ program did.

      Are you sure the HZ program did this? This would require a completely
      different definition of fonts than outline shapes. The only font format that
      would possibly allow for this approach I know about is Metafont (and,
      perhaps, the native format of Font Chameleon). Did the URW developers used
      Dr Knuth's format? The developers at Adobe could never allow for a true
      glyph condensation/expansion (i.e. only parts of certain selected glyphs,
      such as counters), precisely because of the standard font formats InDesign
      has to support. Outline fonts are unintelligent fonts: neither software
      would ever be able to recognise and thus alter a counter, simply because
      this shape is defined as a sheer curve, nothing different from a stem.
      That's why HZ rule Number 9 is a bit utopian and euphoristic: "The
      adjustments made here should be applicable to single master fonts." As for
      outline fonts, only MM would allow for (some of) the alterations.

      > The examples I have seen suggest that HZ is best suited to very narrow
      > columns or for ragged-right settings. For general column width, there is
      > little if any difference to software such as plain TeX. The most
      > pronounced difference, however, is in the use of HZ for very narrow
      > column widths.

      I agree that the HZ microtypographic enhancements are more obvious in narrow
      text widths. But this is even more the case when justification is applied
      and not in ragged settings. (Justified text would benefit more from the HZ
      enhancements, because here inter-word spacing is variable and hence more
      delicate.)

      I disagree with the possible conclusion that the HZ prescriptions should be
      applied to narrow column settings only and that consequently their
      development wouldn't be that urgent. Wider text settings would benefit from
      the software considerably as well. The occurrence of rivers could be
      banished for once and for all, widows and orphans would be avoided and
      plenty of other advantages might be expected.

      Sincerely yours

      Ludwig
    • Gerald Lange
      Ludwig I think I have found something... I had previously not read the final chapter, The Colorado Project, on Mandel s work in the Southall book. Mandel
      Message 44 of 44 , Jul 26, 2005
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        Ludwig

        I think I have found something...

        I had previously not read the final chapter, "The Colorado Project,"
        on Mandel's work in the Southall book. Mandel used the term "cutout"
        for ink trap and "finial" for thorn. The note regarding the problem of
        scale and size with PostScript is of interest as is his suggestion
        that these additions need to be sacrified during printing "leaving
        behind the real intended shape of the character." Southall does spend
        a bit more time with this.

        Gerald


        >
        > >
        > > In this regard I have another question. Discussing ink traps, it is
        > often
        > > claimed that in the old days such skilled punch cutters / font
        > designers as
        > > e.g. J.M. Fleischmann deliberately changed the form of their glyphs
        > on the
        > > punches, precisely because of ink gain matters. Is that so? Did you
        > found
        > > metal punches that prove this? And if that be the case, what exactly
        > those
        > > punch cutters took into account? Did they write down their
        > experiences so as
        > > to hand over their knowledge to progeny?
        > >
        > > As soon as I have cleaned up my messy documentation folders and
        > found the df
        > > paper, I'll inform you.
        > >
        > > Kind regards
        > >
        > > Ludwig
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