[Basic question here: We in the USA are very informal, and immediately use
a person's first name as soon as we learn it. Such easy informality could
be very impolite in traditional European society. (Remember the
"nonexistent 'Pete'", of recent notoriety? That was going too far, beyond

Many people younger than I, here, seem to want to disregard a last name.

However, as I perceive it, in Europe, there's much more respect for last
names, and I feel at risk of being impolite referring, for example, to Mr.
Cimarosti as "Marco".]

Marco's reply shows quite plainly why it's worth having at least a basic
understanding of computer typography, which is quite a topic in itself.

For what it's worth ("fwiw"), I have read the Microsoft articles about the
topic, and found them in the past to be nearly free of embedded
advertising. I'm no M$ fan.
For convenience, not promotion:
I don't think they explain basics as much as offering information that is
at least useful (some of it) to know.

Marco's reply also shows how involved and (as I see it) complicated and
difficult computer typography can be for something like WWS.

A last resort would be to do what Urdu newspapers did, and might well
still do: Print text as images.

It's quite important to understand what "resolution-independent" means,
for one. In short, no matter how much you magnify, the image never shows
"jaggies", the stairsteps like those on a Dutch traditional roofline.

I just might consider writing a non-technical tutorial on the really-basic
aspects of computer typography; I have written a lot of material for the
Web (specifically, mostly the Howthingswork list on YahooGroups.com) in
which I try my level best to explain all sorts of topics. A text-only
description would be quite a challenge, though; illustrations are *so*
much more useful! Honestly, I do hope someone else has written a decent
tutorial, already. It must exist; only question is finding it.

What I do not understand in much detail is modern systems, such as
TrueType; I have significant gaps in my knowledge, such as Unicode
code-point re-mapping of WGL4 font glyphs (table embedde into the font
file, I assume), and font caching, for a couple.
I have studied about hinting (some major suprises there!) at the M$ site.

(Hinting is not something to be accepted or rejected; it's a term for the
process of making glyphs look decent, essentially regardless of rendered
size, a really-tough problem. Sorry, but the Linux people until fairly
recently tended to have fonts that not rarely looked like something the
family cat did *not* drag in because it looked too awful. (I'm
exaggerating...) :)

As well, gray-scale anti-aliasing is worth knowing about, imho. (Rebuttals
What yrs trly might be able to expain is *why* it's called
"anti-aliasing". I think "smoothing" is a better term, though, more
accurate technically.

While on this, a lot more happens than you might think, inside the
machine, when you poke a key and the corresponding glyph appears on your
screen. If you're keying an e-mail message into Pine with a dialup shell
account, even more, yet, happens. It was simpler in the DOS-only days.


This all brings up the matter of, to what degree should Qalam be concerned
with computer-specific aspects of typography? A fairly-recent (and most
interesting) discussion of usig color to represent meaning is in a way
related to the fact that the underlying technology makes color really easy
to create. As a practical matter, font design programs, afaik, don't yet
recognize color-as-meaning attributes (although I freely confess deep
ignorance about that.)

Best regards,

Nicholas Bodley @#@ Waltham, Mass.
CamelCase: Specimen that defines the term. Hump in the middle...
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