I know this is going to annoy the daylights out of Certain Persons, but
I'll stick my neck out (it's shorter than that of a giraffe's, or even an
ostrich's) and say that Postscript and related ways* of creating/defining
graphic images are writing tools of the late-20th and 21st century. Any
details go to [vellum], but for Qalam, I think it's sufficient to say that
Postscript is a computer language, possible, even practical, (but not
simple) to learn and use.
*such as the inner workings of outline-font software, including "hinting".
TrueType hinting is done by a computer language (!) (Technically, it's
interpreted, not compiled, apparently.)

Moreover, PS is one of a relatively few computer languages (why did I
forget TeX and Metafont until now? :) ) that describes in great detail
what an image is to look like. Said image can be a glyph for a font, or an
image utterly unrelated to any typography.

Other than Metafont (if I understand correctly), there seems to be no
formal name for methods of defining outline fonts, but I'm most likely
displaying my lack of knowledge.

Before Computers, dealing with information tended to mean working with
physical objects. Radio, TV, telephony, telegraphy, and facsimile all
carried data, but the ability to define and manipulate data (including
font (typeface)) details with ease had to wait.

To ensure there's no misunderstanding, I'm in no way suggesting that most
Qalamites need to know much more than this, or even some details here.

Just had a thought: What an outline font defines is like kids' coloring
books, with only outlines defining blank spaces to be filled in with
color. The usual rendering of fonts fills in the outlines with [black],
leaving until later, with what color the text will be rendered. (Sorry for
the awkward syntax; this is a message, not a book, much as I'd always like
to write better! :) )

Not sure this message was needed, and what I'm stating is obvious to some,
but, I suspect, not all Qalamites. HTH!


Nicholas Bodley /*|*\ Waltham, Mass. (Not "MA")
The curious hermit -- autodidact and polymath
Hope for these times: Paul Rogat Loeb's book --
"The Impossible Will Take a Little While:..."