Computer Modern Fonts, Unicode, short term fix (was: Re: Adding Accufonts to the update stream)

Ian Piumarta ian.piumarta at
Tue Feb 25 20:46:01 UTC 2003

On 25 Feb 2003, Cees de Groot wrote:
> So although I appreciate all the ideas coming from left and right, I
> completely fail to understand why anyone could be opposed to using
> Helvetica/Times/Courier

I'd include "fixed" in that list too: it's sans-serif and a nicer
alternative to courrier for displaying monospaced text.  (I'd also use the
version that shipped with R6.5, not R6.6, since some idiot replaced the
perfectly symmetrical glyphs for "`" and "'" ([back]quote) with
asymmetrical, Windoze-ish versions.  ("`" became thinner and slightly too
high, and "'" became vertical.  Grossly ugly.  It was the first thing I
fixed when xf86 adopted the new font.)

> as the standard font (and, by all means, have 100 font customization
> packages on SqueakMap).

I am of the same opinion.  In addition, everything needed to convert a BDF
font into a StrikeFont and install it is _already_ in the image.

Anyone who uses my telnet/pty/vt100 package (and answered "yes" when asked
if they wanted a much better monospaced font installed) has been using the
X11 `-misc-fixed-medium-r-semicondensed--13-120-75-75-c-60-iso8859-1'
font, with the "`" and "'" glyphs lovingly repaired by yours-truly,
converted from BDF to a StrikeFont entirely within the image.


What follows is tangential, but might be of interest to amateurs of TeX
and Knuth's CM fonts.

> There are two ways to produce acceptable fonts at sizes of ~10 pixels:
> - Increase 'virtual resolution' by antialiasing;
> - Handcraft the bitmaps.

Another way to increase resolution (for high-resolution devices, not for
pixel displays) is to convert the font to a PostScript Type 1 "outline
font" which describes the glyphs in terms of geometric shapes rather than
as a bitmap (yielding essentially infinite resolution).  A very
respectable foundry (BlueSky) already converted the CM series into outline
fonts, and most modern (La)TeX installations should have them

To see the difference, compare the result of this:

	dvips -o aDocument.dvi

with this:

	dvips -P cmz -o aDocument.dvi

on a printer with lots of dpi.  If the printer is up to it, the second
should look much better.  (The result will also produce much nicer results
when "distilled" into PDF, compared to the bitmapped version.)



More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list