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"Philip Taylor (RHBNC)" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 18 Mar 1997 21:47:28 GMT
text/plain (27 lines)
>> I am aware that Don Knuth calls letterspacing in TeX a "bad idea" and
>> would prefer to have fonts with custom made kerns for wider
>> inter-letter-spaces.  However, with the advance of NFSS and the wide
>> proliferation of fonts from different sources this seems to pose
>> unnecessary constraints on the user, with at best epsilon improvement
>> in the output.  So I think there is a good case for this to be handled
>> automatically by TeX/LaTeX.

It will never be handled automatically by TeX: in TeX82.bug, Knuth writes
"if anyone wants letter spacing desparately they should put it in their
 own private version (e.g. generalize the hpack routine) and NOT call it TeX."

(DEK's emphasis on NOT).

>> The currently available letterspace package does not seem adequate
>> because of its non-LaTeX syntax and the fact that it breaks the
>> kerning between pairs of letters, which does look bad especially for
>> small spacing factors.  I have a modified version of letterspace due
>> to Donald Arsenau which solves the latter problem, and proves that
>> this can be done without modifying TeX (although I guess modifying TeX
>> could provide a more stable solution).

I'd like to see the latter, if you could send me a copy please?

** Phil (author of one of the generally available letter-spacing
         packages for TeX).