On Mon, Nov 17, 2003, Ron Artstein wrote about "Re: removing hebfonts":
> > Due to licensing issues I will shortly drop the original
> > hebfonts from the ivritex package.
> I think at least the four "standard" metafont fonts should remain.
> We cannot stop supporting the LHE encoding, and a lot of documents
> rely on this encoding as well as the fonts. I haven't looked at
I'm not sure what these so called "standard" Hebrew metafont fonts
have to do with the "oldcode" (7-bit) encoding.
And besides, what "a lot of documents" rely on this encoding? Are you
suggesting that a lot of people are writing text that looks like "asdjklasdjk"
but is really Hebrew? I remember over 10 years ago watching Samy Zafrani
write Hebrew TeX like this and being amazed how anyone can do this; Even
10 years ago what he was doing was archaic, because Hebrew fonts existed and
one even came with the standard X11R4 distributions. I can't see any reason
why any new TeX user would have started using this encoding for their files
in the last decade.
> their license, but these fonts are so much a part of Hebrew TeX
> that I'd find it really ridiculous if we weren't allowed to
> distribute them.
Have you ever wondered where these fonts (Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Dead Sea and
OldJaffa) came from? I did, again over 10 years ago. And I never got an
answer. I still don't have an answer. Looking at the meta-font files, it is
obvious they weren't designed by hand (as were Knuth's Computer-Modern fonts),
but rather converted by some automatic program from a different format.
How they were converted, by whom and from what, and where their names came
from, I could never figure out. But my guess was always that there's
something fishy, and very likely illegal, about the way these fonts were
created. This didn't use to bother me very much, and I even put a copy on
http://ftp.ivrix.org.il/pub/ivrix/src/cmdline/tex/, but if we have
alternatives from a less hazy source, it might be wise to switch to them.
Does anybody have any evidence, README files, or whatever, that attempt to
explain the origin of these old metafont fonts?
A strange thing about the Jerusalem et al. fonts is that on one hand
they looked very similar to Microsoft's Windows 3.1 fonts (David at al.),
but on the other hand they had obvious typographical defects (such as a too-
low shin) which either suggest a crappy conversion program or an independant
creation of these fonts (in which case, the fonts are likely to be legal).
These defects, the lack of glyphs (such as maqaf), and the lack of proper
font families (e.g., you didn't have a Jerusalem Bold - you needed to use
a completely different font or fake bold by "overstrike") made these fonts
completely unsuitable for quality typesetting. People who saw my MSc thesis
before and after I switched my LaTex configuration to use Microsoft's
TrueType Fonts were amazed by how unprofessional the old metafont fonts
made the document look.
So I can't understand how anyone would miss those fonts (provided that Culmus
works and looks good - and I have to admit I never checked it).
Nadav Har'El | Monday, Nov 17 2003, 22 Heshvan 5764
[log in to unmask] |-----------------------------------------
Phone: +972-53-790466, ICQ 13349191 |If Windows is the answer, you didn't
http://nadav.harel.org.il |understand the question.