Asymptote

Wednesday 26 December 2007

Asymptote looks like a really full-featured technical drawing programming language. It makes a wide variety of drawings. They seem very proud of the LaTeX typesetting, but when I look at those drawings and see Knuth's Computer Modern fonts, it screams out for some real typography. Those fonts now seem as much a marker of time and place in technology as the plotter-based Hershey fonts did.

Comments

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Dave 2:47 PM on 26 Dec 2007

Am I the only person who likes CM fonts? I just hate to pick up my TAOCP books any more. After reading a few pages of any of them I cannot read any other printed text for a while. The text and typesetting pretty much anywhere else is just ugly.

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Doug Winter 6:17 AM on 27 Dec 2007

I don't understand the "modern typography" comment at all - the CM fonts are excellent, and I really like them. All they say to me is that the document was produced by someone who knows what they're doing.

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Ned Batchelder 8:07 AM on 27 Dec 2007

I guess it's just a matter of taste. I think Knuth did a great job with TeX, but I'm not sure he's a great type designer. The fonts seem spindly to me, and too limiting. I'd prefer to have more choice of typeface, rather than having TeX imply Computer Modern.

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David Phillips 11:18 AM on 19 Jan 2008

Tex doesn't require computer modern. There are the AMS fonts for one. There are also various packages to use your favorite standard type I fonts. The problem is that there aren't many fonts out there that really provide a full set of tex math symbols. Since many of us who use some derivative of tex need many of those symbols, we tend to stick with CM for a consistent style.

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