[Scribus] Ligatures and "Expert Fonts" again

John Jordan johnxj
Thu Sep 22 03:11:42 CEST 2005

On 22 Sep 2005, at 1:00, Andreas Vox wrote:

> > The system works extremely well. In the currrent version of
> > InDesign there are several ligature options. You can turn on the f-
> > ligatures, you can turn on "discretionary" ligatures (ct, st, etc.),
> > and/or you can turn on swash alternates.
> Charwise, paragraphwise or documentwise?

InDesign has character styles and paragraph styles, but no 
document-wide style. You can, however, set options for new 
documents which could include specific ligature choices.

Character and paragraph styles in InDesign are incredibly thorough. 
There is just about nothing that you can't set in a style. You can 
even have a style embedded within another style. For example, I 
could create a paragraph style in roman, and embed an italic 
character style to apply after, say, a colon, to return to the regular 
roman after, say, the period next following the colon. Any character 
can be the trigger, including any of the various white spaces.

InDesign is a joy to use. I just wish it ran on Linux. But then, 
Scribus will eventually make it unnecessary for me to use it or 
Windows at all.

> > And after the ligature issue is handled, could we have optical
> > kerning? :)
> Scribus currently relies on the kerning information in the font. We
> will add a manual kerning option soon. Adobe's optical kerning is
> patented AFAIK (don't we hate those patent issues?). I don't know
> about iKern (http://www.iginomarini.com/ikern.html).

I'm not an expert on software patents, but I can't figure out how 
they could patent the concept. It's like Henry Ford being granted a 
patent for the idea of an "automobile," or WordPerfect Corporation 
being granted a patent for the concept of a word processor.

The way I understand optical kerning in InDesign is that it 
measures the area between the characters' outlines, using the 
baseline and x-height for the other dimensions (or perhaps other 
criteria as well for characters with ascenders and descenders), and 
then adjusts the kerning by thousandths of an em to make each 
character have the same area between it and the next character. I 
don't see how you could get a patent on the idea of measuring area.

Perhaps their patent is just on the code they wrote to accomplish 
this feat. If so, someone else could write different code that did the 
same thing.

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