[tex-live] aifont in TL7

Skip Collins bernard.collins@jhuapl.edu
Thu, 06 Jun 2002 18:59:08 -0400

I just downloaded the 20020604 images from ctan. After installing, I
noticed that the aifont package is included. Aifont is intended to allow
pdftex/dvips to produce "better" pdf/ps, i.e. output that avoids acrobat
reader bugs and can also be imported into drawing programs such as Adobe
Illustrator. It works by using the higher slots for doubly encoded
characters in Type 1 cm/ams fonts. Some platforms (windows/mac/etc.)
don't like to display glyphs in the "control-character" range 0-31.
Acrobat Reader normally avoids this problem. But Illustrator and other
drawing programs, which depend on platform font support, do not. Aifont
is a much better option than using dvips -G, for example, to accomplish
the same thing. (By the way, I hope that the dvips -G option is turned
off by default.)

Unfortunately, the latest version of TeXLive is missing a critical set
of files that are necessary for aifont to work: the virtual fonts that
do the remapping. I suggest either removing aifont altogether, or
putting all the necessary files in place so the package can be used as
intended. Unfortunately, aifont does not fit neatly into the TDS. If the
aifont virtual fonts, cmr10.vf etc., were installed under
texmf/fonts/vf, pdftex, dvips, etc., would always find them and use
them. This is not what most people would want most of the time. I
deliberately placed the ai virtual fonts in the TDS non-compliant
directory texmf/ai/vf. Then I used shell scripts to set appropriate
systems variables to point to the correct places. So the script aipdftex
looks like:
export VFFONTS='$TEXMF/ai/vf:'
export TEXPSHEADERS='$TEXMF/ai/config:'
export TEXINPUTS='$TEXMF/ai/config:'
pdftex ${1+"$@"}

A better way would be to modify texmf.cnf to point to the correct
locations whenever aipdftex, aipdflatex, aidvips, etc., were invoked. I
would be happy to help make any changes to get aifont working right in
the latest TeXLive. But I am afraid I am too late for the 2002 release.

Skip Collins