September 27, 2007
Fonts & Encodings--New from O'Reilly Media: The Inseparable Duo in the Digital Space for Writing
Sebastopol, CA--It's common knowledge that yin and yang symbolize
opposition between certain objects. However, yin and yang are also
inseparable, forever combined as a cornerstone in all universal processes.
Similarly, fonts and encodings are also two opposing sides of a spectrum
which, when working together, form an inseparable duo essential to digital
In the exciting new book from O'Reilly--Fonts & Encodings
($59.99)--author Yannis Haralambous provides a fascinating, lyrical, and
comprehensive guide to using fonts and typography on the Web and across a
variety of operating systems and application softwares. "It is the goal of
this book to be a bridge between tradition and new technologies, in the
small (but important) domain of written text," explains Haralambous.
"An encoding emerges from the tendency to conceptualize information; it is
the result of an abstraction, a construction of the mind," writes
Haralambous in his timely new resource. "A font is a means of visually
representing writing, the result of a concrete expression, a graphical
At over 1000 pages, this encyclopedic reference is the only resource you
need to take full advantage of the incredible number of typographic
options available. Fonts & Encodings clearly presents advanced material
that covers everything from designing glyphs to developing software that
creates and processes fonts.
The era of ASCII characters on green screens is long gone, and industry
leaders such as Apple, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle have adopted the
Unicode Worldwide Character Standard. However, this only solves part of
the problem, as a multitude of font standards and tools for using those
standards remain between the numeric character codes and their
Fonts & Encodings explores and illuminates how each piece fits
- Part I introduces Unicode, with a brief history of codes and encodings,
including ASCII. You'll learn about the data that accompanies each Unicode
character and how Unicode deals with normalization, the bidirectional
algorithm, and the handling of East Asian characters.
- Part II discusses font management, including installation, tools for
activation/deactivation, and font choices for three different systems:
Windows, Mac OS, and the X Window System (Unix).
- Part III deals with the technical use of fonts in two specific cases:
the TeX typesetting system (and its successor, Omega, which the author
co-developed) and web pages.
- Part IV presents the history of typefaces, and then examines methods for
classifying fonts: Vox, Alessandrini, and Panose-1, which is used by
Windows and the CSS standard. Learn about existing tools for creating (or
modifying) fonts, including FontLab and FontForge, and become familiar
with OpenType properties and AAT fonts.
Appendixes explain a variety of standards and tools in depth, exploring
bitmap font formats, TeX formats, PostScript formats, TrueType/OpenType
and AAT, including tutorials in TrueType instructions, Metafont language,
and B zier curves.
Nowhere else will you find the valuable technical information that
software developers, web developers, and graphic artists need to know to
get typography and fonts to work properly--so keep it handy for quick
references and thorough explanations.
Yannis Haralambous is the founder of Atelier Fluxus Virus, a company
specializing in the high-quality typesetting of books with specific
requirements, such as dictionaries and critical editions. Since 2001 he
has taught computer science at ENST Bretagne, in Brest (Brittany,
P. Scott Horne, who translated this book from French, is a former software
developer with experience in localization and internationalization. He is
also a typographer fluent in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and
Fonts & Encodings
translated by P. Scott Horne
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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