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   Re: The problem with typography (with or without flow objects)

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  • From: Sebastian Rahtz <sebastian.rahtz@computing-services.oxford.ac.uk>
  • To: david@megginson.com
  • Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 12:57:09 +0100 (BST)

David Megginson writes:
 > That's right -- typography has been in decline since the Web ... no,
 > make that since desktop publishing ... no, make that since the Linotype
 > replaced hot metal ... actually, it might go right back to the invention
 > of movable type.

No. Stop right there. Typography has been up AND down over the last
few centuries. There is no `golden age' myth. To take my lifetime, we
had horrible phototypesetting in the 60s and 70s; we had some
`interesting' changes with DTP in the 80s; since then we have had
vastly improved digital fonts and typesetter resolution; we have TeX;
we have excellent new font designs; we have resurgent 
interest in national typesetting standards. Things are good right now
in many many ways. I claim that XSL FO will take some typesetting down
a notch or two, from which I hope it will recover. I do NOT claim that
`the web is the source of all evil and the future is grey'

 > Then again, the Irish monks dumbed down Latin by adding
 > white space between words to make it easier for non-native Latin
 > speakers to figure out where each word started and ended.
shocking laziness...

 > Note that the common thread running through these examples is a
 > sacrifice in quality in exchange for an increase in quantity -- in other
 > words, a democratization of knowledge.

and is this regarded as a good thing, then? hands up all those who
think that the truly amazing amount of information on the web is
balanced by the utter uselessness and wrongness of most of it :-}


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