Digital Typography News

A blog exclusively devoted to digital typography

“Python for Kids”

Python is a programming language that is used by many typographical tools. For example, one can use Python scripts to change fonts in Fontforge and the Adobe Font Development Kit for OpenType is written mostly in Python. Therefore a good knowledge of Python programming is quite beneficial for people working with fonts. The book Python for Kids by Jason R. Briggs is both an introduction to programming and an introduction to the Python programming language. The book’s audience include high-school pupils but after inspecting it, I am convinced it can be used by people of all ages. The book starts with the basic Python programming tools: input and output commands,  strings and hash tables,  repetition commands, control structures, etc. The book includes material that can be used to draw simple images and to make simple animations. Then it uses all these to explain how to create simple game that involves a bouncing ball and a paddle. In addition, the author describes how to create a game that involves a character that moves in simple landscape. I think the description of these two games is very interesting since kids need to know how to do fancy things. However, I am sure that grown ups will appreciate these two games because they can be used to create much more complex games. For example, a science teacher can use these games to demonstrate certain ideas from physics, chemistry, etc. The book’s binding is good for desktop reading and the general layout is very good. I think this is a good book for people willing to know how to program in Python.

May 11th, 2015 at 10:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

SmallCapsFeatures in XeLaTeX

On page 37 of my book on XeLaTeX I include the following example

\newICUfeature{Contextuals}{Alts}{+calt}
\setmainfont[Mapping=tex-text,Script=Greek,
SmallCapsFeatures={Contextuals=Alts}]{Universal Modern}


This does not work anymore. One needs to modify this as follows:

setmainfont[Mapping=tex-text,Script=Greek,
UprightFeatures={Contextuals=NoAlternate},
SmallCapsFeatures={Contextuals=Alternate}]{Universal Modern}


If one omits the UprightFeatures part, then the SmallCapsFeatures apply everywhere.