On 2012-02-12, Gerhardus Geldenhuis wrote:
> On 11 February 2012 20:17, Guenter Milde <mi...@users.sf.net> wrote:
>> On 2012-02-11, Gerhardus Geldenhuis wrote:

...
>> > ... But seriously I would expect the software to take care of these
>> > types of details in the background. There should not be a need for
>> > me to add and remove fonts and I were I to need a symbol from the
>> > greek font I would not know how to add it.

>> In this case I have to inform you that were you to need Greek symbols
>> (outside math) LyX is not the software for you.
>> Installation of missing fonts is something LyX cannot do, this is up to the
>> LaTeX distribution or (with Xe- or LuaTeX your OS).

...

> Ok here is my assumption upon which my previous statement was based. If I
> select insert symbol and then select greek on latin or whatever is listed.
> I assume/expect that whatever is listed is installed and working. 

This is generally a good idea, however hard to realize in praxi for the
reasons given below.

> Thus the glyphs/fonts that I am seeing is already on my system which is
> why I am seeing them in Lyx. Thus if lyx makes them available to me
> during editing phase, or the font is visible during editing phase it
> would be only logical to assume that the font would be available during
> the rendering of the document.

LyX (in part) adheres to the Unix principel of "one tool for each task":
it is a graphical document processor that relies on the "QT library" for
the GUI and on other tools for the typesetting: (La)TeX or (with HTML
output) a browser. Without this, such a mighty free tool would be hard to
write/maintain and as big as OpenOffice.

With LyX, what you see (in the editor) is *not* what you get (in the
browser, the PS, PDF, or on paper).

+ you usually get output optimized for the chosen media without compromises.
  This includes different fonts for screen and print.

+ you get feedback in the GUI that lets you concentrate on context and
  semantic markup.
  
- you need a |: View - Edit :| loop for many tasks requiring manual check of
  the output document.
  
- things that work in the GUI or one output format may fail in an different
  one.  

In your example:

+ The QT library (at least on Linux) can use other system fonts to
  substitute missing characters in the chosen font. 
  
  + the number of characters missing in the app is lower,
  
  - you don't realize which characters are missing in the chosen font
    (which might not matter if (like in LyX) the font for the printed
    document is different anyway).

- Font handling is a vulnerable spot in TeX. In the old times of ASCII and
  code pages, TeX was an advanced system for printing of accented and
  special characters. However, the general development went other ways to
  handle these issues.

  * Traditional (8-bit) TeX requires a special font setup with specially
    encoded fonts (tex-fonts).
    
    LyX is one of the best apps regarding the translastion of Unicode into
    the TeX code for 8-bit TeX. However, due to various restrictions of TeX,
    this is still far from fail safe.

  * XeTeX and LuaTeX can also use Unicode-encoded system fonts, but lack
    the automatic character-level substitution mechanism present in many
    modern Linux programs (provided "for free" by the QT library and others).
    
    LyX might provide workarounds for some of these problems, but basically
    this needs to be addressed in the typesetting engine, not in LyX.

    Thus, if you use a font that does not contain all the (text)
    characters used in your document, you need to learn how to mix fonts
    with the "fontspec" package.
    
> I really like Lyx and I would love to see it more widely used. The
> academics in my college almost exclusively use MS Word and although I
> dislike MSWord, the problem the problem described above is not something I
> have personally encountered. I still think Lyx is a superior product and I
> would much rather struggle with a few font issues every so often then try
> and structure a complex document in Word. However it is these small niggles
> that will prevent people from moving away from Word to Lyx as silly as it
> may seem. My motivation is that the more scientist use Lyx the more
> feedback is received and potentially more development is being done. So
> when I am complaining it is with a good intentions.

I appreciate your good intentions but wanted to explain why this particular
issue will not go away soon.

Thanks,

Günter

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