character kerning is bad anyway ...
I'm using it to get a paragraph one line shorter or longer, or to tune
what in TeX is set with \parfillskip.
I'm using ConTeXt with a mindset developed on other typesetting
softwares. That's not right, i know, but for now i'm finding easier to
work with character kerning than with \looseness, \parfillskip and
\looseness=-1 quite never reduces the lines' number, because the
inter-word spaces are already very well optimized.
\looseness=1 quite always produces a short last line, so that i often
work on \emergencystretch and \parfillskip to make it wider. But this
way i have to work on 3 parameters; with kerning you have only one:
uglier for ligatures but easier.
I suspect TeX has better ways to deal with that problem, but i don't
know them (hints are welcome).
yes, the ligature would not get the same shrinkage or stretch of the
rest, but i don't modify the kerning that much (factor=.02 is the
maximum value). It's still acceptable.
and this is
e ff e
you definitely don't want to kern like
e kern ff kern ff
e kern f kern f kern e
so, ligatures are pretty useless with intercharacter kerning (as per
definecharacterning) ... just conceptually incomatible
(it is possible to turn it on but it really isnot what you want)
But i should consider all the text parts with a modified kerning and
disable kerning around character sequences like "ff", "ffi", "fl" and so
on. Luckily, the XHTML markup "knows" where the kerning is modified:
<p class="wide">A paragraph with a modified kerning</p>
<p class="wide">A paragraph with a modi<dk>fi</dk>ed kerning</p>
Where <dk>...</dk> (dk=Disable Kerning) are tags to be inserted
automatically before feeding the XHTML into ConTeXt.
I'm not very happy or proud about it, but it can be done.
Do you think it can be better done inside ConTeXt?
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