Rodger Whitlock wrote:
> If you were to resort to written descriptions only, without
> graphical backup, the project would fail to attain its goal.
I think you're right, but only if users are able to detach their
understanding from the mere instances. This is not easy to do,
even if you're told to, and even if you want to. This is what
worries me about images. I think that if the textual descriptions
are sculpted very carefully, they can do the most good, but
carefully presented images might help.
> every reader comes to the material with a
> slightly different set of assumptions
But this applies to anything, including images. The only way to
avoid this -by treating the images litterally- would be self-defeating.
> give examples of each glyph in a wide variety of typefaces,
> *possibly* with a written commentary.
This isn't less work, btw. It's just intellectually easier.
And the problem is that a bunch of instances cannot convey
the abstract structure.
> revealing the underlying Platonic ideals.
But there are no "ideals". They're hazy and
dynamic concepts. You can't draw them.
> I suggest Hrant write up descriptions of a few characters in the
> Armenian alphabet and publish them on typo-l, then have interested
> typo-lers draw examples using -only- the descriptions as a guide.
This is a great idea!
I'll take a shot at it soon.
> are there no non-calligraphic Arabic typefaces used
> for display purposes?
Yes. But calligraphy is still *very* strong, and
people designing for Arabic need to accept that
non-calligraphic faces are almost always "grunge".
There have been attempts at departing from calligraphy, but they
generally look like crap (and that's not to speak of the many
misguided reform efforts). You can experiment with the
non-calligraphic look, but you can't set
mainstream material with it.