The Neume Notation Project

Louis W. G. Barton




µ The Problem with Using Fonts

Question: Implement neumes as .gif files or as fonts?

Risk Analysis
  1. With .gif files you can still use Unicode datastream and map each neume code to a .gif file using table lookup
  2. With fonts, users can substitute their own fonts to use.
  3. Arbitrary placement might not be possible with fonts - mitigating factor [FACT CHECK - NOT TRUE?].
  4. Major effort to create .gif files and they don't scale well.
  5. Conclusion: Use .gif files for the neumes.
    • Because fonts can't be downloaded with applets yet (maybe possible in 1 year).
    • Not user-friendly to require user to install font on their own machine.
  6. Performance Study: compare Java manipulation of .gif files vs. font. CHECK in subsequent iteration.
The first prototype used a specially-designed, TrueType font of square-neume symbols (see µ Samples of the Author's Neume Fonts). This font had to be installed on the user's computer in conjunction with the Java engine. It was later decided that the installation process was too much of a burden for users. Furthermore, different fonts had to be developed for display under Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, etc. The current Neume Notation Editor is platform-independent and requires no special installation since it no longer uses fonts.



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Revision: 5 June 2001
Copyright © 1998, 2001, Louis W. G. Barton