On Mon, Sep 14, 2015 at 11:25 AM, James H. H. Lampert
Thankfully, in most typefaces (but not all; at the IPM, I can find you some
examples among the Ludlow matrix collection), the digits are monospaced.
No doubt this is in large part motivated by the desire to be able to
line up numbers.
(Of course, in any actual typesetting environment, it's very easy to
quad a line to the right, even when the digits aren't monospaced.
I'm not enough of a typesetting geek to know the term "quad"; does
this entail inserting spaces *between* characters so that they print
as though they were monospaced? If not, then I suppose "quad right"
means the same as what most office software calls "right-justify" or
"right-align". And applying that to unequal-width digits is... well,
let's just say it produces less than ideal results.
I wonder why IBM never thought of adding "quad right," "quad
center," and "justify" functions to AFP.)
I'll bet they did at least think of them. I am having an extremely
difficult time imagining that these functions completely slipped their
collective minds. I mean, it's not like these are exotic functions
that only a tiny group of typesetting experts would need.
So I'm left with the following guesses: (1) Those functions are in
there somewhere, and it just so happens that no one who knows where
they are has responded yet. (2) Those functions were too difficult to
implement for the initial rollout; and then they never got around to
adding them as updates. (Maybe by now folks who need them have moved
on to other products, and so IBM doesn't feel it's worth the trouble
to work too hard on AFP?)
I dunno, I really don't want to contemplate the idea that AFP is
missing functionality like that. Then again, I don't personally use
AFP (at least not directly; maybe some third-party products use AFP
under the covers).