[metapost] Anyone have notes / test files for METAFONT?

William Adams will.adams at frycomm.com
Sun Jun 25 15:37:44 CEST 2017

I've decided I really want to finally get started with METAFONT --- having
a hard time getting started 'cause I'm not getting some of the program
interactions, naming conventions, and so forth.

It was my intent to start with the sample file from "Lessons learned from
METAFONT" in _Digital Typography_ but I've been having a hard time just
getting it transcribed accurately and getting started at running it.

Does anyone have a cheat sheet which breaks down which program calls result
in what files, which are need for what aspects of the design process?

I guess that what needs to happen is we need to update _Making TeX Work_ to
fill in for the "local guide"

Basically, I have a _lot_ of drawings in a _lot_ of files for a typeface
revival I'm working on --- it's optically-sized, and I only have a couple
of complete sets (from memory, 28 and 72 pt.) and only one pair of letters
where I have all the sizes (cap and lowercase N/n) so what I want to do is
work up a system which allows me to:

 - design letters as strokes in METAFONT w/ an adjustment for optical size
(and maybe some others)
 - proof these letters on-screen easily / automatically / at least somewhat
 - overlay the proof letters w/ the outlines which I do have
 - get a nice outline from the METAFONT design which I can then use to make
an Opentype font

I've been reading through everything I can find on this for a very long
time, but every time I go to try something, something doesn't work /
breaks, and I'm never sure if it's my system, my effort at running the
command, a transcription error, or something.

It doesn't help that I am now reduced to a small Windows 10 tablet as my
main computer --- I've been trying to get MikTeX updated to run all the
METAFONT programs, but would be open to some other distribution if it would
be better supported. (Linux isn't really an option, since I prefer to write
using a stylus rather than type at a keyboard).

Any notes / sample files / links anyone has would be welcome.

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