[Pkg-fonts-devel] RFC: Planning an Intial Font Policy (was: Re: [Pkg-fonts-bugs] ITP: ttf-sil-gentium-plus: extended Unicode smart font family for Latin/Greek/Cyrillic)

Rogério Brito rbrito at ime.usp.br
Tue Nov 9 21:44:47 UTC 2010

On Nov 09 2010, Christian PERRIER wrote:
> Quoting Nicolas Spalinger (nicolas_spalinger at sil.org):
> > * Package name    : ttf-sil-gentium-plus
> font-sil-gentium-plus if we apply our policy of not using ttf- or
> otf- for new packages?

Yes, please.

> (anyway, that package will never be in squeeze so we can already use
> such policy)

What about us writing an initial proposal for a font policy, formalizing
what we have done so far, and where we want to get?

Even though I see a policy as a normative document (that is, something that
only says what should be done), I think that it may be helpful in the first
stages, if we had some instructions in the document (a separate document?)
to tell the how we do that.

Some points that I would like to see addressed:

* Should we compile the fonts from the sources by default, whenever they
  have their sources available, under normal circumstances?

  By normal circumstances, understand something like not having to, say,
  strip characters for fitting the font inside a constrained

  If we do build them, what format should we preferrably build? TTF? OTF?
  Both? If we ship both versions, how do we differentiate between then
  during runtime (say, for fontconfig or to display that information to the

  These points have been arised during my packaging of Linux Libertine, BTW.

* How should we name the source packages? In an agnostic way (since the
  implementation may change or not be unique)? What about binary packages?
  Should they be named after the types of the fonts?

  Should we actually hae any standard at all for naming the packages,
  leaving only guidelines to the packagers?

  If we decide to name the packages in a particular way, how do we properly
  encode the name of the fonts? What about the vendor? What about the
  foundry? What about fonts that were made collectively? What about
  typefaces that are in the public domain with no easy way to trace the
  original designer?

  How should we name the packages of fonts like, say, a font comissioned by
  Microsoft, published by the Free Software Foundation and actually drawn by
  Vincent Van Gogh, under, say, the OFL 1.1? And what about (since the OFL
  1.1 allows) to make a derivative work? Who should be kept in the names,
  and who should not?

  What about the Karl Berry Naming Scheme?

* Where should we install the fonts?


  * /usr/share/fonts/$format/$foundry-$name/$filename?
  * /usr/share/fonts/$format/$foundry/$name/$filename?
  * /usr/share/fonts/$format/$format-$foundry-$name/$filename?

  Anything else?

* In the package long descriptions, what about adding some metadata to the
  long descriptions so that the user knows if a given font has serifs or
  not? If it gives us an italic shape? If it gives us a bold weight? Demi
  bold? Light? Extra light? Oblique?

  What about if the font has support for some uncommon OpenType feature (or
  any cool feature of whatever advanced feature that our format-du-jour
  happens to have)?

* How about reporting the scripts that the fonts are supposed to contain?

  Some of the information that we include in the long descriptions could, in
  principle, be automatically fed to debtags to make searching for fonts

Regards, Rogério Brito.

Rogério Brito : rbrito@{ime.usp.br,gmail.com} : GPG key 4096R/BCFCAAAA
http://rb.doesntexist.org : Packages for LaTeX : algorithms.berlios.de
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