OpenFonts

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Revision 1 as of 2006-05-21 22:50:50
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Editor: lns-bzn-56-82-255-201-173
Comment: initial stab
Revision 4 as of 2006-07-14 14:41:07
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Editor: lns-bzn-55-82-255-169-222
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== A specification about open fonts ==  * '''Launchpad Entry''': https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+spec/open-fonts
 * '''Created''': by NicolasSpalinger
 * '''Contributors''':
 * '''Packages affected''': ttf-* packages
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The goals are to classify, package, test and integrate the various open fonts into the Ubuntu desktop. == Summary ==
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By "open fonts" we mean fonts released under the [http://scripts.sil.org/OFL Open Font License] (or similarly free community-approved licenses) listed on [http://scripts.sil.org/OFL_fonts http://scripts.sil.org/OFL_fonts] which any designer/graphic artist/linguist/whatever can use, study, copy, merge, embed, modify and redistribute/bundle. Classify, package, test and integrate the various open fonts currently available into the Ubuntu desktop.
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It will include surveying the fonts currently shipping, their coverage, the quality of their glyphs, in what languages and locales these glyphs are used, what is the ideal fontconfig configuration, what extra smart features are needed, what dependencies on other writing systems components exist, what relationship with the language packs is best, etc. By "open fonts" we mean fonts released under the [http://scripts.sil.org/OFL Open Font License] (or similarly free community-approved licenses) listed on [http://scripts.sil.org/OFL_fonts http://scripts.sil.org/OFL_fonts] which any designer/graphic artist/linguist/whoever can use, study, copy, merge, embed, modify(branch/merge) and redistribute/bundle.
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The packaging will be done via an Alioth project. Some font designers are making their font sources available and we need to take advantage of this.


== Rationale ==

The free desktop should not have to depend on restricted fonts or older font technologies but provide free/libre/open latest generation opentype smart fonts.

Languages lacking font support are now starting to be supported. The font design toolkit is getting mature and collaboration methodologies specifically adapted to font design are being worked out. We need to make sure the growing body of non-restricted fonts is well-tested, well-integrated in the free desktop in order to make the i18n and L10n support stellar for as many languages as possible. Proprietary OSes are refreshing their font offerings and Ubuntu (and the free desktop at large) needs to offer similar if not better support for high-quality fonts and languages using complex scripts. Think Gutenberg and his "movable type" in the context of Free Software: font sources we can re-arrange freely in a more flexible way to produce better results for everyone.


== Use cases ==

Tim wants high-quality fonts to use the free desktop in his mother tongue and native script and would love something better than the dilemna between illegaly copying over restricted fonts shipped with other OSes or searching for low-quality freeware fonts picked on large collections on the Net. He would like to just go to synaptic and search for font families already neatly packaged and ready to use.

Anna runs a literacy project on a very limited budget, all the software used is free/libre/open but she is limited since the only appropriate fonts she has managed to find in a low bandwith environment are fonts she's not allowed to embed, can't use for derived graphics and much less distribute with documents sent to local printshops around the country. She need decent implementation for her development and education initiative but can't afford the price and inconvenience of restricted fonts.

Paulo is a graphic designer and has good experience in font design. He would like to extend an existing font to include better support for a language he's interested in and so have a font which does not limit his creativty. He needs a font family granting him the freedom to modify and make a derivative through a license he can understand and use without getting a headache.

Mikael is learning font design and he tries out Ubuntu. After seeing the various open fonts and their corresponding source available with Ubuntu, he reads up on what the font license allows him to do and then considers doing more than creating yet another freeware font but contributing to an existing font project instead.


== Scope ==

A survey of the fonts currently shipping, their coverage, the quality of their glyphs, in what languages and locales these glyphs are used, what is the ideal fontconfig configuration, what extra smart features are needed, what dependencies on other writing systems components exist, what relationship with the language packs is best, etc.

This should be done through a process involving i18n, l10n and type experts as well as Loco communities to evaluate the appropriateness of particular font for each language supported by Ubuntu.

The recent [http://www.freestandards.org/en/LSB_Summit#Font_Management LSB summit report] mentions the need for a common set of fonts for better interoperability of document rendering. We need fonts with appropriate licensing respecting the basic four FSF freedoms for that.

Localization and font availability is also very important in the context of the [http://www.laptop.org OLPC] project with the deployments planned in areas where many speakers of minority languages live and corresponding writing systems are not implemented yet.

Sharing packaging best practises for fonts will make it easier for fonts to get disseminated, tested and validated.


== Implementation ==

The cross-distro review will happen via freedesktop.org:
[http://wiki.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software_2fFonts http://wiki.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software_2fFonts]

The packaging will be done via an Alioth project called pkg-ofl-fonts. The plan is to maintain the same packages for both Debian and Ubuntu.

=== Code ===

=== Data preservation and migration ===

== Outstanding issues ==

== BoF agenda and discussion ==

 * the specifics of the FSF-accepted working model of the Open Font License in the context of Ubuntu.
 * review of collaborative tools
 * branch/merge scenarios
 * discussion of related specs: FontDesignToolkit FontManagement

Summary

Classify, package, test and integrate the various open fonts currently available into the Ubuntu desktop.

By "open fonts" we mean fonts released under the [http://scripts.sil.org/OFL Open Font License] (or similarly free community-approved licenses) listed on [http://scripts.sil.org/OFL_fonts http://scripts.sil.org/OFL_fonts] which any designer/graphic artist/linguist/whoever can use, study, copy, merge, embed, modify(branch/merge) and redistribute/bundle.

Some font designers are making their font sources available and we need to take advantage of this.

Rationale

The free desktop should not have to depend on restricted fonts or older font technologies but provide free/libre/open latest generation opentype smart fonts.

Languages lacking font support are now starting to be supported. The font design toolkit is getting mature and collaboration methodologies specifically adapted to font design are being worked out. We need to make sure the growing body of non-restricted fonts is well-tested, well-integrated in the free desktop in order to make the i18n and L10n support stellar for as many languages as possible. Proprietary OSes are refreshing their font offerings and Ubuntu (and the free desktop at large) needs to offer similar if not better support for high-quality fonts and languages using complex scripts. Think Gutenberg and his "movable type" in the context of Free Software: font sources we can re-arrange freely in a more flexible way to produce better results for everyone.

Use cases

Tim wants high-quality fonts to use the free desktop in his mother tongue and native script and would love something better than the dilemna between illegaly copying over restricted fonts shipped with other OSes or searching for low-quality freeware fonts picked on large collections on the Net. He would like to just go to synaptic and search for font families already neatly packaged and ready to use.

Anna runs a literacy project on a very limited budget, all the software used is free/libre/open but she is limited since the only appropriate fonts she has managed to find in a low bandwith environment are fonts she's not allowed to embed, can't use for derived graphics and much less distribute with documents sent to local printshops around the country. She need decent implementation for her development and education initiative but can't afford the price and inconvenience of restricted fonts.

Paulo is a graphic designer and has good experience in font design. He would like to extend an existing font to include better support for a language he's interested in and so have a font which does not limit his creativty. He needs a font family granting him the freedom to modify and make a derivative through a license he can understand and use without getting a headache.

Mikael is learning font design and he tries out Ubuntu. After seeing the various open fonts and their corresponding source available with Ubuntu, he reads up on what the font license allows him to do and then considers doing more than creating yet another freeware font but contributing to an existing font project instead.

Scope

A survey of the fonts currently shipping, their coverage, the quality of their glyphs, in what languages and locales these glyphs are used, what is the ideal fontconfig configuration, what extra smart features are needed, what dependencies on other writing systems components exist, what relationship with the language packs is best, etc.

This should be done through a process involving i18n, l10n and type experts as well as Loco communities to evaluate the appropriateness of particular font for each language supported by Ubuntu.

The recent [http://www.freestandards.org/en/LSB_Summit#Font_Management LSB summit report] mentions the need for a common set of fonts for better interoperability of document rendering. We need fonts with appropriate licensing respecting the basic four FSF freedoms for that.

Localization and font availability is also very important in the context of the [http://www.laptop.org OLPC] project with the deployments planned in areas where many speakers of minority languages live and corresponding writing systems are not implemented yet.

Sharing packaging best practises for fonts will make it easier for fonts to get disseminated, tested and validated.

Implementation

The cross-distro review will happen via freedesktop.org: [http://wiki.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software_2fFonts http://wiki.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software_2fFonts]

The packaging will be done via an Alioth project called pkg-ofl-fonts. The plan is to maintain the same packages for both Debian and Ubuntu.

Code

Data preservation and migration

Outstanding issues

BoF agenda and discussion

  • the specifics of the FSF-accepted working model of the Open Font License in the context of Ubuntu.
  • review of collaborative tools
  • branch/merge scenarios
  • discussion of related specs: FontDesignToolkit FontManagement

OpenFonts (last edited 2008-08-06 16:37:20 by localhost)