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Re: (fonts) wikipedia challenge



Le lundi 27 novembre 2006 à 16:58 -0500, Rik van Riel a écrit :
> It looks like with all the fonts from FC6 and Fedora Extras, I
> can display almost every font from http://wikipedia.org/
> 
> Almost!  There still appear to be 4 fonts missing from Fedora
> that are used on the wikipedia front page.  We also lack some
> glyphs in for example the Canadian Aboriginal Syllable, as
> used by the Inuit and the Cree (and others?).

I think some of those were added to dejavu lately (the 2.12 packages in
FE devel). At least there was some noise about canadian strange stuff on
the irc channel, don't remember if it was merged or complete yet.

> Does anybody know if there are freely redistributable fonts
> available that would allow us to render the remaining languages
> out of the box?

Please no, every new font adds a new latin/symbol block, makes the font
lists in apps longer, subtly conflits in size/weight with others, and
generally makes user life miserable.

(I know this is anathema for some) but the right long term solution is
to create several font families with large encoding coverage, and let
font tools/libs cherry pick the parts each users need, instead of having
a multiple-source/style patchwork strategy (which in the end always
produces patchwork-like results). There is no such thing as a langage
never used in conjunction with others nowadays.

If you know of some langage communities that feel left out, please
orient them to one of the big FLOSS projects out there. They can help
themselves and the community in many ways :

– identify code blocks FLOSS users most care about (this is the easy
part but relies 100% on someone else doing the work)

https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=8420

– review and comment on existing glyphs (a foreign designer can create
glyphs based on its perception of existing fonts or text pictures, but
only native users can identify the small variations that separate "just
right" glyphs from "weird and clumsy" ones). This work is essential,
does not require technical proficiency but needs motivated and patient
reviewers.

(http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_id=36942882 as an
example of such a review, unfortunately the most interesting part was
not archived by sf, but it's quoted in part in the replies). Another
good review is there https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=8145

– make local designers aware of the FLOSS context, release existing
fonts under a FLOSS license (so someone can salvage them) or (better)
have them join/work with an existing team

(http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_id=30877284&forum_id=40874)

Sometimes there are local designers available but they are not
confortable working in english/irc/fontforge, so they need other people
to serve as proxy between them and international FLOSS teams.

– learn to design glyphs. This is not impossible, some of dejavu current
designers had never done any font-related work before joining the
project. I've tried to push in FE the most important tools for font
work, and there are plenty easy glyphs left for beginners to try their
hand on. It does require some motivation and available free time

> Is anybody willing to help search?
> 
> Is this a worthy goal for Fedora Linux 7? :)

Actually we are beginning to see the fruits of the projects which set
out creating large coverage fonts several years ago. They didn't get
there in one Fedora release. They won't finish their work in one Fedora
release. But in the end it's a hell a lot more efficient than fishing
dead redistributable fonts no one is there to complete or fix.

The unicode guys are still defining new glyphs, and apps get smarter at
exposing them. Suddenly glyphs few people cared about become important
(you'd be surprised how even local european languages need a lot more
than plain ascii these days). A font without a designer team available
to plug the coverage holes (remember €) will become irrelevant mid-term,
even if we can redistribute it. It's not really worth the migration pain
to stuff Fedora with those.

Regards,

-- 
Nicolas Mailhot


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