[Long] Do we need a font SIG ?

Jens Petersen petersen at redhat.com
Fri Sep 14 12:52:27 UTC 2007

Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> I'd like know what people think of setting up a font SIG

I think it is a great idea!

> 3. I don't believe our font selection is optimal for every locale. It
> took a near-revolt by our Greek users to get their situation fixed in
> Fedora Core 6, and there are probably many other problem locales,
> where users just pass on Fedora or bear their pain silently instead of
> telling us about problems.


> 4. The i18n team is nominally in charge of selecting the best fonts
> for each locale, but does not always have the right local contacts to
> do so. So far i18n has focused on technical problems : if your locale
> needs complex IM methods you have i18n visibility, if your locale
> poses no technical challenge but your default fonts are suboptimal the
> i18n team may not notice you.

Right and we are currently working hard moving all the fonts in our 
generic fonts-* to separate packages with their upstream names.

> I believe there is enough interest in the various Fedora groups to
> improve the current situation through a font SIG.


> This SIG would be tasked with:
> A. providing a single point of entry for Fedora people interested in
> fonts, centralizing all our packaging rules or at least indexing them
> in a single place
> B. completing the existing font packaging documentation
> C. helping the i18n team maintain the font install list for each locale
> D. identifying fonts worthy of packaging for l10n or art reasons
> E. identifying problems in existing font packages and helping relay
> the info upstream
> F. identifying problems in our font infrastructure, packaging
> necessary font tools
> G. coordinating and effectively packaging new fonts

Looks good to me.

> The l10n and i18n groups are naturals for (C). We just have to steal
> the Debian receipe of having a font-by-locale table in our wiki.


> Note that doing the legal
> analysis of a potential font is far from easy as font licensing
> practices are far less clean than software licensing practices. Also
> we should try to build font from sources whenever possible, but font
> building is often a mess.

That is right - the legal side is more often harder than the packaging 
and reviewing.

> G will demand packagers and reviewers. By nature most of them will be
> active in other Fedora forums, so we're not talking of a few full-time
> SIG members but a lot of part-time contributors.

Right, I guess this will be the main visible fruit of the SIG's efforts, 
which will provide good font packaging standards, guidelines and 
examples as you say.

> I created a mockup wiki page to try to make all this clear
> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/NicolasMailhot/FontMatrix


> So, who wants to play? Is Fedora ready for a font SIG or should I ask
> again next year?

I'm in. :)  I think we need this sonner rather than later.  Probably a 
bit late to make an impact on F8 but certainly we can start preparing 
now for F9.

Thanks for the initiative!


More information about the fedora-devel-list mailing list