Liberations fonts from Red Hat

Rahul Sundaram sundaram at
Thu May 10 09:13:49 UTC 2007

Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> Le Jeu 10 mai 2007 00:34, Rahul Sundaram a écrit :
>> Hi
> Hi Rahul,
>> The initial font sets include Latin, Greek and Cyrillic characters and
>> lacks hinting. The next update is planned to have hinting and support
>> for other locales.
> This calls for many questions:

[I am not involved with this effort in any intimate level nor am I 
anyway an expert in font technology. The contact point for more details 
is Red Hat counsel, Mark Webbink who has been driving this effort. He is 
pretty busy so getting official answers is going to take sometime. I 
will answer these to my best of my knowledge. If you want further 
clarifications I would have to get back to him]

> 1. Is this a long-term Red Hat project or will it go stagnant after
> initial funding dries out ? (Luxi and Vera-like)

There is alteast a second update planned as the link says.

> 2. Does Red Hat intend to morph it in a community project (with the
> usual wiki+bugzilla+open SCM infrastructure) or will contributions be
> restricted to the contracted foundry (ie will it need a fork like Vera
> before joining community space ?)

Whether we can get community contributors depending on the contractual 
obligations between Red Hat and the font vendor doing the work. If a 
fork is necessary we can setup a community space in Fedora at and drive that.

> 3. what is the reasonning between the licensing choice? Most recent
> FLOSS font projects seem to be gravitation towards OFL, and licensing
> differences make cross-pollination difficult

GPL+ Fonts exception might be compatible with other font licenses. I 
haven't looked yet. Not sure why this license was chosen.

> 4. will unicode coverage ever extend past Latin, Greek and Cyrillic ?
> Is Latin, Greek and Cyrillic support limited to most common glyphs or
> does it also includes regional variants (welsh, catalan, coptic, etc)

I heard there is going to more locale support again based on regions Red 
Hat has customers asking for this.

> 5. is it intended to be the new RHEL or Fedora default font set or
> just a windows compatibility pack ?

Compatibility atleast for RHEL. Language coverage is not enough for it 
be the default set. We can make our own decisions in Fedora.

> 6. why did Red Hat choose to launch a new font project instead of
> improving one of the existing FLOSS fonts? Was metric compatibility
> the main reason? If so is it not dangerous to target the windows
> 2000/XP font set when vista just introduced a new default font set ?

Metric compatibility is the main requirement here. There are a inanely 
large of documents that are using these fonts and without metric 
compatibility these documents lose formating. A number of customers 
can't afford that disruption and that is driving the choices here.

Hopefully we can them off this practice before the new vista default set 
in Windows gets popular.

> 7. why is this discussed on the marketing list first ?

I thought it was pretty important change and Fedora folks should be 
aware of it. I think this is more or less suitable for this list. That's 
all. Not doing it representing the project or in any official capacity.


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