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Re: Including new OT Fonts

On Thu, 2003-08-14 at 00:49, Jamil Ahmed wrote:
> Hi,
>     May I know who is in charge of Font management of RH linux? We
> [http://www.bengalinux.org/] are working for Bengali/Bangla translation. We
> have already submitted a request to include Bangla OTF thru bugzilla. But I
> think, that request is not closed yet.
>     We are hoping that Bangla language will be included in the next release
> of RH distro. Please let me know asap what should we do? Cause there is not
> enough time.
>     BTW, we have already submited translated versions of the required
> packages in i18n's cvs server.

I'm basically the responsible person.

I last looked at the Bengali font issue a few months ago. At that
point, it didn't look like things were quite ready for adding
to the distribution.
 - There were some issues mentioned on the freebangfonts 
   website with inclusion of glyphs from non-free fonts
   that I assume have been sorted out now.
 - There were a large number of different fonts listed; I tried
   out a few; some didn't render correctly, some were horribly
   ugly. It wasn't at all clear what fonts should be added.

I hope to have a chance fairly soon to write up a policy for font
inclusion in RHL from both a technical and legal perspective.
("fairly soon", unfortunately, might be a few months away.)

For including Bengali fonts in Red Hat, what would really help
wouuld be a proposal:

 * What set of fonts should be included, each font really should
   be justified as serving a different purpose.

   What I mean by a purpose is:

    - This font looks good on the screen
    - This font exhibits the <X> style of Bengali script,
      people expect to have fonts with both the <X> and 
      <Y> styles of scripts available.

   Or whatever. Microsoft XP comes with one or maybe two Bengali 
   fonts. If we are going to have more available, that needs
   to be justified.
 * For each font, a summary of:
   - What is the license of the fonts?
   - Who drew the glyphs? If the font contains Roman characters
     as well, where did they come from?
   - Where did the design of the glyphs come from? (In some countries,
     font designs are patentable or otherwise protected, so a 
     exact copy of an existing commerical font is not a good idea.)
   - Where did the name come from? (Font names are trademarkable)
 * Some indication of how useful the bugs are with the software
   we ship currently. Screenshots of what works, and what doesn't
   might be useful. (There are various open bugs against Pango
   about Bengali rendering problems. I don't think the fixes for
   them will make Cambridge, unfortunately.)

I dont' want to just dump all the Bengali fonts available into the
distribution. We need to make sure that anything we add to the
distribution is legally solid (and fonts are way more complex here
than code), and that people can find the fonts they need easily,
rather than getting confused with a long list of fonts that don't 
quite work.


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