[Pkg-fonts-devel] Draining the font swamp

Arne Goetje arne at linux.org.tw
Fri May 25 11:50:39 UTC 2007

Hash: SHA1

Ming Hua wrote:
> So to re-iterate, I believe most, if not all, Chinese users prefer
> bitmap fonts for small font sizes.  This can be achieved in two ways,
> stand-alone BDF/PCF fonts, such as the ones in xfonts-* packages, or
> embedded bitmap in TrueType fonts, and the only such TT fonts available
> in Debian/Ubuntu are ttf-arphic-{uming,ukai}.

ttf-arphic-uming contains embedded bitmaps for big5 and gb2312 coverage,
but not for Hong Kong yet.
ttf-arphic-ukai is intended for printing documents and therefor does not
include embedded bitmaps.

>> I'm not sure what character set they cover.
> That's a question I don't have clear answer either.  I know xfonts-wqy
> covers quite a wide range of CJK characters, and their most recent
> release definitely cover GBK (a.k.a. Windows code page 936), which
> should satisfy simplified Chinese (zh_CN) users' need.  It should also
> cover Big5 (a.k.a. Windows code page 950) for the need of traditional
> Chinese users in Taiwan (zh_TW).  I think it doesn't cover Big5-HKSCS
> yet, which is needed by traditional Chinese users in Hong Kong (zh_HK).
> Note Debian/Ubuntu currently haven't packaged the most recent release
> though.

AFAIK WQY covers all of CJK Ideographs (U+4E00 ~ U+9FA5), without the
recent additions after U+9FA5. I also know that they want to support
Ext. A, but I don't know the most recent status. Ext. B (Plane 2) can
only be covered by embedded bitmaps in Truetype fonts. Hong Kong uses
characters in Ext. B.

> The two TrueType fonts, ttf-arphic-{uming,ukai}, should be using the
> same set of embedded bitmaps.  This set of bitmaps are not the same as
> the xfonts-wqy font, but some subset of them may share the same origin.
> As the upstream author, Arne, is also participating this discussion, he
> should know more details if it's an important piece of information.

not the same set. only for Big5 and GB2312.

> Both xfonts-wqy and ttf-arphic-* also have some coverage for Japanese
> and Korean characters.  But I have no idea about how complete the
> coverage is or what quality the glyphs are.  I also haven't heard much
> about Japanese and Korean users using these fonts, they have their own
> preferred TrueType fonts, and maybe bitmap fonts as well.

WQY is complete for Kanji/Hanzi except those glyphs in Ext. B and the
compatibility codepoints, but does not include Hangul or half-width
Kana, AFAIR.
ttf-arphic-{ukai|uming} cover some Japanese Kanji, but don't follow
Japanese standards yet. For Japanese users, ttf-kochi-mincho or
ttf-sazanami-mincho are probably better suited. At least Kochi Mincho
also contains embedded bitmaps.

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Arne Götje (高盛華) <arne at linux.org.tw>
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