[Pkg-fonts-devel] Debian version of GNU freefont

Davide Viti zinosat at tiscali.it
Tue Feb 5 07:44:34 UTC 2008

Hi Steve,

> Good to hear from you!  I think we can get some things done.
> (But slowly, of course.  Like most of us, I have limited time.)


> > I took the package over a few months ago and prepare just a couple of
> > updates containing trivial fixes; Christian did alot of work the
> > previous months but not much happened since then due to upstream
> > inactivity.
> >
> Sorry, I'm not up on the jargon.  Does this mean, due to inactivity in
> the FreeFont project?

correct, current work is based on a cvs snapshot from 20060501 and Christian
added his patches in the Debian package; AFAIK those patches have not been 
integrated upstream yet.

> To my eye, DejaVu and FreeFont are quite different typefaces, beside
> they character sets they cover.  I would personally want the choice,
> even just to display English.

I think Dejavu And Freefont use a different approach; Dejavu is very keen on
adding new glyph ranges only if they match the "look and feel" of the current 
glyphs; Freefont has grown also collecting glyphs from other projects, which 
has been indeed useful for projects like the debian installer.

> My personal goal is to make sure at least one free font covers certain
> technical ranges: HTML 4's Character Entities, and various levels of
> LaTeX characters.
> > >
> > > - I think that all changes in the Debian packages are reflected in
> > > bugs reported to upstream as you found it
> >
> > definitely; upstream activity on the package happened mostly on the
> > Debian package, so the BTS is probably the best source of information
> >
> Who/what is BTS?

Is the Debian system for tracking bugs:

suggest you look at the "archived reports" link at the top of the page to see
some context of the patches we were mentioning before
> Do you mean: you simply fixed bugs that were outstanding in the
> FreeFont bugs list, in the Debian package?
it depends: if somebody submits a bugreport on the Debian BTS, is good pratice to
let upstream developers know about it. If a patch to fix the problem is known,
it's even better. Upstream (i.e. you) should then integrate the patch in the
main archive for inclusion in the next release.

> If that is right, my question is, what is your advice on how to move
> those fixes back into the FreeFont version control system?

IMHO it would be great if you could interate the existing patches into a new 
release which would be used as starting point for your future work.

> Do you (or BTS) have notes, as to exactly what changes were implemented?

as mentioned before, see the "archived reports" link and look for the bugreports 
mentioned in the Changelog file


> There are two serious overall bugs with FreeSerif as in CVS.  One with
> line height, the other with kerning.  FreeMono also has a problem
> regarging its really being monospaced.
> I have read the discussions of these problems, and done some tests.  I
> doubt that the line height issue is so easy to solve as people think.
> I hope I can count on you for technical advice!

unfortunately I'm not a font expert, but I'm sure you can find help on this
mailing list or on the dedicated IRC channels:


I think both on freenode

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