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

Davide Viti zinosat at tiscali.it
Wed Feb 6 08:47:50 UTC 2008

Hi Steve,

On Wed, Feb 06, 2008 at 09:44:54AM +0200, Steve White wrote:
> The current ttf-freefont consists of exactly:
>     CVS freefont 20060501
>     the patches from Cristian's bug reports, as on the freefont bug page
> (I hope to confirm that by looking at the Debian packages and changelogs)


> There are two extremes
> * One is to insist on total artistic integrity.  This is attainable
> only whe a single designer with great understanding of typographic
> issues works on a font.  For a Unicode font containing many scripts,
> there is no single person who could do this.

that's what Dejavu people are trying to achieve

> * The other is to just try to fill every character slot in Unicode.
> This will result at best in a very ugly mess, and in reality, a
> useless mess.  Many scripts are unreadable unless the spacing of
> characters is adjusted according to their position in the text.  But
> even then, unless text from different scripts "goes together" somehow,
> what is the point of it being in the same font?  A font should consist
> of glyphs that look good together in text.  Also, most people will
> avoid using an ugly font.
> A balance has to be struck, somehow.  I'm trying to work this out myself.


> > > 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.
> >
> My question is, *how* to achieve this.
> There are several technical problems, aside from the question of what
> changes were made.

you have commit access to the repository?

> Freefont's base format is the FontForge SFD format.  The Debian
> packages are TrueType.  That would be very helpful to have the SFD
> files that generate these.

Debian ships pre-compiled binary packages (deb/udeb) ready for direct installation 
but makes the sources available as well for people who want to rebuild the packages 

> At http://packages.debian.org/sid/ttf-freefont-udeb, I found
> # [ttf-freefont_20060501cvs.orig.tar.gz]
> # [ttf-freefont_20060501cvs-12.diff.gz]
> Am I correct in thinking these are the original freefont CVS and the
> diffs on that CVS that produce the latest ttf-freefont package?

souce package consists of ttf-freefont_20060501cvs.orig.tar.gz as shipped upstream (i.e. from you),
and of ttf-freefont_20060501cvs-12.diff.gz; this file contains all the debian specific stuff,
including Christian patches. When you want to rebuild, you just assemble the two files before 
rebuilding; separating the upstream sources from the debian specif, has various advantages.
When you rebuild the package, you end up with deb/udeb binary packages:

deb packages contain ttf files, defoma file, and some doumentation 
udeb package are a stripped version of the previous to be used in the debian-installer

debian systems use deb packages to install the software

The typical workflow is the following:

1. Upstream (i.e. you) ships a new version
2. somebody (me) grabs the source tarball, adds debian-specific stuff and prepares
   a new debian package
3. Christian (who is a Debian Developer) uploads it making it available to the entire world

There's a lot more of course; the point is that the last upstream snapshot available is 20060501cvs.
After that, Christian prepared a set of patches which have not yet been merged upstream as to produce
a newer version.IMHO you should check those patches and integrate them in the official freefont
repository as a first step. 

Hope I answered the right questions.
Specific documentation about debian packages can of course be found on the official
page (www.debian.org) and around the web.

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