[Pkg-fonts-devel] New release: GNU FreeFont

Steve White stevan.white at googlemail.com
Fri Mar 28 09:20:24 UTC 2008

Davide (et al.),

FreeFont can't go back.  The FontForge currently in the Debian
distribution is just too old and cranky.  Besides, it would be wrong
in principle to do so.  We are trying to PROgress here, not REgress.

The fault here lies in the Debian distribution of FontForge, which is
very old.  It is far older than the change in FontForge's SFD format,
which was introduced in May 2007.  This edge healed over without a
scar a long time ago.

My experience with recent FontForge has been quite positive.  In
particular, it opens old SFD files flawlessly.  The only complication
has been, it will report a lot of errors that were not previously
reported (some of them visible problems with glyphs that only manifest
themselves in certain font formats.)  But I found that it would
produce working TrueType fonts of SFD 1 files that the old version
*could not* work with.  All good.

I recommend an upgrade forthwith.

Of course, this will involve some consideration, and testing.  But
this can not be an objection (unless normally we don't test).  But
this is the job you have taken on, isn't it?

If the transition is too scary, or if somewhere a *real* problem
arises, you could employ the measure of temporarily packaging two
versions of FontForge, as was done for a long time with gcc in changes
of major versions.  I could live with that, temporarily.

The option that you guys seem to be proposing, to hold back
indefinitely on an upgrade of FreeFont, because you're too
uncomfortable with upgrading FontForge, would displease me very much.
It's already making my head spin.

Let's get on the ball.


On Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 9:26 PM, Davide Viti <zinosat at tiscali.it> wrote:
> Hi Steve,
>  On Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 09:59:38AM +0100, Steve White wrote:
>  > Davide,
>  >
>  > On Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 8:45 AM, Davide Viti <zinosat at tiscali.it> wrote:
>  > >
>  > >  unfortunately it turns out that current version of fontforge available in Debian
>  > >  can't deal with the sfd format used in freefont (see [1]) making the ttf files
>  > >  completely unusable. Do you know which version of fontforge should be used at least?
>  > >
>  > I'm sorry, this doesn't make sense.
>  >
>  > How does FontForge being able to read the ttf files reflect on their usablility?
>  > The ttf files are for installation in operating systems, and have been
>  > tested on several.
>  I meant that the version of fontforge currently in Debian cannot "build" usable ttf files
>  starting from sfd files; since every binary package shipped is built from source (i.e. Debian
>  does not ship ttf files as provided from upstream), it is a real problem.
>  regards,
>  Davide
>  Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)
>  iD8DBQFH7ALjax2slmJA7HoRArrBAJ0YOocdPmpWQRpVxEvg++abHNWmdwCcCd8G
>  yXNEf6XHJQEj5z+9dkQwrHQ=
>  =ohGX
>  -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

More information about the Pkg-fonts-devel mailing list