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

Steve White stevan.white at googlemail.com
Sun Mar 30 10:46:54 UTC 2008

So there you have it.

I interpret George's reply (minimally) to mean that he isn't surprised
that a change to SFD happened between 2008-02-03 and 2008-02-15, or
that the older version of the program failed silently to read a file
made by the newer.

He re-asserts that his releases are backwards-compatible.  For our
situation, this means that the party building fonts is safe to always
have the latest version of FontForge.

Is there any difficulty in updating the version of FontForge in Debian
unstable to 2008-02-15 or later?

George doesn't exactly confirm that there was, in fact, a change to
SFD format between those dates.  I looked in the changelog
http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/changelog.html, but it isn't
fine-grained enough to tell.

He doesn't feel obliged to announce small changes to .sfd format, and
FontForge evidently fails silently when it hits such a change.  This
means, the onus is on the publisher of  SFD files always to state
"this file is for use only with FontForge built from CVS dated
xx-xx-xxxx or later".  In the future, I will make it a point to do so.

I'll explain the problem to George.  We'll see.


On 29 Mar 2008 16:14:56 -0800, George Williams <gww at silcom.com> wrote:
> On Sat, 2008-03-29 at 08:14, Steve White wrote:
>  > I have been using FontForge from CVS of 20080215 to work on the GNU
>  > FreeFont project, as recommended in an earlier exchange on this list.
>  > I recently made a new release
>  >       https://savannah.gnu.org/projects/freefont/
>  >
>  > However, the Debian folks have been unable to open properly the .sfd
>  > files from that release using a version dated 20080203 (source in
>  Um, I don't guarantee backwards compatibility of sfd files, only
>  forwards.
>  > So which version is at fault?
>  Neither. Both do what they are designed to do.
>  > What is the best way to proceed, to allow the Debian packagers to
>  > build the FreeFont fonts from .sfd?
>  Have them upgrade to the current version.
>  I suppose you could downgrade, but that seems silly.
>  Changes which are backwards incompatible happen rarely, but they do
>  happen.

On Sat, Mar 29, 2008 at 6:02 PM, Steve White
<stevan.white at googlemail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>   I downloaded and built the FontForge sources in Debian unstable,
>  dated 20080203.
>   I can confirm that it does not correctly open the .sfd files of the
>   last FreeFont distribution.
>   The main window shows no glyphs.
>   I'll write to the fontforge-bugs list, to get their opinion which
>   version is at fault.
>   Also, I'll try getting the latest version of FontForge, and see if it
>   can open these files.
>   Cheers!
>  On Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 7:55 PM, Christian Perrier <bubulle at debian.org> wrote:
>   >
>   >  FF in Debian is dated 20080203. That February 3rd of THIS YEAR.

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