[Pkg-fonts-devel] Fwd: About your Garamond fonts

Rogério Brito rbrito at ime.usp.br
Mon Apr 5 14:16:15 UTC 2010

Dear Gaël,

Thank you very much for your reply. By your permission, I am sending
this message to the Fonts Task Force.

For this reason, I am keeping the quotes a little longer this time, so
that others can see the context of our discussion.

To people on pkg-fonts-devel: Gaël has been very kind publishing a
modified version of the URW Garamond fonts with some nice things and
you can see for yourselves his fine work:


(Discloser: I am completely biased towards TeX and friends).

2010/4/5 Gael Varoquaux <gael.varoquaux at normalesup.org>:
> On Sat, Apr 03, 2010 at 02:33:23PM -0300, Rogério Brito wrote:
>> > _However_, these fonts are modifications of the URW garamond fonts (see
>> > http://gael-varoquaux.info/computers/garamond/index.html), which are
>> > licensed under the Aladdin Free Public License, which states, if I
>> > understand it correctly, that you can use and modify the fonts freely for
>> > non commercial purposes. AFAIK, as my fonts are derived work, they fall
>> > under the same license.
>> I have spent the last two or three days reading and rereading the AFPL
>> and I will get consultation with the people from debian-legal, as I do
>> intend to package the fonts.
> Trust the debian-legal folks more than me.

Just for the Fonts people, it is my understanding that AFPL things
(like the older gs-afpl) can be uploaded to ftp-master, but that it
will only be part of non-free, right? I do intend to work on these
fonts, even if only for private use (like, e.g., my own texts).

>> > Thus, you can only package thme as AFPL licenced.
>> > AFAIK that makes them suitable only for Debian non-free repository, but
>> > please do check with someone who knows more than I do.
>> Yes, that is my understanding as well: use, copy, modify, but don't
>> charge for it. I am slightly unsure if a document created with the
>> fonts (read: embedding them) would qualify as a derived work or not.
> I'd be interested in the debian-legal's reading of this part of the
> license. The last question you ask is an important one.

Yes, if embedding a font contaminates the document, then this would be
the only single blocker for me on working on it. If that does not
present us a problem, then I would like to continue with my efforts
even if only for my (and Gaël) uses.

Fonts people (Nicholas and others): do you have any experience with this?

>> Your fonts are fine with the newer names (ugm -> ggm). I'm not exactly
>> sure if the prefix would be better with a starting f or with your g,
>> but I guess that's just a minor detail.
> I guess that you, and the debian font team, know better than me for the
> choice of the name. Just go ahead with whatever you think fit.

I guess that here, Norbert Preining (upstream for TeX Live) would also
have worthy things to say here (as would Karl Berry, the one that
invented the terse naming scheme).

>> What I would like, OTOH, is to convert the postscript fonts, with your
>> modifications, to create an OpenType version of them (so that they can
>> used with Xe(La)TeX, among other things) and this would make the
>> workarounds with virtual fonts and a bazillion encoding files easier.
> Sounds like a good idea.

Since I get confused with the myriad of font-related files, having all
the metrics, instructions and "one single encoding to rule them all"
etc. would be a nice simplification, as we already have the machinery
to deal with them (fontconfig, fontforge and friends).

I would, BTW, like to keep the cubic splines in the fonts (read:
OpenType fonts encapsulating PostScript, to conversions as lossless as

>> Would you like to collaborate on this?
> My collaboration will be very limited by the amount of time that I have.
> I unfortunately have many people knocking on my door. Also, I did these
> fonts ages ago, and haven't done any font work since. So I have forgotten
> a lot about them.

No problems here. I also have some limited time, but seeing the
expertice on these things, it would be very nice to have any
assistance of yours.

Rest assured that I don't plan on knowing at your door too often.
Perhaps only some consultation in the beginning, but, then, things
could evolve from there (one of the beauties of Free Software).

>> I see that you have released some files in fontforge's native sfd, but
>> it is not clear to me the are complete in the sense that just
>> generating the fonts there would be enough.
>> I do see that:
>> * the small caps fonts are implemented via virtual fonts with the
>> original roman font scaled at 80%. Did you happen to include the
>> glyphs in the sfd's? From a quick look, it doesn't seem to be the
>> case.
> I don't think I did.

OK, just as I suspected. Just for some reference, recent versions of
fontforge automatically generate small caps scaled at about 84%, but
your versions are so beautiful that I would like to keep what you've

You also have some kerning information there and this is some precious
information---were they obtained in any deterministic form or also in
an "artistic" way?

>> * also regarding the small caps, am I right in saying that they are
>> only available for the roman font?
> Correct.

Great. I will try to recreate versions of them for other variations.

>> * I see that you designed a very nice Q and some nice old style
>> figures: was your design basically "artistic" or did you take the
>> existing glyphs and modify them? I am trying to reproduce your steps
>> here (and I'm tracking everything in a git repository, which I can
>> make available in a public place as you wish).
> 'Artisitic'. I worked from scracth. I seem to remember that I used
> fontforge.

OK. They are very beautiful and I want to keep them.

>> It would be very nice if we could have a garamod-like OpenType font
>> (and sources for that font) that supported:
>> * small caps for all variants/weights;
>> * old style figures for all variants/weights;
>> * some extra mathematical symbols (I'm not really an expert on the 8c,
>> 8t, 8r encodings of fonts);
>> * support for the beautiful variant form of Q that you created in the
>> source file.
> Also, I have had the request to be able to insert the standard form of Q.
> I am not sure what the right way to do this would be.

Opentype fonts allow the user to choose any variant glyphs of a font,
specifying which "stylistic set" user would like to get.

Here is the output of otfinfo showing the features that Adobe's
Garamond Premier Pro has (reading this in a fixed width font is

/tmp$ otfinfo -f GaramondPremrPro.otf
aalt	Access All Alternates
c2sc	Small Capitals From Capitals
calt	Contextual Alternates
case	Case-Sensitive Forms
cpsp	Capital Spacing
dlig	Discretionary Ligatures
dnom	Denominators
frac	Fractions
hist	Historical Forms
kern	Kerning
liga	Standard Ligatures
lnum	Lining Figures
numr	Numerators
onum	Oldstyle Figures
ordn	Ordinals
ornm	Ornaments
pnum	Proportional Figures
salt	Stylistic Alternates
sinf	Scientific Inferiors
size	Optical Size
smcp	Small Capitals
ss01	Stylistic Set 1
ss02	Stylistic Set 2
ss03	Stylistic Set 3
ss04	Stylistic Set 4
subs	Subscript
sups	Superscript
tnum	Tabular Figures
zero	Slashed Zero

This also means that the user can choose to use Old Style Figures or
lining figures, at his/her choice. And Will Robertson's fontspec
package for XeLaTeX supports many (all?) of these features.

>> My vision of this is that if we have appropriate kerning information
>> and sources, then the automatic generation/updates of both a legacy
>> TeX font and an OpenType flavour could be easy to make (at least in
>> theory) via some small scripts in Python (I see that you also like
>> Python).
> Probably, but you are going beyond my font knowledge here.

This is more an exercise of "what if", but I think that I already know
how to implement part of that. Getting everything unified in a single
.sfd is the part where most labour is.

> I would say, just go ahead with what you think is right. I won't really
> be able to help you much, appart from answering question. If you need an
> formal licensing action from me, just ask, you know my position on
> licenses :).

I would like to thank you very much for all the work that you have
shared so far and, also, by the kindness of your e-mails.

>> P.S.: Do you allow me to post this message of our conversation to the
>> Debian Fonts Task force list?
> Of course. The more the merrier.


Rogério Brito : rbrito@{mackenzie,ime.usp}.br : GPG key 1024D/7C2CAEB8
http://www.ime.usp.br/~rbrito : http://meusite.mackenzie.com.br/rbrito
Projects: algorithms.berlios.de : lame.sf.net : vrms.alioth.debian.org

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