[Pkg-fonts-devel] default screen fonts.

Rogério Brito rbrito at ime.usp.br
Fri Apr 9 18:21:11 UTC 2010

Hi, Unnamed Person. :-)

On Apr 09 2010, rdxijn at yandex.ru wrote:
> I've use Debian for some years, and noticed that Debian fonts state
> for screen usage is not very progressive.  I'm speaking only about
> English and European languages.

I must confess that I am not really experienced with fonts on the

I do see, though, that things are weird when outputting multibyte
strings (e.g., some characters encoded in UTF-8) under Debian's

(Yes, I have one kFreeBSD installation here).

> First, there is still no droid fonts, which are good and have been
> already included in Ubuntu.

I did not know about those Droid fonts, but they seem to be developed by
Ascender Corporation.  I just now saw that they are under the Apache
License, version 2.0 (as seen http://www.droidfonts.com/licensing/).

Just from a quick view, I could not find any links to download them
(only via the android SDK?).

Our archive has, OTOH, the package ttf-wqy-microhei, said to be derived
from the Droid fonts.

> Second, there is no default meta-package which will set most common
> desktop font free replacements, such as arial, helvetica, times,
> courier and others, to make them both readable and not far from
> original.

It is not clear to me what you mean here: fontconfig-config contains


Aren't those sufficient?

> Also some fonts matched are not optimal for screen rendering, for
> example helvetica matched as nimbus sans which is ugly on low dpi, or
> if bitmap fonts are enabled, helvetica will match bitmap.

I guess that the problem here would be the hinting, not the metrics.
What about changing the autohinting on/off?  The bytecode interpreter
(for truetype fonts) can also have an effect here.

And what about the liberation fonts? Do they make a good match in your
experience?  Can you provide screenshots of what you see?

> So it is good to have package, that will make everything as best as
> possible. This make web pages and .odf documents made on other oses
> both readable and closer to original design by default.

I'd guess that the URW fonts would be metric-equivalent, wouldn't they?
I have not yet checked their kerning, which can have an effect on
document exchange.

> And there is now way to turn on/off improved sub-pixel. It is enabled
> in qt4 and disabled in gtk/cairo.

Does qt4 links to fontconfig (I'd guess so, but...) and respects
settings in your local ~/.fonts.conf ? I don't know: I don't use any
desktop environment. You can also take a look at


and siblings.


Rogério Brito : rbrito@{ime.usp.br,gmail.com} : GPG key 1024D/7C2CAEB8
http://rb.doesntexist.org : Packages for LaTeX : algorithms.berlios.de
DebianQA: http://qa.debian.org/developer.php?login=rbrito%40ime.usp.br

More information about the Pkg-fonts-devel mailing list