[Pkg-fonts-devel] Runes

Lars Aronsson lars at aronsson.se
Wed Nov 2 07:46:03 UTC 2011

In the very default installation of Ubuntu 11.04, runic characters
(Unicode U+16A0 to U+16FF) look very ugly. The fastest improvement is
to "apt-get" ttf-junicode (yes, with a j), which specifies a better
(but not perfect) fallback, for these characters that are not
covered by the standard fonts (e.g. Liberation Sans).

I have 3 questions:

1. I don't know much about fonts. What is the name of the default
runes that I saw before installing ttf-junicode? Why are they so
ugly? If they are "not a Truetype" font, what are they? A bitmap?
I don't even have the terminology to tell what's wrong. Is there
an FAQ that explains how fonts work in X and Debian?

2. Can I convince you (or someone else? who?) to make ttf-junicode
part of the default Ubuntu installation? What might be the reasons
that it was not included already?

3. ttf-junicode is not my perfect solution. These runes don't look
like the rest of my fonts. If I use Liberation (Ubuntu system
default, used in my web browser), Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic
letters look good together, but these runes look quite different.
A better solution would be to define runic characters to be part
of the Liberation set of fonts, complete with serif/sans serif,
and boldface and italics variations. Do you think that is likely
to happen? Is it hard? Where do I start?

You do a great work. Fonts work just fine most of the time. I can
see runes. I just want them to be prettier. But if these three
questions are more easily answered, more scripts could benefit.

   Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
   Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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