[Pkg-fonts-devel] Debian font URLs [was: Re: Debian javascript URLs]

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at fifthhorseman.net
Thu Aug 22 02:36:43 UTC 2013

i'm hijacking this corner of a javascript discussion over to the debian
fonts team because i think they should be aware of it as well.

pkg-fonts folks, this is a continuation of a javascript discussion about
coordinating default data URL locations between fedora and debian
default HTTPd configurations; see the initial discussion starting at:


 id:CAD3FbMW1ZceHPp5mtzeGjC4iJCAgD+o+0v3Wid=cg22voHzemA at mail.gmail.com

The text below is interesting and worth considering.  I've changed the
subject line and am encouraging followup to pkg-fonts-devel -- but
please keep ktdreyer and tchollingsworth in the CC (until they ask to be
spared) since i think they are not subscribed.

On 08/15/2013 03:50 PM, T.C. Hollingsworth wrote:
> So first I think I should explain what the deal is with the "assets"
> thing.  As part of the new guidelines, we really want to take into
> account shared non-JS stuff like CSS frameworks, icon libraries, web
> fonts, whathaveyou.
> So the idea is to have one all-encompassing "web assets" directory, with
> various subdirectories for different kinds of stuff.  We intend to
> symlink /usr/share/fonts into this directory so web developers have a
> huge collection of free fonts available immediately at their fingertips,
> and so we don't have to repackage anything to make them available on the
> web.
> The httpd-exported directory kind of got kicked around and ended up
> being /_sysassets in the current incarnation of the proposal, but I'm
> not very happy with it.  I like how the "sys" prefix sets the directory
> apart enough so that it's not going to conflict with directories already
> being used on web servers out in the wild, but without adding a whole
> lot of extra length and reinforcing that the contents are provided by us
> awesome distro packagers.  The underscore doesn't really make much of a
> difference IMHO.
> I also think JS is important enough for it's own directory on top of the
> assets directory, and this would allow us to collaborate with you even
> if you're not interested in the rest of our assets approach.
> So, what I'd really like to do is:
> /sysjs      -> system-provided shared JavaScript libraries
>             -> /usr/share/javascript on the filesystem
>             -> same HTTPd and filesystem-side on both Debian and Fedora
> /sysassets  -> system-provided shared static assets
>             -> /usr/share/web-assets on the filesystem
>             -> up to you whether you want to implement
> This is highly unlikely to conflict with anything that's going on in the
> real world. Not to mention that "/sysjs" is half the length of
> "/javascript".  (Who wants to type a bunch of crap into their <script>
> tags? ;-)
> I really think Debian and Fedora both would benefit from some synergy
> here.  If we diverge too much any chance of upstream support here is
> completely lost.  :-(

Setting aside that their initial query was about javascript resources,
does this seem like something we can or should encourage for font
packages?  It would be really nice to coordinate with fedora on this to
make it standard and stable.  Webfonts are a cool technology, and if we
could make it easy to provide them without encouraging off-origin
requests (often to surveillance-minded and potentially-compromised
third-parties), that would be a positive contribution to the state of
the network.

debian and fedora together seem like a good team to get the ball rolling
on making this somewhat standardized.


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