[Pkg-fonts-devel] Package for Fira Sans and Fira Mono

Paul Wise pabs at debian.org
Sun Jun 1 07:45:48 UTC 2014

On Sun, Jun 1, 2014 at 1:37 PM, Christian PERRIER wrote:

> We need to be consistent here. We have plenty of fonts in this very
> same case and, up to now, we haven't put them in contrib.

The rule is simple; whatever upstream is using as the preferred form
for modification is source and satisfies DFSG item 2. In addition the
ftpmasters have stated that they won't accept stuff we can't build on
Debian. It doesn't have to be built at build time but does have to be
buildable. We have discussed this stuff before I think at DebConf 9
where the Ubuntu font was blocked because of this issue. The Adobe
fonts are similarly blocked because of AFDKO. For a lot of fonts
people just don't do the analysis required to find out if main or
contrib is the right section so they end up in main by default.

> We're in some way on a border case and we probably need some external
> "ruling" here, as even inside the fonts team we don't all agree on
> whether TTF file can be considered "enough" or not.

The ftpmasters recently gave such a ruling. Some folks have discussed
calling for a GR to override that but nothing happened on that front


In my opinion whether TTF fonts can be considered "enough" depends on
the case, the same applies to C/C++ or PNG images. If upstream is
using the TTF as source (by opening it in a font editor, modifying it
and saving it) then clearly it is. I think it is our responsibility as
maintainers who have agreed to behave according to Debian's Social
Contract to discover what upstream is actually using as their
preferred form for modification. For example I get suspicious when I
see multiple font file formats in a git repo instead of one format
plus a build system (Makefile or Python etc). This is what led me to
figure out the Fira case. C/C++ can be generated from bison/flex or be
obfuscated (#383465) and it isn't always obvious what the case is,
most of the time it is though. PNG images can be rendered from SVG or
XCF files and often upstream doesn't preserve those forms, but we
should find out. In the world of fonts it is even harder to figure out
but there are some signs in the metadata if you look.

Separate to that is the question of what upstream is using as their
source is a good idea to use as source. I think we should provide
guidance to upstream on that too. For example in the world of fonts,
using a text based format is better because it can be patched by
distros and effectively merged/forked with version control systems. In
addition it is my opinion that using the Glyphs format is a bad idea
because only one font editor on one platform can use it. Better would
be something like the UFO format since multiple tools can work with
it, or FontForge since there is Free Software that can work with it.



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