[Pkg-fonts-devel] How to deal with fontlint warnings? (Was: font checking tools?)

Paul Wise pabs at debian.org
Sat Nov 21 13:51:08 UTC 2015

On Sat, 2015-11-21 at 14:32 +0100, Gioele Barabucci wrote:

> I was wondering: when does it make sense to check fonts?

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure that it does as I don't have any
real experience with font development and checking tools.

> At packaging time or at installation time?

Installation time wouldn't make much sense as it is too late to do
anything about it. An ideal time would be for upstream to be doing it
as part of their quality-control/continuous-integration system, but I
doubt any fonts have anything like that. Packagers running the checks
can be useful if there is an upstream to talk to and that upstream is
not yet running any font checking tools and is receptive to them, I
expect many font people are only interested in design though.

> It looks like check-all-the-things is meant to be used by packagers
> (like lintian) and not as an automated integration test (think autopkgtest).

It is for a variety of audiences but is intended to be run by humans;
including users, security auditors, packagers, upstream developers etc.

> So my question is: what should a maintainer do when they see that the
> various checks produce warnings or report errors?

In general, read and understand the output and take the appropriate
steps. That could be anything from preparing patches to mentioning to
upstream in passing the particular tool producing the output or just
ignoring the output completely.

> Practical example: I am adopting the ttf-radisnoir package. Upstream is
> gone, the fonts are available only as OTF/TTF (no other source formats,
> probably they never existed) but the font is nice and worth having. Now
> fontlint reports various problems:
> What should the (wanna be) package maintainer do?

I would personally ignore the fontlint warnings until there is an
upstream for the font who might like to know about fontlint.

Modifying OTF files in an automatic way is fraught with problems and I
would leave any fixes to upstream, but if you really really wanted to
do it then a FontForge Python script might work, but keep in mind
FontForge in Debian is very outdated and FontForge has a poor
reputation with font designers.

Switching to a different source format for the font would be something
for upstream to do IMO.



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