[Pkg-fonts-devel] Bug#776273: [googlefonts-discuss] sfd files for Play font

Paul Wise pabs at debian.org
Fri Oct 2 13:50:15 UTC 2015

On Fri, 2015-10-02 at 07:27 -0600, Dave Crossland wrote:

> Sources and binaries are not the same stuff.

They are two different forms of the same stuff.

One form is used by designers/developers to create new versions of the stuff.

The other form is an artefact that (usually) isn't altered and only used.

> I ask people to drop the rfn, but when they refuse, I get permission;
> for Google to use the rfn (and trademark.)
> However, for the source repos, this could be a good idea. I can ask
> about that.
> The official name is the rfn name; that's why the maintainer reserved
> the name. The distros need to rename or get permission. Same as
> Firefox.

It appears as though I wasn't clear enough in explaining my idea, so I
will try again. I get the impression that many of the fonts on Google
fonts are basically abandoned by their original designers and turned
over to Google to maintain. For such fonts with a RFN that the original
designers refuse to remove, Google could just rename their font and use
the new name instead. The license will still have an RFN but it will
not be the name of the font so people can basically ignore the RFN as
long as they don't rename the font back to the RFN. Obviously this
doesn't apply to all the fonts on Google fonts but probably many of

> The font development community is not uniform, like the software
> development community is not uniform in choice of text editor, ide,
> distro, etc. It would be like asking everyone to use eclipse on
> fedora.

Generally one's choice of distro/editor/compiler etc is irrelevant for
the software development community, they are for the most part
interoperable as plain text and individual programming languages are
quite universal. One can modify C code with any text editor on any OS
and compile it for the most part with many different compilers.

> Ufo is not great as a source format, it lacks structures for a lot of
> basic source data types. If you use RoboFont it stores a lot in the
> private data areas, essentially forking the format. Glyphs and sfd
> formats are  richer.

Interesting. Does Glyphs support SFD or FontForge support Glyphs?

> Behdads FontTools isn't a compiler, and is now maintained by a
> community of mostly non google developers btw.
> The Google Roboto github repo has a ttf compiler branch under
> development, but it's far from ready.

Not sure what you mean by a font compiler, but FontTools can certainly
transform non-TTF forms of fonts to TTF.

> Fontforge is another libre compiler but it's not good quality, so I
> suggest avoiding it where possible.

What about it isn't good quality?

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