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

Dave Crossland dave at lab6.com
Fri Oct 2 16:56:48 UTC 2015

On 2 October 2015 at 07:50, Paul Wise <pabs at debian.org> wrote:

> 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.

Right. Thus 1 repo for the binaries, and a repo per project for sources

> > 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
> them.

I understand; where your supposition is true (like with the Play font) then
I agree, the RFN prevents further development under that name, and so must
be renamed. But for the majority of fonts, the RFN holder isn't abandoning
the project, they merely require their labour time to be paid.

> > 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.

"Generally one's choice of font editor is irrelevant for the font
development community, they are for the most part interoperable as Bezier
outlines and OpenType features are quite universal. One can open and modify
CFF outlines with any font editor on any OS, and re-compile it for the most
part with many different compilers." No? :)

> > 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.

What non-TTF forms? :)

> > 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?

The ufo read/write support is buggy and incompatible with other
implementations including the reference implementation.

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