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

Fabian Greffrath fabian at debian.org
Tue Sep 1 09:37:58 UTC 2015


Am Dienstag, den 01.09.2015, 01:55 -0700 schrieb
martinerikwerner at gmail.com:
> First, I noticed that the sfd files are now gone with the move to
> GitHub, does this mean that the ttf files would be considered the 
> canonical source for the font?

most probably, yes.

Please note that the .sfd file format has never been the canonical
source format for fonts, it is just the native file format for
fontforge. People working on fonts with any other software will
probably never get in contact with such files. Also, once the fonts are
loaded into fontforge, the underlying file format becomes irrelevant.
The big advantage is that .sfd files are ASCII files that can get
patched by usual means, this advantage gets lost with the switch to
binary formats such as .ttf or .otf.

Compare to the situation of graphics files in .png and .ppm formats.
Both formats may represent the same picture, both are editable with
common tools. The one is an ASCII file that can be patched, the other
isn't. But you cannot tell which one is the *canonical* format.

> Lastly, and the main point, is there any specifics on how to generate
> the ttf files from sfd sources to make sure they are as similar to 
> the google web fonts ttf:s as possible?

This is up to upstream to tell you, just as upstream for software
usually provides a build system or at least a simple Makefile.

For example, for fonts-tuffy no such information is available and I am
using a generic conversion script that I have found on the fontforge


For fonts-liberation, upstream has included a conversion script and a


For fonts-cantarell, upstream has included a conversion script and an
autotools-based build system:


You see, there is not really a golden rule for building .ttf files from
.sfd files. EIther upstream provides you with a specified set of rules
or you have to guess best and maybe use a generic script.


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