[Pkg-fonts-devel] Bug#786971: Bug#786971: Bug#786971: Bug#786971: fonts-roboto: build from source, new upstream

Paul Wise pabs at debian.org
Wed Jan 4 03:08:51 UTC 2017

On Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 9:41 AM, James Godfrey-Kittle wrote:

> Well, I suppose that makes sense since there is the option to build the
> fonts. However I must point out that having sources for fonts is unusual
> (probably because the distinction between source and binary is less clear
> than with software), but that doesn't prevent other appropriately licensed
> fonts from inclusion in Debian.

Binary font formats like TrueType and OpenType can either be font
source or not font source, depending on how the upstream font
designers are working on their fonts. If they just open the
TTF/OTF/etc in their font editor, make changes and save, then the
TTF/OTF/etc are source. In any other cases the TTF/OTF/etc probably
are not source. In the case of Roboto there is clear evidence that the
TTF/OTF/etc files are not font source so we have to ship the source
and build the TTF/OTF/etc. There are a number of fonts in Debian with
non-binary source forms, see for example anything that Build-Depends
on fontforge. For TTF/OTF/etc fonts in Debian there is either evidence
that upstream edits binary source forms, no evidence of other source
forms or more likely, no-one has asked upstream how they develop their
fonts. If you are aware of any particular fonts that should be built
from source but aren't, please do file bug reports on the
corresponding Debian packages.

If you are involved in the upstream font development community (I
guess you are?), please encourage these practices:

Develop fonts in a VCS such as git using non-binary non-proprietary
source formats.

Don't commit any generated files to git, use an automated build system
and attach the build products to github releases/tags when using

Develop fonts using Free Software build/edit tools and formats
accessible to them and avoid proprietary tools and formats like



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