[Pkg-fonts-devel] Bug#851339: Bug#851339: Bug#851339: fonts-firacode: package in Debian with non-Debian build dependencies

Paul Wise pabs at debian.org
Tue Jan 17 12:29:07 UTC 2017

On Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 7:32 PM, Fabian Greffrath <fabian at debian.org> wrote:

> thank you very much for your bug report. However, I believe you are wrong
> with applying RC severity to this issue and I have added FTP-Masters to CC
> in the hope for clarification.

I agree with Ben on this issue.

> I don't think that it should make a difference if upstream uses
> proprietary software to convert the fonts from some kind of source format
> into the OTF format in which they are distributed. There are many fonts in
> Debian which are only distributed in OTF format, either because upstream
> uses this format to develop the fonts or because upstream simply does not
> tell which other format they use. As long as the license allows for binary
> distribution (and it does) I do not consider this an issue.

The issue isn't that they currently use proprietary software to
convert to OTF format. The issue is that there is no Free Software in
Debian main that can build the OTF from source. This is a clear
violation of Debian policy and that indicates the package needs to be
in contrib.

> Generally, there is no canonical source format for fonts and any of the
> common formats [1] retains the possibility to modify them, e.g. using
> fontforge scripting. The OTF format is not restricted to being an "end
> product". This makes a huge difference to e.g. PDF or PS documents which
> are given as examples in the "Missing Sources" section of the REJECTS FAQs
> that you refer to. Once converted into these formats, it is nearly
> impossible to modify the documents or convert them back into their
> respective source formats.

In this case, if you look at the commits to the github repo, there is
a clear canonical source format and that is the proprietary Glyphsapp
format that can only be converted to OTF by the proprietary Glyphsapp

> [1] Think of e.g. graphics in PNG format of which we have plenty in
> Debian. It wouldn't help if they were distributed in some other format
> that upstream chose to use for creating them.

I would vastly prefer the correct source of PNG images to be
distributed in source packages and the PNG images created at build
time to the current, fairly horrible, situation. Choice of source
format is up to upstream though.



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