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[Savannah-hackers] submission of Free UCS Scalable Fon

From: primoz . peterlin
Subject: [Savannah-hackers] submission of Free UCS Scalable Fonts
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 11:32:19 -0500

A package was submitted to
This mail was sent to address@hidden, address@hidden

Primoz Peterlin <address@hidden> described the package as follows:
License: gpl
Other License: 
Package: Free UCS Scalable Fonts
System name: gnufont
This package wants to apply for inclusion in the GNU project

Summary: The aim of this project is to develop a set of high-quality scalable 
(OpenType/TrueType...) fonts covering the ISO 10646/Unicode UCS (Universal 
Character Set).

Why do we need free scalable UCS fonts?

An increasing number of free software users is switching from free X11
bitmapped fonts to proprietary Microsoft Truetype fonts, as a) they
can be freely downloaded from Microsoft Typography page
<>, b) they contain a more
or less decent subsed of the ISO 10646 UCS (Universal Character Set),
c) they are high-quality, well hinted scalable Truetype fonts, and d)
Freetype <>, a free high-quality Truetype font
renderer exists and has been integrated into the latest release of
XFree86, the free X11 server.

Building a dependence on non-free software, even a niche one like
fonts, is dangerous. Microsoft Truetype core fonts are not free, they
are just costless. For now, at least. Citing the TrueType core fonts
for the Web FAQ <>:
\"You may only redistribute the fonts in their original form (.exe or
.sit.hqx) and with their original file name from your Web site or
intranet site. You must not supply the fonts, or any derivative fonts
based on them, in any form that adds value to commercial products,
such as CD-ROM or disk based multimedia programs, application software
or utilities.\"

Aren\'t there any free high-quality scalable fonts? Yes, there are.
URW++, a German digital typefoundry, released their own version of the
35 Postscript Type 1 core fonts under GPL as their donation to the
Ghostscript project <>. The Wadalab
Kanji comittee has produced Type 1 font files with thousands of
filigree Japanese glyphs <>.
Yannis Haralambous has drawn beautiful glyphs for the Omega
typesetting system <>. And so
on. Scattered around the internet there are numerous other free
resources for other national scripts, many of them aiming to be a
suitable match for Latin fonts like Times or Helvetica. 

What do we plan to achieve, and how?

Our aim is to collect available resources, fill in the missing pieces,
and provide a set of free high-quality scalable (Type 1 and Truetype)
UCS fonts, released under GPL.

Free UCS scalable fonts will cover the following character sets

* ISO 8859 parts 1-15
* CEN MES-3 European Unicode Subset
* IBM/Microsoft code pages 437, 850, 852, 1250, 1252 and more
* Microsoft/Adobe Windows Glyph List 4 (WGL4)
* KOI8-R and KOI8-RU
* DEC VT100 graphics symbols
* International Phonetic Alphabet
* Arabic, Hebrew, Armenian, Georgian, Ethiopian, Thai and Lao alphabets,
  including Arabic presentation forms A/B
* Japanese Katakana and Hiragana
* mathematical symbols, including the whole TeX repertoire of symbols
* APL symbols

As historical style terms like renaissance or baroque letterforms
cannot be applied beyond Latin/Cyrillic/Greek scripts, a smaller
subset of styles will be made: one monospaced and two proportional
(one with and one without serifs) will be made at the start.

A free Postscript font editor, George Williams\'s Pfaedit
<> will be used for creating new

In the beginning, however, we don\'t believe that Truetype hinting will
be good enough to compete with neither the hand-crafted bitmapped
fonts at small sizes, nor with commercial TrueType fonts. A companion
program for modifying the TrueType font tables, TtfMod, is in the
works, though: <>. For
applications like xterm, users are referred to the existing UCS bitmap
fonts, <>.

What do the file suffices mean?

The files with .sfd (Spline Font Database) are in PfaEdit\'s native
format. Please use these if you plan to modify the font files. PfaEdit
can export these to mostly any existing font file format.

TrueType fonts for immediate consumption are the files with the .ttf
(TrueType Font) suffix. You can use them directly, e.g. with the X
font server.

The files with .ps (PostScript) suffix are not font files at all -
they are merely PostScript files with glyph tables, which can be used
for overview, which glyphs are contained in which font file.

You may have noticed the lacking of PostScript Type 1 (.pfa/.pfb) font
files. Type 1 format does not support large (> 256) encoding vectors,
so they can not be used with ISO 10646 encoding. If your printer
supports it, you can use Type 0 format, though. Please use PfaEdit for
conversion to Type 0.

Primoz Peterlin, <address@hidden>

Free UCS scalable fonts:

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