Older blog entries for yosch (starting at number 127)

15 Apr 2011 (updated 15 Apr 2011 at 13:21 UTC) »
GNOME journal article on fonts

At the request of Sumana Harihareswara, editor of GNOME journal, (and with her help) I've written "Fonts in GNOME 3: Cantarell, Tweaking, and Trailblazing" for the special GNOME3 edition. It's an overview of the significant changes happening in GNOME3 building on the past few years of efforts along with some tips on tweaking fonts and a look at the upcoming challenges and opportunities. Hope you find it useful !

2 Apr 2011 (updated 2 Apr 2011 at 15:00 UTC) »
webos: open fonts or not?

Looks like webOS - the new promising OS for phones, tablets and more - has released a new SDK but the licensing of the fonts included remain unclear: the SDK EULA and the font metadata don't really indicate if HP has chosen to release the fonts commissioned for this platform under a libre font software license or not.

From what I can see in the Virtualbox image used in the 2.1 SDK, the core fonts from Ascender have their usual agreement "You may not use this font software on more than five personal computers unless you have obtained a license from Ascender to do so. Except as specifically permitted by the license, you may not copy this font software." but the external license it may refer to is missing. And more importantly, the very nice Prelude font family specifically commissioned for the platform from David Berlow from the Font Bureau has copyright and trademark statements but no license. No details on the dedicated open source subdomain either.

Webos maintainers have indicated what languages the Prelude font currently supports. They should consider clarifying the EULA they want to attach to these fonts. Allowing the fonts to be modified - and explicitely stating so - will help with language coverage and increase the value of the webos platform in a very competitive space...

22 Mar 2011 (updated 22 Mar 2011 at 11:54 UTC) »
Transparency in software delivery channels

It's a good thing to be able to have a device where you can choose to install applications outside of a tightly controlled single broker's delivery channel (and obviously be responsible for checking these apps are not malware). That's why I like Android's f-droid and how, unlike all the other fancy delivery channels, it doesn't conveniently hide the license chosen by the software author(s) under some euphemism but actually spells it out clearly (MIT, GPLv2, GPLv3+, Apache2, AGPL, etc) and provides a link to the source and the upstream project website.

Hopefully with the work going on in DEP5 and Appstream, there will be good alternatives to the "we-hold-full-control appstores".

9 Mar 2011 (updated 9 Mar 2011 at 13:52 UTC) »
Upstream open fonts projects

I've recently heard about a few upstream open fonts projects (released under the Open Font License) which stand out: Haripunchai, Amiri, Crimson Text, Heuristika, News Cycle, Xits, Merryweather, Pecita and various open fonts from OSP.

Check out the upstream sites for all the details and information about the original authors.

4 Mar 2011 (updated 22 Mar 2011 at 15:01 UTC) »
Interview of Christian Perrier, i18n coordinator in Debian

Raphaƫl Hertzog has published a very good interview of Christian Perrier (aka bubulle) where you'll find insights among other things into the localization work going on in Debian and the mention of promising work happening in various "minority" languages like Uyghur, Northern Sami or Dzongkha and of course the now traditional Cheese&Wine parties at DebConf.

A big thank you to Christian for all your tireless work, for your kindness, for mentoring me and others in the pkg-fonts team and for helping improve the overall font situation in Debian and beyond!

LibreOffice and fonts

After the various mentions of LibreOffice's new font-related features in version 3.3 new feature highlights : embedding, the new Narrow weight for Liberation and the whole Libertine G and Biolinum G smart open fonts, it's interesting to see the improvements to the font menu.

Anyone fancy picking up some easy hacks in the area: most recently used list tweaks or adding the Stix fonts?

Mozilla thinking about commissioning an open font

Interesting to see the good folks at Mozilla, more specifically the Websites Task Force, looking at commissionning an open font for their various websites: "still in the process of selecting a font foundry for this project" ... "After picking a foundry the design process will start and could be done as soon as Q2." .

25 Jan 2011 (updated 25 Jan 2011 at 19:08 UTC) »
Experience the many shapes of language: an open font exhibition in London

It's great to see the continued efforts to raise awareness about the wide variety of glyphs and writing systems the world needs to be able to read and write properly!

Letters are relatively small but truly crucial building blocks of our languages, both containers and interfaces of knowledge, identity and life.

It's exciting to see that, for example, the work around the Ubuntu open font will be featured as part of the Shape my Language installation at the London Museum of Design by DaltonMaag and Canonical's design team. A similar exhibition took place in Vienna last year albeit with a focus on other more restricted fonts...

And even if "dozens of different scripts" may not entirely reflect all the variety of writing systems out there, it's certainly an excellent step forward to have such a prominent exhibition focus on the subject. What a great opportunity to bring the values of linguistic diversity, collaborative typography and open font design to a wider audience and allow visitors to experience and react to thousands of beautiful glyphs. Hopefully many visitors will also discover what the spirit of Ubuntu brings to the world of type design and how unrestricted software - including fonts - can help.

Congratulations to everyone involved!

15 Jan 2011 (updated 15 Jan 2011 at 12:09 UTC) »
CSS (moz-)font-feature-settings

Interesting to see that the release notes of the Firefox 4 beta 9 mention the progress done on (moz-)font-feature-settings, IOW all the CSS goodies showing that in practice the web platform is bound to offer more advanced typographic capabilities than some of the currently used print systems...

Yeah, for increased support of typographic finesse and complex script support :-)

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