[Pkg-fonts-devel] Debtags localisation and font tags proposal

Nicolas Spalinger nicolas_spalinger at sil.org
Fri May 29 06:52:52 UTC 2009

Enrico Zini wrote:
> Hello,
> after an IRC discussion with Arne Goetje (Ubuntu i18n and l10n
> engineer), we have worked out a proposal for new tags for font
> information.


This sounds great and will be extremely useful as we get more and more
DFSG-compliant open fonts released and packaged in Debian.

> New proposed facets:
>   Facet: iso15924
>   Description: Writing script
>    (discussed in the other mail about replacing culture::*)
>   Facet: font
>   Description: Font
>   Tag: font::style:serif
>   Description: Serif style
>   Tag: font::style:sans-serif
>   Description: Sans-serif style
>   Tag: font::style:monospace
>   Description: Monospace style
>   Tag: font::style:modulated
>   Description: Modulated style
>   Tag: font::style:unmodulated
>   Description: Unmodulated style
>   Tag: font::style:screen
>   Description: Screen style
>    These fonts have been designed to be used primarily on screens
>   Tag: font::style:printing
>   Description: Printing style
>   Tag: font::style:calligraphy
>   Description: Calligraphy style
>   Tag: font::style:decorative
>   Description: Decorative style
>   Tag: font::style:symbol
>   Description: Symbol style
>   Tag: font::style:impaired
>   Description: Visual impaired style
>    Special style to help visual impaired users
>   Tag: font::type:truetype
>   Description: TrueType

We also need a

Tag: font::type:opentype
Description: OpenType, including smart features and extended tables

to take into account the various smart open fonts we already have in the

>   Tag: font::type:postscript
>   Description: PostScript
>   Tag: font::type:bitmap
>   Description: Bitmap
>   Tag: font::embedded-bitmaps
>   Description: Contains embedded bitmaps
>   Tag: font::hints
>   Description: Hinted
>    The font contains hints or instructions
> font::type:* sounds like something that could go into made-of, but
> made-of does not seem to currently be of the right granularity, so I
> thought of putting those tags here for now.
> To have a software that generate a list of suitable fonts for a user
> would also require something more specific than tags. An example that
> Arne made was of a font which contains latin and cyrilic characters, but
> misses the special latin characters for Serbian.
> Such a font would need to declare support for something like (iso639::sr
> && iso15924::Latn && iso15924::Cyrl && ! rfc4647::sr-Latn-SR), and tags
> cannot be used to express that. This calls for a new debian/control
> field for fonts, to be copied into the Packages file.

The language tags should probably be using 3 letter codes  (iso639-3 or
later) so as to make provision for more languages.

fontaine, developed by Ed Trager for the needs of the Open Font Library
allows you to compute the font coverage for each Unicode block and
report it as unsupported, fragmentary, partial (with a percentage) or
full: http://www.unifont.org/fontaine/

This could be used to fill in these fields.

So, how can the Fonts Task Force (http://pkg-fonts.alioth.debian.org/)
help out with this task?

> Ciao,
> Enrico


Nicolas Spalinger, NRSI volunteer
Debian/Ubuntu font teams / OpenFontLibrary

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