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Re: [g-i] fonts: a few thoughts



Some comments on this whole thread.

On Sunday 04 December 2005 03:46, Kenshi Muto wrote:
> Finally we (Sorry, I mistook my friend name, 'Hidetaka') created
> ttf-compact-fonts package. This source package produces
> ttf-compact-fonts-udeb.udeb.

> Currently this udeb has only Japanese, Chinese, and Korean fonts, but
> it's easy to support other languages and fonts.

Originally we had TTF CJK fonts in the graphical installer. This was 
changed to the current bitmapped font for Chinese and Japanese on 
suggestion of Ming Hua. I've attached some of the conversation on #d-boot 
that led up to the change.

I'm absolutely not against switching back to TTF fonts, but feel it should 
be discussed with other translators involved. I'm going to leave the 
current bitmapped fonts in the daily builds until we've heard from Ming 
Hua (and others) from CJK community.

Some general observations from me:
- bitmapped fonts look very sharp
- TTF fonts sometimes look fuzzy (some characters look more grey than
  black; on others horizontal lines are fuzzy compared to the rest of
  the character; the bold characters in Kenshi's example for Japanese
  look too dense to me)
  As Ming Hua said: "< minghua> truetype hinting is painful for chinese"
- size of the new TTF fonts is smaller than for current bitmaped font, but
  the bitmaped tarball can be reduced by not including unused font sizes
- there are advantages to using TTF for everything over mixing TTF and
  bitmaped fonts
- TTF fonts allow more flexible resizing than bitmapped fonts

On Sunday 04 December 2005 09:40, Kenshi Muto wrote:
> To solve this, I think it's better to provide /.gtkrc-2.0 according to
> chosen language.

This may work for dialogs after the language has been selected, but we'd 
still have the issue for the language selection screen itself.
I'd prefer a solution where the correct font is selected based on unicode 
range, especially as implementing that also helps tackle the size 
problem. If that proves impossible, then this would be a good option to 
check further.


Excerpt from IRC log:
< minghua> I don't really follow debian-boot list, but I read the archives
< minghua> I read some changes about adding Chinese fonts
< minghua> and it seems d-i gtk frontend is using ttf-arphic-gbsn00lp and 
ttf-arphic-bsmi00lp
< fjp> Yes.
< minghua> I just want to say you may want to look at ttf-arphic-uming
< fjp> I have, but it is a lot bigger.
< fjp> And size is important for the installer.
< minghua> it's actually a fork from ttf-arphic-gbsn00lp and 
ttf-arphic-bsmi00lp, merged the glyphs, added some missing ones, etc.
< minghua> fjp: bigger than both gbsn00lp and bsmi00lp combined?
< minghua> let me check
< fjp> Yes.
< minghua> Hmm, indeed so
< minghua> now something else then :-)
< minghua> if gtk frontend can use bitmap font, there is another candidate 
xfonts-wqy
< minghua> which is bitmap only, and has several sizes
< minghua> anyway, that probably won't work out, as nobody will be sure 
about what the font size will be
< minghua> I was just thinking uming would be smaller than the current two 
combined :-(
< fjp> minghua: That actually looks very interesting. Let me try that.
< minghua> fjp: glad you are interested
< minghua> let me check xfont-wqy's specifications
< fjp> Well, this is the kind of help we need...
[...]
< fjp> minghua: Booting an image using them (hopefully) now...
< fjp> minghua: Looks good :-) Let me post a screenshot.
< zinosat> fjp, size?
< fjp> Beautiful.
< fjp> Let me get rid of korean font too...
< minghua> fjp: I'm not sure if Japanese or Korean will work
< minghua> fjp: this version only covers the basic CJK in unicode
< fjp> zinosat: This would replace 14.9 MB by 3.8 MB...
< minghua> fjp: I am afraid J and K uses quite some amount of CJK ext. A, 
even ext. B
< fjp> minghua: Let's see first...
< minghua> fjp: chinese looks good
< zinosat> minghua, it's nice to look at
< minghua> fjp: I think japanese is fine too, but korean is apparently 
worse
< fjp> minghua: Yes, a bit blocky.
< minghua> zinosat: yeah, actually most chinese users prefer bitmap fonts 
at small size
< minghua> truetype hinting is painful for chinese
< fjp> It looks bad for the Indic languages as well. Maybe we should look 
at bitmapped fonts for those too (and maybe for everything...)
< minghua> I assume indic languages can't use bitmap fonts, as they need 
combining glyphs and all stuff?
< fjp> minghua: You're right probably.

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