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Linux Fonts

> I am an ameature font designer, and I am currently working on a standard sarif and > non sarif typeface that I would like to release specifically for the Linux community > (full character set complete with proper hinting and kerning/metrics). I understand > there is a lack of high quality fonts which have liscenses open enough to include
> in Linux distros.

I have several questions about this. First, there are several decent fonts with
free licenses; look at these Debian packages: gsfonts, ttf-thryomanes, ttf-openoffice and xfonts-scalable. <http://bibliofile.mc.duke.edu/gww/fonts/fonts.html> also has some nice free fonts, but nobody has packaged them yet. I have not had a chance to closely examine your work, but I'm slightly skeptical about an amateur font designer doing much better. (Some of these could use some work, which I'm sure would be greatly appreciated.)
Part of Linux's font problem has been the font technology more than fonts.

Secondly, you're offering a "full character set". A "full character set" of a Unicode font would have at least 70,000 glyphs; a usable one, with all character shaping and alternate glyph forms needed for Japanese, among others, would probably approach a 100,000 glyphs. Such a font has never been created by even the largest foundry, and
can't be created as one file with TrueType.

If by "full character set", you mean CP1252, let me point out that Linux is worldwide. For a font to be really useful, it would be nice for it to cover MES-2 or MES-3 <http://www.evertype.com/standards/iso10646/pdf/cwa13873.pdf>, which cover most of the characters for Europe without needing a familiarity with Eastern languages and typography.

You might want to look at <http://www.freesoftware.fsf.org/freefont/>; this is a
project to produce some nice complete fonts for Unix.

Projects that I think would be nice to see:

1. Of the Microsoft web fonts, we don't have a free Comic Sans lookalike. It would be nice
to get something similar, without of course ripping off Microsoft's font.

2. There's also many fairly common font styles out there not supported by free fonts; enhancing the number of distinctive yet multipurpose fonts with Linux is always useful.
(See the Duke site above for some examples.)

3. Arabic and Indic languages (which will need OpenType) are more or less unsupported under
Linux. Impossible to do right unless you're familar with the languages, though.

4. There are large blocks of unsupported Unicode characters; the AMS is supposedly producing a free math font, but there are large stretches of technical characters, and a bunch of syllblaries and alphabets (both in the BMP and Plane 1) to do. For the
more ambitious, there's Plane 2 (50,000 Chinese Ideographs).

> 1. What sort of liscense should I release it under? I would like it to be freely > changeable, distributable, sellable, ect. with the condition that a small text
> file accompanies the distribution.

There's been endless debates about whether or not such license are free. The BSD license is a nice license, if you aren't worried about people taking it proprietary. The GPL (see the GSFonts for an additional tag that may or may not be necessary) is also a nice font for this. Please don't take Jim Gettys advice; I find it very nice when Russians or Ukranians or Cherokee can add to a font and not have to change the
name. Also, Debian doesn't consider the Lucidux license free.

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