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fonts.debian.org ideas


On ##fonts, pabs mentioned the "fonts review wishlish" thread, so I thought I'd drop some ideas. (I'm glad to see existing interest in this :) 

I can see that this could go a few ways:

1. Font Cataloging: It would be nice to have a web catalog for all the fonts that are packaged for Debian. There are existing libre projects to offer font web catalogs. Open Font Library is the old school original, but it is been a sad situation with www.oflb.org over the past few years, since the underlying CMS' lead developer Bassel was disappeared and killed in Syria. Since then that CMS project was cancelled and this means the Open Font Library is effectively over (although the Fabricatorz group that Bassel was a part of keeps it going, and the adsense revenue pays the cost of keeping it up.) OFont is newer and a pretty nice and simple font catalog site, out of France. Not sure that is is actively maintained, but its in a better shape than OFLB I think :) Probably there are other codebases like this around, too. 

2. Font Development Info: Initially I put some ideas in oflb.orb wiki and then later help organize DesignWithFontForge.com - some info about how to make fonts. Debian offers so much educational value, I think font engineering and design education could be a good fit here since everything is happening in (and policed to be) open/public/libre-software-only processes.

3. Font packaging process automation. Between the above two, I think there is an opportunity to automate the Debian font packaging process through web forms. There are various font testing web apps that I've commissioned for Google Fonts that could be useful for this; but those haven't really matured to be fully useful yet: testmyfont.comfontbakery.appspot.comgf-regression.com. I am optimistic that the fontbakery-dashboard project (which uses k8s to make massively parallel font processing "clouds" for want of a better phase ;) will bring all of those "under one roof" later this year. We'll see. But the regression testing stuff should be useful for Debian packaging. (Font Bakery does 100s of little checks like the fsType being 0, stuff we found relevant for Google Fonts, and the codebase is written in a way that other sets of checks can be easily composed; it also wraps the HinTak Font Validator and OTS and some other tools if available; I think they threw out pyfontaine in the end as its really slow...)

4. Debian-specific stuff

The above stuff (clearly) is already happening elsewhere, so perhaps this site should be scoped to only Debian specific stuff. Pabs mentioned a 'mkspecimen' tool used to make the screenshots shown to users in GUI package managers. 

Finally, not sure I can make it to Taiwan, but would love to. I'll see about it. 


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