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Re: SIL OFL's Reserved Font Names and font rebuilds

On Wed, Apr 10, 2019 at 10:06 AM Yao Wei wrote:

> I would like to raise an issue that, in SIL OFL's FAQ section 5.9, font
> rebuilds with non-exact build as the upstream need to avoid using
> Reserved Font Names:

If anyone files bugs about this, we have a template here:


Here is an earlier thread about this issue, please read through it.


> However, in order to get font packages into Debian, our fonts need to
> build from source

FYI, this is not the case. Debian has to be *able* to build them from
source using tools in main but the actual font files shipped in binary
packages in the archive do not have to be created at `debian/rules
build` time. There is lots of stuff in Debian that is not built from
source at `debian/rules build` time, even executable code in main, for
example firmware-linux-free.

> or, in our convention, "consider" TTF or OTF a
> "preferred form of the work for making modifications".

TTF/OTF is almost never source so I don't think it is appropriate to
consider it so.

> This would require us to change the name of some fonts built from
> source, unless we have copyright holder's written permission.

Only if we aren't shipping upstream's binary font files, or if
upstream doesn't have reproducible builds.

> We may decide from two consequences if the font copyright has Reserved
> Font Names, and cannot be built exactly to the upstream (especially for
> the fonts made from non-free tools and we are able build the font with
> missing features or distorted shapes):
> 1. Upload the upstream font file to non-free.

This is never the correct solution. If we cannot build the font file
without non-free tools, but the license is free, then the package goes
into contrib.

> 2. Rename the font to avoid Reserved Font Names.  Renaming the font can
>    create incompatibilities for files referencing the fonts.

This doesn't seem like a great solution.

3. Talk to upstream about switching to a more friendly license or
adding an exception for rebuilding fonts. More options in the earlier
thread too.

> I think it is discouraging font designers to open source the font, in
> the way we require font packages to be built from source.

I expect so, they often want to be the sole distributors and rarely
provide build instructions even if they open source their fonts.

> Do anyone have any idea for this?  Do we have to avoid fonts created by
> non-free tools to be uploaded to Debian main albeit we can build the
> font?

The rules for main are pretty clear, things that require tools that
are not in main to build but are otherwise free must go to contrib,
whether or not we build them at `debian/rules build` time.

PS: we have some more templates for font related bugs on the wiki. I
haven't been bothering to file them in recent years but I expect that
there are probably non-free fonts in main and definitely there are
fonts duplicated all over the place.




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