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Re: DFSG and fonts [was: Bug#91856: Hello]

On Tue, Apr 03, 2001 at 05:53:52PM +0200, Juliusz Chroboczek wrote:
> We concluded that the main reason why we insist on the right to modify
> software is the need to maintain it.  After carefully checking the
> technical, as opposed to artistic, quality of the Lucidux fonts (it is
> excellent, thanks to Y&Y), we agreed that there is no reason
> whatsoever why we should need to modify them in the foreseeable
> future, and decided to include these fonts in our tree.

Does it cover Latin-3? If it doesn't, then there's a number of 
characters that could be added in minutes with the right tools
to provide for support of Esperanto, Maltese and other languages, 
but we can't, because of the license.

Even if it covers Latin-3, there's many languages written out there
in the Latin script where this extra letter or that extra letter
would allow us to support the language with the font; but we can't
because of the license.

> I believe that Chuck's attitude in the matter is typical of that of
> most font designers.  

Currently. That attitude was also true for many programmers at one 
time who now write free software. I hope a similar change happens
with font designers.

> Thus, I am firmly convinced that as Free
> Software becomes better known in the font design community, we will
> receive donations of more high-quality fonts, and that these are
> likely to come under terms similar to those of the B&H Lucidux
> licence.  Thus, I would be very keen on seeing a carefully-written
> exception for fonts included in the DFSG.
> As you can see, the arguments above are of a purely pragmatic and
> technical nature (as typical of XFree86).  I am not sufficiently
> familiar with the Debian project to understand whether you wish to be
> guided by considerations of this sort, or whether ideological
> considerations are more important.

While the issues on unmodifiable non-software stuff in Debian are
not as clear-cut as Branden has made them out to be (I know of at
least a half dozen packages in main that are unmodifiable, that were
put there knowing that), I find the same reasons for Free fonts as
Free software. We need the ability to modify fonts - to add
characters, to fix bugs, to make personal choices on characters, to
convert to new formats (what if X 5.0 only supports OpenType and BDF
fonts, and Y&Y isn't interested in converting them?) - or we lose
a lot of flexibility (a more ideological person would say freedom).

David Starner - dstarner98@aasaa.ofe.org
Pointless website: http://dvdeug.dhis.org
"I don't care if Bill personally has my name and reads my email and 
laughs at me. In fact, I'd be rather honored." - Joseph_Greg

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