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STIX fonts for free mathematics - comments needed on draft license

Dear Debian folks,

I noticed something where your input may be important.

As you may know, there is a major effort by a consortium of scientific publishers and organizations, called STIX, to produce a comprehensive royalty-free font for mathematical typesetting (with almost 8000 glyphs):


These fonts are needed, for example, to fully support MathML in Mozilla (http://www.mozilla.org/projects/mathml/fonts/), which cannot currently bundle math fonts. (See also bug #146605).

STIX is now almost complete, with the remaining 472 glyphs scheduled to be done by October 2005, and they have recently released a draft user license for comments:


Unfortunately, the license does not quite meet the free-software, open-source, or DFSG criteria. It allows you to add glyphs to the font, as long as you release the new font under a different name, but you cannot modify the existing glyphs (even if you rename the font).

They are soliciting comments on the license (see above link), and I think it would be good for the FLOSS community to get involved (politely). The intentions of the STIX people seem good, and I'm hopeful that they can be persuaded that such license restrictions do more harm than good.

Steven G. Johnson

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