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Bug#306290: ITP: ttf-mph-2b-damase -- font with ranges from the latest version of unicode

Please do not package this font as is.  It purports to cover the
Kharoṣṭhī block, but all the author did is copy the illustrative
glyphs from Unicode 4.1 into the corresponding encoding slots.
However, in common with the modern Indian scripts, a Kharoṣṭhī
font also needs contextual replacement mechanisms (e.g. via
OpenType) and a lot of additional composite glyphs to support the
script.  In the absence of these features, such a font with
pseudo‐support for a complex script X is liable to confuse
fontconfig and get in the way of other fonts that do in fact
support script X.  The more so if the font with pseudo‐support
_appears_ to be covering a wide range of scripts, like this one.
(This is also the biggest problem with the ‘Free UCS Outline
Fonts’, which contain the basic glyphs of, e.g., Devanagari, but
none of the required replacement mechanisms or composite glyphs.)

So I request that at a minimum, you remove the Kharoṣṭhī range
from this font unless and until it provides real and complete
support of the script.  That said, (some of) the other Plane 1
scripts that this font covers may work on a simple
character‐to‐glyph basis, and it would be a welcome addition to
have those available.  But please check which ones of them suffer
from insufficient support like Kharoṣṭhī (hPhags‐pa, for

My colleague Andrew Glass is the main author of the Kharoṣṭhī
Unicode encoding, and he is now working on a proper Kharoṣṭhī
font.  When that font is completed, we will make sure to submit it
for inclusion in Debian GNU/Linux.

And of course we are very pleased that people are interested in
support for Kharoṣṭhī.  It’s just a little bit more complicated
than putting those sixty‐odd glyphs in a font.  If you’d like to
develop a real Kharoṣṭhī font yourself, you are absolutely
welcome.  The description of contextual replacement mechanisms is
apparently not yet available from the Unicode website, but you
could check out our original encoding proposal at


and work from there.

Best regards,
Stefan Baums

Stefan Baums
Asian Languages and Literature
University of Washington

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