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Re: Changing the default font in Fedora Core 6

Le lundi 12 juin 2006 à 23:31 +0330, Roozbeh Pournader a écrit :
 <روز دوشنبه، 2006-06-12 ساعت 16:34 +0200، Nicolas Mailhot نوشت:
> > On hindsight, Farsi speakers probably systematically make FarsiWeb fonts
> > their defaults (I don't know where they download their fonts from), so
> > maybe I shouldn't have bothered with this.
> Ah! I got you now. You are talking about FarsiWeb's Unicode Persian
> fonts:
> http://www.farsiweb.ir/wiki/Persian_fonts
> There is a bug about getting some of them into Core somewhere, but I
> don't have the number at hand. Behdad may.
> I personally use the FarsiWeb Persian fonts of course, and yes, I can
> confirm that I uninstalled dejavu-fonts from my box after I found that
> it has added Arabic glyphs.

You may want to check 

which has a hackish but working solution to this problem (just install
the block subpackage). I hope I got the farsiweb font names right - I
used the farsiweb conf included in rawhide fontconfig as reference.

A cleaner way do do this may be possible - someone @sun has just floated
a patch with the same aims.

> > BTW at some point in time after doing arabic for arab countries DejaVu
> > will probably do Arabic for Farsi, so if FarsiWeb people want to be
> > involved either as glyph authors or as glyph reviewers they are welcome.
> I assume that you know that mixing Arabic and LGC (Latin, Greek,
> Cyrillic, and the typographically compatible scripts) in a single font
> is not really recommended by Pango and fontconfig authors.

I start to get this feeling yes

> It is
> complicated and in order to work needs several obscure opentype features
> specified in the font and supported in the engine (pango).

> To quote Owen Taylor: "Note that putting Arabic into DejaVu Sans is a
> shockingly bad idea, and I don't think it's worth even thinking about
> investigating problems with it. (The main reason it's a horrid idea is
> that Arabic fonts and Latin fonts don't have compatible metrics.)"
> [http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=334758#c20]

Most exactly there is an official OpenType way to deal with it but it's
not supported yet by pango (BASE table support).In the meanwhile DejaVu
is not doing worse than other similar fonts.

> Freefont is a famous example of why putting everything in is bad. I
> recall Keith Packard on the IRC telling that he was even thinking of
> blacklisting FreeFont in fontconfig's default settings.

If I wanted to flamme I'd write fontconfig authors seem quicker at
blacklisting FOSS fonts than at trying to work with FOSS foundries

> So if DejaVu is thinking about a *separate* Arabic font, I wish it luck,
> but as someone who considers himself an expert in the Arabic script I
> believe that having something that works even minimally right for the
> three typographic traditions of the Arabic script, that are Arabic,
> Persian and Afghan Pashto, and Urdu, Sindhi, and Pakistani Pashto is
> very hard and needs a font designer familiar with the typographic
> traditions of these.
> DejaVu started with Latin designs from Vera. You'll need something
> similar to Vera for Arabic to start with.

Actually my understanding is both Greek and Cyrillic where done from
scratch, getting inspiration from popular fonts and acting on user
feedback. Just as Arabic is done today (following very loosely Tahoma)

The glyph author explained itself very well both on its design
objectives and on the technical problems people were/are opposing on
fontconfig and dejavu lists today (sadly it seems both fdo and sf.net
archiving is lagging, I can forward you the mails if you want)

> > If DejaVu has strong cyrillic and greek blocks that's because the greek
> > and cyrillic communities got involved at one point. The blocks weren't
> > born perfect.
> Well, Greek and Cyrillic are typographically compatible with Latin.
> Arabic is not.

Which is why probably almost every single Arabic font available includes
a latin block? I'd respect the opinions of font tools authors on this
matter a lot more if they didn't brush aside practically every font on
the market (excluding latin-only ones) with this argument. Even your own
FarsiWeb fonts (with a limited Farsi scope) falls short of the mark.

Real world fonts do not comply with the wishes of fontconfig authors.
Maybe they should adapt to this situation instead of singling out
projects like FreeSans and DejaVu which try to do something about the
lack of good FOSS fonts. DejaVu is not doing anything every other
foundry - including the biggest ones - isn't already doing :

Nicolas Mailhot

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