Further notes on 7.4 (core fonts)
Markus.Kuhn at cl.cam.ac.uk
Wed Jul 2 06:10:56 PDT 2008
Glynn Clements wrote on 2008-06-30 21:55 UTC:
> Adam Jackson wrote:
> > The core fonts are still listed there, but really, don't. The only one
> > you want is font-misc-misc for fixed/cursor, expect the rest to leave
> > the list in 7.5.
Please don't cull all of them, for the following reasons:
- Some of the BDF fonts have reached unparalleled non-EastAsian Unicode
coverage, especially among the monospaced fonts suitable for use in
- Equal coverage cannot even closely be approximated by mixing glyphs
from different outline fonts, and such attempts fail in ugly ways
to preserve the monospacedness of the font on which many terminal
applications rely. Just try
on a terminal emulator with outline fonts and compare the result
to simply using the good old 6x13 misc-fixed font in xterm instead.
- There are lots of people (including myself) who strongly prefer
using a handcrafted single monospaced bitmap font over a mix of
TrueType or Type1 fonts in terminal emulators
- Lots of popular applications rely on their presence
In addition to font-misc-misc, I would at least also like to see
bh-lucidatypewriter-75dpi preserved, if only because because
is a rather beautiful xterm font.
On the other hand, I won't object strongly to removing non-monospaced
BDF fonts (Adobe Helvetica, etc.), although I note that even these have
a vocal fan community, e.g.
and lots of applications will break without them.
> Why? It's not as if they require a lot of maintenance. Or any
> maintenance at all, really.
At least the misc-fixed-fixed core fonts *are* actively maintained. I
regularly receive contributions and bug fixes which I add in occasional
larger batches to git. And I was about to make substantial additions to
some of the fonts to improve Unicode 5.1 coverage (which you won't find
for a very long time in most freely available Type1 or TrueType fonts;
where else will you get the glyph for U+1E9E LATIN CAPITAL LETTER SHARP S
from?). Bitmap fonts are so much easier to maintain than outline fonts,
therefore they can follow the Unicode standard much faster and thereby help
to speahead its implementation in many ways.
For more information on the ongoing maintenance of fonts-misc-misc:
Markus Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ || CB3 0FD, Great Britain
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