[Openfontlibrary] The Master Plan for free fonts?

Nicolas Spalinger nicolas_spalinger at sil.org
Fri Jun 8 03:36:32 PDT 2007

> Hi,
> I wrote this small introduction to Free Fonts, comments please :-)
> - - - 8< - - -
> The Master Plan for free fonts? Licensing, Community, Tools, Know-How.

Great summary of the key aspects :)

Although I'd recommend we use the term open fonts or libre fonts. It's
the Open Font Library after all. "Free fonts" already has a problematic
connotation of freeware fonts (as in no modification and unknown origin)
we need to avoid.

> Licensing? The Open Font License is a free license written
> specifically for the needs of fonts and type designers.

I'd suggest adding metadata integration for license and author information.

> Community? The Open Font Library has adopted the Open Font License as
> its only license and is now creating a quality collection of OFL
> fonts, albeit slowly. The aim is to set up a simple "join the club"
> switching dynamic for free and freeware font developers.

s/free and freeware/open and libre/

I'd suggest adding mailing-lists, IRC, forums, blog aggregators,
conferences, IRL meet-ups. The whole peer review thing. And also sites
which don't host the fonts but provide a catalog like unifont.org/fontguide.

> Tools? FontForge, XGridFit, Spiro. These can technically make production
> quality fonts, but premier type designers don't use them. Yet.

I'd suggest adding Inkscape, the various fontforge scripts out there,
Font:TTF (http://search.cpan.org/dist/Font-TTF/), hinting-viewer,
gnome-specimen, fonty-python, all the various open (and also restricted)
formats supported by the toolchain, (distributed) revision control to
host work on these formats, web-APIs (I'm thinking fontforge/inkscape
connecting to ccHost for example) and the work on packaging open fonts
and the open font designer toolkit.

> Know-how? In the free world, it is lacking, but Wikipedia lights the way.

We need free-form wiki but also validated articles, tutorials, books,
links to specs.


Btw, will some of you be at to the Debconf? We will talk about open
fonts there: https://debconf7.debconf.org/wiki/Main_Page

Nicolas Spalinger

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