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A page of the Fonts Special Interest Group

Desktop team fonts whiteboard

We spend most of our computer time reading and writing text. Studies show that even the smallest improvement in fonts or font rendering produces huge benefits. The competition has realised it a long time ago.

Possible areas for improvement in font handling:

  • Modernize/complete the font selection/preview dialog. See:
  • Modernize the font tab in the appearance capplet
  • Font installation:
    • Make font installation easy. Packages may not be the best approach to fonts (packaging means minimal legal audit of the font, addition of human-friendly description and necessary fontconfig rules, bundling of license text, fc-cache automation, etc Doing it all elsewhere means creating another font-specific packaging format.)
    • If packages are the answer for now, at least make font installation automatic, see Features/AutomaticFontInstallation,
  • Font preview:
  • Fix OOo:
    • Support CFF fonts ooo43029
    • Support OpenType features in TTF and CFF fonts ooo16032,ooo78749
    • Fix the font selection (see before)
    • Add font auto-installation support (see before)
  • Fix Firefox:
    • make it honour desktop font settings moz414427, moz412669
    • support font-stretch moz3512
    • Add font auto-installation support (see before)
  • Add baseline table support to pango (align scripts in a line of text) for non-latin scripts gnome346419
  • Implement side bearing deltas in cairo and pango (see
  • Improve freetype rasterization link1, link2?

Fixing problems

We have a list of identified problems in Fedora or in the upstreams Fedora depends on. If you have the time and the skill, fixing them would help the Fedora text and font situation a lot.

Tagging problems
Problems are tagged by CC-ing the SIG bugs list when the upstream issue tracker allows it (any bugzilla) or by CC-ing a specific user (fedorafonts) otherwise.

Issue tracker Description Issues Tagging method and other comments Fedora package grouping (comps), specific Fedora code changes Problem list CC the bugs list Fontconfig, HarfBuzz, DejaVu, Freetype… Problem list Pango Problem list KDE (Konqueror…) Problem list Firefox, Thunderbird… Problem list Webkit Problem list

Also our desktop like every *nix desktop has an input language awareness problem.

Font creation

The best way to try one's hand at font creation, and learn the (technical and organisational) ropes, is to contribute some time to a free/open font project, such as the ones listed on this page.

Most free/open font projects fail not because of author lack of artistic taste, but because they do not attract contributors or distributors. Free/open font dynamics are very different from proprietary font dynamics, and usually not taught in art school.

To start working on fonts just install the font-design group (available in Fedora 11 and later).

# yum groupinstall font-design

Font hinting

Good font hinting is required for fonts to render well on computer screens with limited pixel density. Many fonts only sport limited hinting. The fine DejaVu authors published a hinting tutorial to guide people wishing to remedy this.

Fonts in Fedora
The Fonts SIG takes loving care of Fedora fonts. Please join this special interest group if you are interested in creating, improving, packaging, or just suggesting a font. Any help will be appreciated.