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A page of the Fonts Special Interest Group

World domination plans

This page consolidates all the Fedora 11 changes proposed to the Fonts SIG so they can be discussed properly.

A request for comments has been sent to concerned people the 2008-11-09.

Bump font tools versions

As has been done previously, the tools used to build fonts (fontforge, xgridfit…) will be updated:

  • at the start of the Fedora 11 cycle
  • as needed during the rest of the development cycle
  • just before Fedora 11 Freeze
  • and hopefully not later

Every font packager is supposed to have rebuilt his fonts with the pre-freeze versions before the repository is frozen so we're sure no regression lurks and our builds can be reproduced with the tools published at release time.

Package naming

foofont variations

A few font packages do not use our strict foo-fonts naming yet but some other variation. They could be fixed.

Foundry names in font packages

Our font package naming is a lot more consistent than it used to be. Unfortunately with the repository growth some little problems have crept in. SIL fonts, for example, are alternatively named foo-fonts, sil-foo-fonts, foo-sil-fonts. This is confusing for users and new packagers.

For Fedora 11, we could adopt a strict foundry_name-font_name-fonts rule.

Exceptions and other gray cases:

  • when foundry_name = font_name (for example for dejavu) there's probably no need for repetition
  • should we register every Open Font Library package as oflb-foo-fonts? Or should we try to differentiate them by author?
  • how should we treat fonts not published in a big site? Add a prefix preventively (for example thibault, levien…)? Exempt them?

Split big font packages on font family lines

Splitting rule
When packaging an upstream font archive that contains different font families (different font names in GUI font dropdowns), one must split each font family in a separate subpackage. Each subpackage must include every upstream-provided font face (bold, italic, condensed, oblique…) of the corresponding font family.

As a special exception a packager is allowed to optionally keep sans/serif/mono latin families of the same name together.

When upstream releases separate font archives, just create separate packages.


Several releases ago, when we had few fonts, big font packs were no problem. Users had little choice and just installed everything anyway. Nowadays, with a bigger offering, big font packs mean that a user wanting one font in pack A and another in pack B, will have to pull all the other fonts in both packs.

In the past years, we've tried to avoid mixing different fonts in a single package. Our packaging template is therefore single-font oriented. Unfortunately upstream does not always leave us much choice. For Fedora 9 and 10 we've asked packagers to consider subpackaging (leaving the actual split lines to the packager discretion). It seems this request is confusing and packagers just end up splitting along font family lines.

Also, recent reviews show having packagers reinvent subpackaging separately does not work too well. There are just too many ways to shoot oneself in the foot.

For Fedora 11, we could use clear simple common splitting rules, applied retroactively to historic packages.

(The "s" in -fonts would then ultimately be a lie, but is it a big problem?)


FPC submission
This part has been formally submitted to FPC for review and approval.

To proof the concept, and provide a generic example, dejavu has been converted in Fedora 11 Rawhide. The package has been split into:

  • 6 font subpackages: sans/serif/mono in full and lgc versions
  • 1 -common subpackage they all depend on: common documentation, common font directory
  • 2 -compat packages, to streamline upgrades: one package that obsoletes the old dejavu-full packages, and requires the new ones, and another for the dejavu-lgc packages. Those packages will be retired after one distro cycle (in F12)

Then the macros used have been split in a separate package that could serve as support for every Fedora fonts package. It's been tested with:

  • dejavu: multiple font families, multiple fontconfig files,
  • theokritos: single font family and fontconfig file,
  • vera: multiple font families and no config file

resulting example packages

This work tried to stay generic and avoid the pitfalls identified by recent package reviews:

  • do not macroize summaries and descriptions, each package needs different text and rpm does not like whitespace
  • do macroize the scriplets packagers forget to add
  • allow one or several fontconfig files per subpackage
  • allow one or several font file patterns per subpackage

Use strict lowercase names

For consistency, since font names appear in various casings in font metadata, file names, project pages, and it's useless to try to find the "best" one font per font, font packages could adopt the most common convention, and just use lowercase in package names (like others big distributions do).

Consolidated view

All those rules would result in something like this. Please complete and comment (TEX font packages not listed because they are hopeless in their current form).

Fedora 11 font package renamings
Current name Name change Comments
edrip-fonts apanov-edrip-fonts Prepare for other fonts by Andrey Panov
kacst-fonts arabeyes-kacst-fonts Maybe also needs splitting? Is the arabeyes prefix correct for kacst fonts?
  • bitstream-vera-fonts-sans
  • bitstream-vera-fonts-serif
  • bitstream-vera-fonts-sans-mono
  • cjkunifonts-ukai
  • cjkunifonts-uming
  • cjkuni-fonts-ukai
  • cjkuni-fonts-uming
fonts-hebrew-fancy culmus-fancy-fonts Why wasn't it renamed with culmus?
  • dejavu-fonts
  • dejavu-fonts-experimental
  • dejavu-lgc-fonts
  • dejavu-fonts-sans
  • dejavu-fonts-serif
  • dejavu-fonts-sans-mono
  • dejavu-fonts-lgc-sans
  • dejavu-fonts-lgc-serif
  • dejavu-fonts-lgc-sans-mono
Already done
ecolier-court-fonts Is it worth splitting?
  • gnu-free-fonts-sans
  • gnu-free-fonts-serif
  • gnu-free-fonts-mono
ghostscript-fonts Needs to be split but at the same time finding OTF replacements would probably be better
  • un-core-fonts-batang
  • un-core-fonts-batangbold
  • un-core-fonts-dinaru
  • un-core-fonts-dinarubold
  • un-core-fonts-dinarulight
  • un-core-fonts-dotum
  • un-core-fonts-dotumbold
  • un-core-fonts-graphic
  • un-core-fonts-graphicbold
  • un-core-fonts-gungseo
  • un-core-fonts-pilgi
  • un-core-fonts-pilgibold
  • un-extra-fonts-bom
  • un-extra-fonts-jamobatang
  • un-extra-fonts-jamodotum
  • un-extra-fonts-jamonovel
  • un-extra-fonts-jamosora
  • un-extra-fonts-pen
  • un-extra-fonts-penheulim
  • un-extra-fonts-pilgia
  • un-extra-fonts-shinmun
  • un-extra-fonts-taza
  • un-extra-fonts-vada
  • un-extra-fonts-yetgul
  • un-core-fonts-batang
  • un-core-fonts-dinaru
  • un-core-fonts-dotum
  • un-core-fonts-graphic
  • un-core-fonts-gungseo
  • un-core-fonts-pilgi
  • un-extra-fonts-bom
  • un-extra-fonts-jamobatang
  • un-extra-fonts-jamodotum
  • un-extra-fonts-jamonovel
  • un-extra-fonts-jamosora
  • un-extra-fonts-pen
  • un-extra-fonts-penheulim
  • un-extra-fonts-pilgia
  • un-extra-fonts-shinmun
  • un-extra-fonts-taza
  • un-extra-fonts-vada
  • un-extra-fonts-yetgul
un fonts
inconsolata-fonts levien-inconsolata-fonts Prepare for other Levien font packages
  • liberation-fonts-sans
  • liberation-fonts-serif
  • liberation-fonts-mono
mathml-fonts ??? Needs to be split or killed
  • mgopen-fonts-canonica
  • mgopen-fonts-cosmetica
  • mgopen-fonts-modata
  • mgopen-fonts-moderna
Magenta open fonts
  • mona-fonts-VLGothic
  • mona-fonts-vlgothic
  • asana-math-fonts
  • brettfont-fonts
  • icelandic-fonts
  • roadstencil-fonts
  • sportrop-fonts
  • oflb-asana-math-fonts
  • oflb-brett-fonts
  • oflb-icelandic-fonts
  • oflb-roadstencil-fonts
  • oflb-sportrop-fonts
Open Font Library packages
paktype-fonts Seems it needs some update and splitting
  • abyssinica-fonts
  • andika-fonts
  • charis-fonts
  • doulos-fonts
  • gentium-fonts
  • padauk-fonts
  • sil-abyssinica-fonts
  • sil-andika-fonts
  • sil-charis-fonts
  • sil-doulos-fonts
  • sil-gentium-fonts
  • sil-padauk-fonts
SIL packages
  • thai-scalable-fonts-garuda
  • thai-scalable-fonts-kinnari
  • thai-scalable-fonts-loma
  • thai-scalable-fonts-norasi
  • thai-scalable-fonts-purisa
  • thai-scalable-fonts-sawasdee
  • thai-scalable-fonts-tlwg-mono
  • thai-scalable-fonts-tlwg-typewriter
  • thai-scalable-fonts-tlwg-typist
  • thai-scalable-fonts-umpush
  • thai-scalable-fonts-waree
  • tiresias-info-fonts
  • tiresias-key-fonts
  • tiresias-lp-fonts
  • tiresias-pc-fonts
  • tiresias-sign-fonts
Since upstream proposes separate archives, should never have been packaged in a single rpm
  • VLGothic-fonts
  • VLGothic-fonts-proportional
  • vlgothic-fonts
  • vlgothic-fonts-proportional
  • xorg-x11-fonts-cyrillic
  • xorg-x11-fonts-ethiopic
  • xorg-x11-fonts-Type1
Someone needs to check those (renaming, splits…)


Our font package number is getting high, so splitting the @fonts group may be a good idea.

insert cool split proposal here

Also, it's probably a good idea to create a few comps group for strongly related font packages (@sil-fonts, @gfs-fonts, @dejavu-fonts, etc), when such a relationship exists. Groups with less than ten packages are not unknown in Fedora history.

proposed comps patch

insert minimal number of packages for a fonts group to be viable

Packaging guideline changes


A packaging guideline change has been proposed to make font and fontconfig packages follow the same rules. It's on hold while upstream answers an FHS question.


Do people feel font subpackaging deserves a separate package template, approved as a guideline? Or is 'just copy dejavu' sufficient? Should the related macros be put in a separate build-required package (and which one)?

Distribution support

  • The comps changes need support by the comps benevolent dictator.
  • The renamings need infra & packagedb help.

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.