[Scribus] Live-CD: TeX fonts

PLinnell mrdocs
Mon Jul 4 02:25:42 CEST 2005

Hi  Christoph,

On Monday 04 July 2005 01:49, Christoph Sch?fer wrote:
> Hi Peter,
> > At first glance, I would be *very* skeptical of including any
> > kind of converted fonts without some serious QA on the fonts
> > after conversion.
> >
> > By serious, I mean testing several different with commercial RIPS
> > with many different documents, as well as having someone with
> > detailed knowledge of fonts looking over each font carefully in
> > fontforge.
> That is exactly the reason why I asked for real life experience. As
> you wrote, scribus will winnow out crummy fonts. Maybe this can be
> sripted somehow: first convert TeX fonts to Type1, then check with
> scribus? Just an idea.

Forget scripting *completely*

Font QA is painstakingly a manual job. It takes *months* to QA a 
single font properly. Matthew Carter reportely spent nearly a year on 
Verdana to get it finished. He is widely considered one of the 
world's top designers.

Think in the order of several hours *per glyph*.

Case closed.

One of the few free to use fonts I recommend is the Lido fonts listed 
on www.scribus.net You might want to read the notes which accompany 
the creation of that font. That similarly gives one an idea of how 
long it takes to create a good quality font.

> > The lack of good free fonts in the OSS world is a tough one.
> With respect to Type 1/TTF/OTF your statement is true, but the
> supply of TeX fonts is quite rich. In case they could be converted
> into *reliable* Type 1 fonts, we had a huge repository of excellent
> fonts, including a huge amount of glyphs per font.
> Christoph

Bitmap fonts converted into outlines will need similar QA as above to 
be considered reliable.

I hate to throw cold water on the idea, but if it was easy, why has it 
not been done before, especially considering the dearth of good free 

I wrote in the docs, I am a font snob. I freely admit it and I am not 
likely to be persuaded otherwise. I am not in the least concerned 
about providing overwhelming evidence to support that. That includes 
more than a few grey hairs :-)

Font QA is one area where the commercial folks can say they are 
superior at the moment and they are 100% correct. The rest we OSS 
folks win.

We on the team have spent an inordinate amount of time diagnosing font 
issues and assisting users who have stuffed their system with crap 

My rule with fonts is 99.5% of the time free fonts suck. I won't  use 
them and I do not advise you either. 

I have painstakingly documented the 0.5% which are worth using.

Sorry for ranting, but bad fonts waste a *lot* of development team 
time. Moreover, they can cost *thousands* on a botched print job.

Just my 0.02,


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