15 Aug 2002 raph   » (Master)

Font problems

It's hard to find good, free TrueType fonts. See this note on debian-devel for more evidence.

Even the nonfree Microsoft fonts that everybody uses aren't available for free download any more (thanks to Peter Novodnorsky for bringing this to my attention).

Now's my turn to say, "nyah nyah, told you so." I've long argued for Type1 and against TrueType fonts, for political, technical, and aesthetic reasons. Now that we're moving to high-resolution printing and unhinted antialiasing, the hinting embedded in the font is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Even if you are going to do hinting, a good renderer is capable of some very nice quality with Type1's. Formerly, all the free renderers sucked, but FreeType's is now showing quite a bit of promise.

The message linked above doesn't mention it, but there's a good set of Type1 fonts with a GPL license. Recently, Valek Filippov has extended these fonts to include Cyrillic glyphs, thereby fulfilling the spirit of the GPL. We'll include these in the full Ghostscript release, by the way, as soon as we test them to make sure they don't cause regressions in Latin documents.

By the way, URW did not donate these fonts under the GPL out of their own hearts. Artifex paid good money for them, and donated them out of a mix of self-interest and altruism.

Bug bounty

We've set up a bug bounty program for Ghostscript. It'll be very interesting to see what kind of results we get. If positive, we might do something like this regularly.

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