Unpackaged Font of the Week

Unpackaged Open Font of the Week: m+ fonts

I’ve decided to try to feature one cool unpackaged-in-Fedora but freely-licensed font per week for the foreseeable future. There’s a couple of reasons I’d like to do this:

  • To simply keep up with the freely-licensed font options available, and share them for other designers’ benefit. Since I last did a review of freely-licensed fonts in September 2007, there has been a huge explosion of freely-licensed fonts, many of which are of a more impressive quality than ever available before. Whereas not so long ago in the past I could rattle off a handful of freely-licensed fonts I considered ‘good’ off the top of my head, these days it’s hard for me to keep up!
  • To inspire folks to get involved in packaging, specifically font packaging. Shameless begging font package requests via blog have worked in the past. I think it’s maybe a little overwhelming to look at the font SIG font wishlist and figure out which font to package. By highlighting one font at a time, I’m hoping to make it a little less overwhelming.

We are making awesome progress in expanding the number of fonts available in Fedora, by the way. This is thanks to the efforts of Nicolas Mailhot and the rest of the Fedora Fonts SIG and font packagers. If you want to help, join the cause, and maybe pick a font in these weekly highlights & try your hand at packaging it!


mplus fonts sample

The M+ fonts are a clean set of sans-serif fonts designed by Morishita Coji. They come in a nice range of weights, including normal, heavy, thin, ultra-thin, medium, bold, and ultra-bold.

Any takers for packaging m+ fonts? :)

Discussion

22 thoughts on “Unpackaged Open Font of the Week: m+ fonts

  1. I’m not a fedorian so i can’t help on the packaging front, but thanks for the alert to these – they’re *perfect* for a project i have atm.

    Posted by d0od | October 7, 2009, 7:30 pm
  2. I think my greatest complaint about fonts in fedora are their organisation and presentation.

    When I got to select one in almost any app, I already see a huge list of fonts, most of which don’t really apply to me, and whose names look strangely technical.

    I think most of them exist to support other languages. I don’t want to discourage their use by hiding them, but their base ASCII examples often look alike or bad.

    Here’s a sampling:

    technical and not applicable:
    AR PL UKai CN
    AR PL UKai HK
    AR PL UKai TW
    AR PL UKai TW MBE
    AR PL UMing CN
    AR PL UMing HK
    AR PL UMing TW
    AR PL UMing TW MBE

    not very applicable to my locale:
    Baekmuk Batang
    Baekmuk Dotum
    Baekmuk Gulim
    Baekmuk Headline
    Kacst*
    Khmer OS*
    Lohit *
    Samyak *

    technical names:
    cmex10
    cmmi10
    cmr10
    cmsy10
    console8x8
    esint10
    eufm10

    If you knew anyone competent, capable, and interested in fixing the presentation of fonts in Fedora/GNOME, that would be something great to push for. I like having cool fonts in here, but first I’d like to be able to find the fonts. Perhaps a tree that groups them by, say, Baekmuk, and lets you toggle its descendants into view, or groups them by intended locale, or at least shows the locale.

    Also, I’m sure some of the fonts listed above aren’t installed on everyone’s machine, though I’m not sure how they get onto mine (package dependencies?) .

    That said, I do like the fonts you profile for packaging here. I just feel like, even if packaged, it wouldn’t help too much, because they’d have poor discoverability on my system.

    Posted by Richard | October 7, 2009, 8:00 pm
    • One of the great strengths of the free desktop is its support for any common language and script. I love being able to freely mix English, Japanese, and my native Dutch without worrying about fonts, encodings, or installed languages. I want to run GNUCash in Dutch, because managing your finances is difficult enough without having all those terms in English, but I do prefer the rest to be in English. I also develop software that deals with Japanese text, so that needs to be possible to, and it is! Even if your locale is not known for using characters supported by those fonts, not being able to display them would unnecessarily cripple the OS. I don’t want to go back to the Windows days of ⎕⎕⎕⎕⎕⎕⎕⎕.

      All this comes at a price. We need a number of fonts to provide a base coverage of all those scripts. Having those fonts is a good thing, but I agree that a way of categorising them is desirable. This may be good to file as distribution bug in the various distros. Of course, how would you deal with a font like AR PL * ? They do support the Roman script, just not very elegantly.

      The AR PL fonts are Chinese.
      The Baekmuk set Korean.
      The rest sounds like South Asia to me.

      Technical names are bothersome really. Try installing a complete LaTeX stack and look at your font list then. :(

      Posted by Jeroen Hoek | October 8, 2009, 4:57 am
      • I think there is a confusion: we have two type of fonts, some are fonts that cover specific locales and some are artistic fonts, used to create graphics.
        In this post Mo is asking for artistic fonts, which are not supposed to be installed by default, only to be available for those interested.

        Posted by Nicu | October 8, 2009, 9:16 am
    • Actually, AR PL UKai CN is a much better name for a l10n font than Baekmuk Batang because the former tells me what locale/script it is for (zh_CN, i.e. simplified Chinese script) whereas the latter doesn’t (in fact, it doesn’t even tell me that it’s a l10n font and not an artistic font).

      Posted by Kevin Kofler | October 8, 2009, 11:51 am
      • So should the DejaVu fonts be renamed as well? That’s a long list of locales to append. Renaming fonts to include the locales they support doesn’t sound like a very good way of approaching this.

        Posted by Jeroen Hoek | October 8, 2009, 4:05 pm
  3. Submitted my call for better organisation/presentation upstream with GNOME at

    https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=597751

    It’s probably not a particularly coherent or well written request, but it’s something :(

    Posted by Richard | October 7, 2009, 8:34 pm
  4. I think the shameless begging for font packages would be more effective if accompanied by the image of a cute furry being (a cat?)

    Posted by Nicu | October 8, 2009, 5:21 am
    • Oh my goodness you are right. We need furry critters :) Hehe next week I’ll come up with something! :)

      Posted by mairin | October 8, 2009, 7:42 am
  5. Awesome initiative Máirín, thank you very much, we dearly needed someone to blog about the SIG and attract new packagers (it’s not difficult, but no one seems to know it)

    Posted by Nicolas Mailhot | October 8, 2009, 5:49 am
  6. Super! I’m always on the look out for nice looking fonts. :)

    Posted by heathenx | October 8, 2009, 7:03 am
  7. I’d be happy to package some fonts being a bit of a typography geek. I have some experiencing with packaging software for Centos, so it should’nt be much difference if any. Perhaps you can point me in the right direction to get started.

    Posted by imesias | October 9, 2009, 3:31 am
  8. If we have time on Friday, I can walk you through doing one. I’m still pretty new to the packaging process myself, but it’s something I can at least stumble through by this point, and we’ve got the IRC channel and the mailing list.

    If we don’t have time on Friday, show me another font you like then and I’ll do it later that evening while waiting for my aunt to pick me up. ;-)

    Posted by Mel | October 10, 2009, 10:10 am
  9. Amazing… I had just happened to pick this font off of the wishlist this morning. I only stumbled here after being amused by your recent anti-frat party post. What an amazing coincidence!

    I just shot a message off to Igshaan – it’s his if he wants it.

    Posted by Dave Ludlow | October 14, 2009, 11:54 am
    • Hi Dave, sweet. If it turns out Igshaan is working on m+, you could pick up Anonymous Pro :) http://mairin.wordpress.com/2009/10/14/unpackaged-font-of-the-week-anonymous-pro/

      Posted by mairin | October 14, 2009, 1:00 pm
      • @marin, Just to clear up a few things, I have expressed interest in packaging fonts but not confirmed that I will be packaging m+, although the general consensus appears to be I am in the progress of packaging it. It would have been nice to confirm this before announcing that I’m in the “in the process of packaging it” as per your post here: http://mairin.wordpress.com/2009/10/14/unpackaged-font-of-the-week-anonymous-pro/. Please confirm this in future.

        On the other hand, I have confirmed with Dave Ludlow just now, that I will be taking over the packaging of m+. I’ve just finished the some other processes on the aforementioned links.

        Lastly, Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, perhaps we’ll chat soon on IRC.

        Posted by Igshaan Mesias | October 16, 2009, 5:21 am
      • Hi Igshaan, oh okay, sorry about any confusion. To be fair, what happened is that I looked up the font packaging request status, and the font was listed in the ‘in progress’ state. I did say the font was in-progress, the problem is I made the assumption that you had made the status change since you had expressed some interest. Actually, Dave had moved the state and I didn’t know. So I’m sorry for making that false assumption.

        The next time I post an update on a font request I’ll be sure to follow up with those who expressed interest to make sure I don’t announce anything they’re not comfortable with. Sorry again!

        Posted by mairin | October 16, 2009, 8:10 am

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