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Subject: Re: Help improve Rockbox - call for translators

Re: Help improve Rockbox - call for translators

From: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 01:33:53 -0700

2009/3/9 Jonas Häggqvist <>:
> With a Rockbox release around the corner, now is the time to jump in and
> help where you can. As the translation maintainer, I'll focus on this angle.

Hi Rasher/Jonas.  I recently learned that you are using the BDF version
of Unifont that I put together, building on Roman Czyborra's earlier
work.  For last year's releases, my immediate focus was trying to get
the TrueType font in as good a condition as possible for the upcoming
Debian 5.0 (lenny) release.  Debian doesn't even allow BDF fonts to be
installed right now (they must be converted to PCF), so I left major
on the BDF version for a later release.  The only changes I made to
were changes that had already been made by others for Ubuntu.

On the licensing, it is distributed under GPL v2 with font embedding
exception because I included thousands of CJK ideographs from
Qianqian Fang's Wen Quan Yi font, and that is the licensing under which
Wen Quan Yi is distributed. It is a free license, so there shouldn't be
any worries in including the font with Rockbox.

I know there were some questions about why I added glyphs for filler
and for the Private Use Area.

I added the filler glyphs because they let me easily tell how much
work was left to be done in each block of 256 code points.  There was
a lot remaining to be done a year ago.  It wound up being too much
work staring at a grid of 256 code points and figuring out what still
needed to be drawn and what wasn't assigned when there were a lot of
empty code points.  The Unicode Standard says it is okay to have some
sort of filler glyph, so I added them.  The font can easily be built
from the original .hex files without those fillers though; leave out
blanks.hex when concatenating all the .hex files for the hex2bdf
script.  In other words, do something like

    cat *.hex | sort | hex2bdf >unifont.bdf

Just make sure the .hex files don't overlap -- see the Makefiles in
the source tarball to see what gets combined.

I added pencil glyphs in the Private Use Area because again, the
Unicode Standard says you can put a general glyph in there such as a
pencil to indicate there is a special character.  There are 6400 code
points in the Private Use Area, so that's where those 6400 duplicate
glyphs came from.  There's definitely no harm in removing them and if
you're concerned about memory you probably want to remove them.  I was
focusing on an upcoming Debian release, where a few megabytes wouldn't
make a big difference.

I have just put together a .hex file (which I can easily use to
generate a .bdf file) that shows each code point in the PUA as a
four-digit hexadecimal number in a box.  That way if anyone does
encounter a special PUA character, at least they will know it is
there.  You might want to use that instead, or just display the
substitution character.

Someone also commented that having the substitution character, U+FFFD,
as a default character would be better than a space.  Yes, it would.
I plan to change that.

The combining diacritical marks aren't properly superimposed over a
preceding character in the BDF version.  I did get them working
properly in the TrueType version.  If your release is soon, I don't
know if I will be able to fix that in the BDF version in time.

I'm mentioning all of this because you are planning a new release and
trying to get strings translated, so the timing seems right.  I'm not
ready to produce a complete Debian package for my font changes yet,
but I can put together a special release for Rockbox.

Paul Hardy
Received on 2009-03-12

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