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Subject: Unifont (was: Re: Help improve Rockbox - call for translators)

Unifont (was: Re: Help improve Rockbox - call for translators)

From: Jonas Häggqvist <>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 16:53:02 +0100 wrote:
> 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
> work
> on the BDF version for a later release. The only changes I made to
> hex2bdf
> 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.

This should be noted somewhere, but I can't find anything in our sources
to indicate any license for Unifont. Does anyone else know where we have
this kind of info put down (if anywhere)?

> 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.

Okay, this seems reasonable, but it did indeed have us confused for a
while. I think in the end we scripted our way past it and removed the
filler glyphs.

> 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

I think our problem is that we've been using the BDF from your site
directly, rather than "compiling" our own from the .hex sources.

> 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.

I think we'll opt for the substitution character, since including the
hexadecimal number boxes will bloat the font size for little gain.

> 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.

I don't even know how Rockbox' font handling deals with combining
characters - if someone else could weigh in on that, that'll be great.

> If your release is soon, I don't know if I will be able to fix that in
> the BDF version in time.

It's probably too late to make it for the upcoming release (which should
be on the 23rd, if nothing goes wrong), but since we're currently on a
3-month release schedule, the next release isn't too far off.

Jonas Häggqvist
Received on 2009-03-12

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