bugFree UCS Outline Fonts - Bugs: bug #37060, Monospaced font source SFD files...


bug #37060: Monospaced font source SFD files have glyphs with zero width

Submitted by:  None
Submitted on:  Thu 09 Aug 2012 02:28:58 PM UTC  
Category:  overall font problem Severity:  3 - Normal
Item Group:  installation Status:  Non-bug
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  Steve White <Stevan_White>
Originator Email:  -email is unavailable- Open/Closed:  Open
Release:  2012-05-03

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Sat 18 Aug 2012 09:16:04 AM UTC, comment #4:

Hi Stephen,

Sorry this reply wasn't so prompt.

My work-around will be to write my own program which just sets the required 'post' table flag in the binary. This is horrible, but I see no other way at this time, short of changing the way FreeMono works just to work around somebody else's bug.

As to your own font development, let's discuss it off-line!

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Fri 10 Aug 2012 12:45:10 AM UTC, comment #3:

Thank you for the prompt reply. What is the suggested FontForge workaround? I used a text editor to reset the zero width values to the common non-zero value (and added a comment to remind me I had clobbered that glyph) but is there a better way?

I am designing new mono-space glyphs that mesh with BOX DRAWINGS DOUBLE line ones to allow drawing of Maps in the TinTin++ Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) Client and am trying to use FontForge to create them in the FreeMono font family and feel it would be best to work with the native file format (.SFD) it uses. I choose this family of fonts because of the rich variety of glyphs in it as TinTin++ only works with a single one at a time.

I did have a self-compiled FontForge (Cywin on WinXP) but it was not too stable and eventually I found a more stable pre-compiled CygwinPorts (bleedin' edge Cygwin ?) that works better (still crashes and burns, just not as frequently - thank goodness for the recovery system...)

Stephen Lyons <slysven>
Thu 09 Aug 2012 10:58:17 PM UTC, comment #2:

Hi, Stephen!

I am aware of the FontForge bug.
I also submitted a patch about it.

The standards for many years have explicitly allowed monospace fonts to have non-advancing widths. All software I have seen permits non-advancing letters (and some older software required it.)

But there are people who think that FontForge should not follow the longstanding standards (and that the standards should be changed, for reasons that escape me). They have basically fillibustered the patch, providing no evidence for their case, excepte hearsay. It appears any efforts to correct FontForge on this point are time wasted.

This wouldn't matter much, except that the upcoming versions of the font rendering software require a certain flag to be set for monospace fonts, and the FontForge bug will soon cause builds of FreeMono to not be usable as a monospace font.

A work-around should be possible. Extremely annoying, but possible. I've been working on one for some time now.

Let me know if you have any further ideas on this.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Thu 09 Aug 2012 02:33:20 PM UTC, comment #1:

Sorry, new here and forgot to log-in, before posting. 8-O

Stephen Lyons <slysven>
Thu 09 Aug 2012 02:28:58 PM UTC, original submission:

I think there is an issue in generating the FreeMono fonts from the latest FontForge .SFD files: I have found that some glyphs have had their width (advance?) set as 0 and not the default for the rest of that file. This is an issue for FontForge as it requires all glyphs to have the same width in order to properly manufacture a font which is to be marked as monospace. See: http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/faq.html item: "How do I mark a font as monospaced?"
For example, examining the FreeMono.sfd from the 20120503 version in a Text editor 323 glyphs can be found to have a width of 0 and not the standard 600 for this variant. The first appears to be:gravecomb and the last:zerowidthjoiner



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  • -email is unavailable- added by Stevan_White (Posted a comment)
  • -email is unavailable- added by slysven (Posted a comment)

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    Follow 3 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2012-08-09 Stevan_White StatusNone => Non-bug
        Assigned toNone => Stevan_White
        SummaryMonospaced font source SFD files have glyphs with non-standard width => Monospaced font source SFD files have glyphs with zero width

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