bugFree UCS Outline Fonts - Bugs: bug #49666, release is ANCIENT


bug #49666: release is ANCIENT

Submitted by:  Adam Borowski <kilobyte>
Submitted on:  Tue 22 Nov 2016 07:27:53 AM UTC  
Category:  None Severity:  3 - Normal
Item Group:  None Status:  Non-bug
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  Steve White <Stevan_White>
Open/Closed:  Open Release:  development

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Mon 26 Dec 2016 01:43:27 PM UTC, comment #8:

Hi Adam,

Regarding Indic language testers, let me clarify: we do not need a lot more testers. That would be counterproductive -- trust me, I've been there. What we need is a tester, and some time for me to interact with that tester.

If you wish to fork the project, please change its name. I don't want to get any more bug reports. Whatever you do, do not distribute the development software as GNU FreeFont. I should warn you, there are other problems you are unaware of -- not all technical in nature.

As it happens, I may come into some time in a month or so. Just now is out of the question -- things are too crazy.

Thanks for your input, as always.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sun 25 Dec 2016 09:13:57 PM UTC, comment #7:

Another place that's fit for snapshots meant for testers is the experimental suite in Debian -- putting the current version there could be helpful. Should I push such a package?

Adam Borowski <kilobyte>
Sun 25 Dec 2016 05:06:10 PM UTC, comment #6:

However, I'm aware of a couple of severe bugs each of which will take whole weekends of my time, and a couple of Indic ranges really haven't ever been tested by a native speaker. I can only take on such a tester when I have time to fix a lot of things.

These bugs especially for Indic scripts really need to require more testers when fixing them, but native speakers may have a few of people have enough knowledges to build from source and get test results, or has a bad building environment that cause some unexpected results. So I guess you can put pre releases at Download Area or other place that is suitable to release pre builds, alternatively, you can try release early, release often policy.

Sat 10 Dec 2016 04:49:53 PM UTC, comment #5:

Hi Adam,

(Again a bug reposrt isn't a good medium for this kind of discussion. Bot OK.)

Your suggestion oabout deleting problematic ranges is a possibility.

The issues I have in mind are not with glyphs per se, but mostly with lookup tables. Examples: There are several open questions about combinations in the Indic ranges (there are even a few places where Serif behaves differently from Sans). Some may be technical issues -- but always I need a native reader to check Kerning behaves very strangely in right-to-left scripts -- this has taken an awful lot of time in the past few years, and I udnerstand it a little better, but I'm not even sure it's a font problem.

As to the 2012 release, the deal is it works fine on the systems it was targeted at, but not on modern systems. Keeping the old stuff is not an option. I agree that "strictly better" is an ideal not always attainable. Here there are ranges that were working pretty well on the old systems, but have one or two killing bugs in new systems.

Do you think you could help with any of those?

One thing I really should do, professionally speaking, is collect all my scattered notes about problems, and the open bug reports, and make a document fit for public viewing, in the form of a triage. (I've started that a couple of times, but the effort always fizzeled out.) What I have now is lists of various scripts, with various problems (some pretty serious). This should be done in any case.

I haven't brought the issue of testing up with an Indic group for some time. It's complicated: here you'll get far too much help, and there a surprise political explosion. Trust me, it's complicated.

Each of these will all take some time, which just now I can't spare.

But all the technical issues have kind of taken a back seat. A few months ago, a very bad legal question arose -- the entire project as such is in jeopardy. I have been assured that people are working on it, but I haven't heard anything for some time. My focus righ now is on getting that sorted out.

As to Debian: I'm sorry, I cannot take on the timetable of other projects. Things are messy enough as they are.

Keep bugging me about it, Adam (but please be nice). I am concerned about this, and (once the legal issue is resolved) I will find some time. Maybe between us we can sort out a way for you to personally take part.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sat 10 Dec 2016 01:17:35 PM UTC, comment #4:

What kind of "severe bugs" are you concerned about? Because you (or "we" for some kind of "us") could make a branch and delete new ranges that are not of the quality you wish for, or copy buggy glyphs from the old version. This way, we could have most of those 4.5 years of your hard work in the Debian release that's about to freeze.

By dropping ranges and reverting individual glyphs, we can eliminate any regressions from 20120503. "Strictly better than the old version" is easy to get.

I can look for testers if you wish, too, if you name ranges that need testing -- I know only one Indic person but it's a matter of asking around.

Adam Borowski <kilobyte>
Mon 28 Nov 2016 11:55:03 AM UTC, comment #3:

Hi anonymous,

I don't follow how that could be helpful at all. Please explain.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Mon 28 Nov 2016 02:54:44 AM UTC, comment #2:

I guess you can create an mirror at GitHub, then more people would help you.

Tue 22 Nov 2016 03:54:20 PM UTC, comment #1:

Hi. Adam!

Of course, I'm quite aware that the release is old.

The problems are: I have very limited time to put into it personally, and I lost several testers since the last release.

I have imposed a sort of freeze on new ranges -- in the past couple of years people have asked for a few things and if they were easy, I obliged them. You will notice several bug reports that are "posponed" -- these are mostly big additions that I don't have time for. But it is wrong to accuse us of wasting time by adding things. The main problem is with testing.

In the past few months, several good people have done some amazing work in this regard, finding dozens of individual bugs, and some serious functionality problems. But there are whole ranges that remain untested.

Unfortunately, we've lately lost a lot of time over an issue with the licensing. FSF personnel have decided that the license statement means soemthing other than we thought it did. I have personally spent whole days gathering information, writing and re-writing emails. Currently we are awaiting a resolution.

However, I'm aware of a couple of severe bugs each of which will take whole weekends of my time, and a couple of Indic ranges really haven't ever been tested by a native speaker. I can only take on such a tester when I have time to fix a lot of things.

I will not release it until I'm satisfied that everything is working at least as well as it was in 2012.

This isn't a bug with the software per se. It's maybe a bug with the monolithic nature of the project, and with my own organizational abilities.

Thanks for your input, Adam!

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Tue 22 Nov 2016 07:27:53 AM UTC, original submission:

The last release of FreeFont was four and a half years ago. This means, all of your recent hard work is not available to users -- most get only released versions.

In particular, Debian freeze is soon, thus could you please tag a new release anytime soon? If you take more than around a month, updated FreeFont won't make it to Stretch, there'll be two more years till users see your work -- again, most use only released distributions as well.

I see FreeFont's development has greatly picked up pace again, which is good. But, this can lead to a syndrome of "I'll add this, and this, and that before the release" which delays it ad kalendas graecas. As tags are cheap, there's no reason not to release now then again soon with goodies you want to provide.

Thus, it'd be nice if you could release even right now.

Adam Borowski <kilobyte>


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