Open-source typefaces

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Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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Well of course I read your post, how else could I have asked questions about it?

I dropped out after my masters.

And yes, I read Karl’s posts, I had forgotten them though. I would rather not have to re-read an entire thread to determine the meaning of acronyms. Another Plain Language principle.

Following this discussion, my understanding of open source fonts is still hazy. My best simplified definition would be a typeface with working files for which the creator has granted permission for others to modify and re-distribute. That’s significantly different than free.

As far as boiler-plate responses, I do so because I see the same mistakes over and over. Using acronyms and poor hyperlinks makes it harder for the lay-typographer to participate, and creates accessibility issues for visually impaired readers.

And foul language just reflects poorly on the entire community.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Chris, plain language is for plain folk. It's not that you should try to be not plain if you are, it's that you shouldn't try to be plain if you aren't.

hhp

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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Plain language is for everyone. That’s the entire point.

It's not that you should try to be not plain if you are, it's that you shouldn't try to be plain if you aren't.”

Please tell me thats suposed to be ironic and hilarious. Translation?

John Savard's picture
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Joined: 23 Nov 2009 - 8:42pm
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@Chris Dean:
1. What is “R/I/B/BI”?

Context indicates: Roman, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic.

Terseness, rather than verbosity, marks, for example, a classified ad for an apartment to rent; and so in the description of a particular font, this was followed - to conserve bandwidth, and serve the primary audience.

If everything that the non-typographical reader could not immediately understand had to be spelled out in every post, that would make it cumbersome to post and so on...

Please tell me thats suposed to be ironic and hilarious. Translation?

Even if you are a technical expert, yes, you should try to be clear and understandable at all times - and to have the capacity to make yourself understandable to laypersons when appropriate.

However, pretending to be 'just plain folks' and adopting the speech of another social class is disrespectful, and can be interpreted as mockery. That could have been what he was referring to.

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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Don’t try to be strange if you are normal, and don’t try to be normal if you are strange.

Have I got it?

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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Yet another example of hilarious irony!

Using the word terseness (brief and to the point) in a conversation about Plain Language.

Great material.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Translation?

I know you're just acting stupid to make a point, but: be yourself; don't ask others to be yourself. Of course that's not a perfect translation. Nothing ever is. Oh and you know this supposedly simple thing they teach you called Synonym? No such thing. Language is way too powerful to be plain.

hhp

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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Be yourself; don't ask others to be yourself.”

That’s actually quite beautiful. With your permission, I would like to quote you in my book. With a proper citation of course:

Papazian, H. (2012, November 03). Re: Open source typefaces (Online forum comment). Retrieved from http://typophile.com/node/97575?page=1

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I wrote that in public, so you don't need my permission (but thanks for asking).

hhp

Steve Marston's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2006 - 10:11am
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Chris,

I really do appreciate your work at Typophile, but I do not take kindly to condescension. I prefer language that has precision, concision, clarity, and grace. But your being the Plain Language Police, or the nanny for your preferred posting language is a bit over the top. Of all the egregious errors in posting at Typophile, your singling out my post, in which I was trying to contribute to answers to your question, is misguided at best. I have no real problem with boilerplate when it is appropriate, but you use it indiscriminately. You're better than that. The issue is not just plain language, but appropriate language, something that "Plain Language" alone fails to address.

Steve

Neil Caldwell's picture
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Joined: 8 Jan 2010 - 12:11am
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It'd be kind of coolio if there were a website such as open source typefaces or open source fonts (both of which are available as I write), which would list on going modifications of a particular typeface. In the notes the designers are given lines to explain what they see need be added etc..

And of course the website would be a go to for all open source typefaces.

n.

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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both of which are available as I write

URLs?

Neil Caldwell's picture
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Yep, domains urls. You can grab them through godaddy dot com.

n.

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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I was asking what the URLs of the sites you were referring to in your previous comment:

It'd be kind of coolio if there were a website such as open source typefaces or open source fonts (both of which are available as I write).”

Neil Caldwell's picture
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...if there were a website...

This is turning into a Monty Python sketch isn't it?

Isn't it?

n.

Steve Marston's picture
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>This is turning into a Monty Python sketch isn't it?

Well, yes and no. They are both silly, but Monty Python was intentionally funny. This thread is ludicrous by the pretentiousness of some of the posts. Guess which ones.

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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To assist documentation:

"R/I/B/BI" – Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic. O for Oblique may replace the I.

"SIL Open Font License" – An open-source (recognised as such by the Open Source Initiative) font licence developed by SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) for their own use and adopted by others.

"GPL with font exception" – The General Public License with an exception that specifically exempts (PDF) documents embedding the font(s) from the GPL.

Free – The problem with 'free' is that there are two kinds of it in English: Free beer (gratis, for free) and free speech (libre, freedom).

- - - - -

@Renaissance Man – There is still a lot of un- and badly-documented slang and jargon out there. Also, your infosheet was badly organised, with many assumptions. Using tags would have been more helpful, say:

Typeface: Andada
Foundry: Huerta Tipografica
License: OFL 1.1
Designer: Carolina Giovagnoli
Description: ...
Webfont URI: ...

Good tagging makes searches easier, too.

Steve Marston's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2006 - 10:11am
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>many assumptions

What's a URI?

>Using tags would have been more helpful

Why am I being singled out? No other post in this thread uses those tags!

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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Yours was merely the most recent example.

URI = Uniform Resource Identifier, the New Order name for the humble URL or web link.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Chris, what's a "URL"?

Reynir, what do you mean by "documentation"?

hhp

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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@hrant – In myth, documentation was a process that would make things easier to use and/or understand.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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What do you mean by "process"?

hhp

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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A series of actions that transforms an input into an output. Beyond this point, I'll have to point you towards encyclopedic sources, be they Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica or other similar sources.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Wait a second, you expect me to open a new window, and actually type something into Google?!

hhp

John Savard's picture
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@Té Rowan:
URI = Uniform Resource Identifier, the New Order name for the humble URL or web link.

I was going to say...

No!

They're very similar, and closely related, but they are not the same.

but I see that I was only half right.

A URL is still what it always was: an actual web address, the first part of which has a direct mapping to an IP address, its raw or internal form.

But there is also what I thought a URI was - an URN, or universal resource name; that follows a given site around, even as it gets hosted in different locations.

A URI can be either a URL or an URN.

Neil Caldwell's picture
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This thread is ludicrous by the pretentiousness of some of the posts. Guess which ones.

lol.

But the whole I'd say most threads, especially the ones which are for the betterment of the forum(s), are most like a Kafka novel ... and in particular The Castle.

Just sayin'

n.

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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@hrant – Sadly, I'm not omniscient. In particular, I did not know I looked so dreadfully boring to you lot.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Who said anything about boring?

But what do you mean by "omniscient"? Seems like a really unplain word.

hhp

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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Last time I checked, 'omniscient' had only one meaning: Knowing everything.

J. Tillman's picture
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Joined: 27 Sep 2009 - 11:31am
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Chris Dean, I support, in general, your various posts regarding clear communication. And to everyone, don't assume you know the background or qualifications of everyone here. All are interested in type, but from different angles. They may be type designers, or students, or graphic designers or technical writers. They may be native English speakers or English may be the second or third language. So take the time to be clear, even if it means putting an explanatory phrase into your post if it is needed.

Back on topic: Deja Vu
main page: http://dejavu-fonts.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page
license: http://dejavu-fonts.org/wiki/License

Gentium, a SIL font
main page: http://scripts.sil.org/Gentium
SIL license: http://scripts.sil.org/OFL
FAQ: http://scripts.sil.org/Gentium_faq

All the SIL fonts home: http://scripts.sil.org/FontDownloads

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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take the time to be clear

Clear is relative, and time is priceless.

hhp

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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HVB's picture
HVB
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Joined: 17 Feb 2006 - 9:43am
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These SAY they're open source fonts. They may be;

http://www.theleagueofmoveabletype.com/
http://www.netmagazine.com/features/top-10-open-source-web-fonts

Google CALLS their collection of free web-fonts "open-source", but they don't appear to be.

- Herb

Karl Stange's picture
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Google CALLS their collection of free web-fonts "open-source", but they don't appear to be.

The article, http://<cite>Why Google Web Fonts aren't really open source</cite> by Matthew Butterick from his website, Typography for Lawyers raises some very interesting points about Google's approach.

Karl Stange's picture
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Crimson is a font designed by Sebastian Kosch and released under the SIL OFL:

http://www.aldusleaf.org/crimson.php

Karl Stange's picture
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The Arsenal free font for Cyrillic and Latin, winner of a Ukranian font competition hosted by the Mystetsky Arsenal Foundation and the Stairfors Design Studio was recently released by Andrij Shevchenko under the SIL OFL. According to Andrij in the discussion in the Release forum, giving the font away was one of the goals of the contest.

Karl Stange's picture
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The Linux Libertine and Biolinum fonts have been released under both the SIL OFL and GNU GPL with font exception:

http://www.linuxlibertine.org/index.php?id=91&L=1

Karl Stange's picture
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Cyreal hosts a number of fonts released under the SIL OFL:

Lora, designed by Olga Karpushina:

http://cyreal.org/2012/07/lora/

Alice, designed by Ksenia Erulevich:

http://cyreal.org/2012/07/alice/

Wire, designed by Alexei Vanyashin and Gayaneh Bagdasaryan:

http://cyreal.org/2012/07/wire/

Junge, designed by Alexei Vanyashin:

http://cyreal.org/2012/07/junge/

Marmelad, designed by Manvel Shmavonyan:

http://cyreal.org/2012/07/marmelad/

Marko Horobchyk, designed by Zhenya Spizhovyi:

http://cyreal.org/2011/12/the-making-of-marko-horobchik/

Lobster Cyrillic, an expansion of Pablo Impallari's <cite>Lobster</cite> by by Alexei Vanyashin and Gayaneh Bagdasaryan:

http://cyreal.org/2011/03/lobster-cyrillic-realeased/

Karl Stange's picture
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Volkorn by Friedrich Althausen is a nice family of four fonts which was http://originally released under a Creative Commons license but has subsequently been http://updated and released under the SIL OFL.

This is a good example of how important it is to try and trace the source of a given font to the original designer and check the application of a particular license as there are significant differences between the freedoms afforded by these two different licenses.

The Guidebook section of the Open Font Library site has a good overview of and links to information about various open source and free software licenses.

Steve Marston's picture
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J. Tillman: > You left out styles, designer, language support, description."Take the time to be clear ... putting an explanatory phrase into your post if it is needed." What's a FAQ?

Chris: >"So far we have...": You left out Andada

To all those joining the "clear, plain, explanatory" Police: Oh ye of so little humor. You're all missing hrants point: He's mocking you!

If every post had every word, term, and fact spelled out in excruciating detail, each post would be longer than most threads, and we'd have little time left to do anything else. Instead of stooping to the lowest common denominator and assuming ignorance on a massive scale, let's give some credit to the Typophile audience. BTW (that's by the way) I'm ticked off by the hypocrisy of the Police: most don't even follow their own guidelines for clarity, detail, or organization. Glass houses, indeed!

How did a thread about "Open source typefaces" get to be about "plain language? Oh, yes, Chris started both. It would be nice it we stayed on topic. In General Discussions, "Anything goes." I thought that meant any topic was fair game for a thread, not that everything but the kitchen sink was OK within a thread.

Steve Marston's picture
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Volkorn has no kerning table. No, I'm not going to explain that.

Jens Kutílek's picture
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So, suddenly a list of fonts starts to form.

My 2 cents: Unless a font being «Open Source» is your only criterion for choosing a font, such a list isn’t very useful.

And I’m still wondering about «Open Source typefaces», that term doesn’t make sense to me. What’s the source of a typeface? The type designer’s head? hand?

Steve Marston's picture
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Robert, if you're assuming ignorance on a massive scale for your kids, please don't have any.

Karl Stange's picture
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And I’m still wondering about «Open Source typefaces», that term doesn’t make sense to me.

It would perhaps be more accurate to describe them as fonts released under an open source license, as much as you might describe fonts released by a major foundry as released under a commercial license.

Alex Taylor's picture
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Joined: 5 Jun 2012 - 6:06am
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Raph Levien has a couple, in particular Century Catalogue and Inconsolata.

The M+ series have the following, extremely simple, licence:

These fonts are free software. Unlimited permission is granted to use, copy, and distribute it, with or without modification, either commercially and noncommercially. THESE FONTS ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY.

Old Standard seems to be released under the SIL OFL.

So is Cardo.

Karl Stange's picture
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RibengUni, designed by Bivuti Chakma and Jyoti Chakma with assistance from Jan Żurawski is a recently released font that supports the Chakma script. It is licensed under the SIL OFL and uses Paul Hunt's Source Sans Pro (Regular) as the basis for its Latin component.

HVB's picture
HVB
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How does 'open source' differ from 'public domain', where permission is explicitly granted to modify, re-publish, etc.?

Karl Stange's picture
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How does 'open source' differ from 'public domain'

In my experience through the presence of an explicit license. Where I have seen fonts "released" into the public domain they are accompanied by a statement which makes that clear without imposing any kind of license. For example, Barry Schwartz's Goudy Bookletter 1911:

http://crudfactory.com/font/show/gb1911

Clicking on the "Public Domain" link on that page takes you to the Wikipedia entry for public domain.

Jens Kutílek's picture
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It would perhaps be more accurate to describe them as fonts released under an open source license, as much as you might describe fonts released by a major foundry as released under a commercial license.

Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough, my confusion arose from the terms «Open source font» vs. «Open source typeface», as both were used in this thread, and my impression was that they were used to mean different things.

Open source fonts are easy to define for me, the source being a FontLab VFB file or FontForge or UFO file, and being made available together with the fonts under an Open Source licence.

Karl Stange's picture
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Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough, my confusion arose from the terms «Open source font» vs. «Open source typeface», as both were used in this thread, and my impression was that they were used to mean different things.

I am pretty sure that it comes down to them being used interchangeably as opposed to referring to different things, at least in the context of this thread but detailed re-reading may prove otherwise.

For my part I have been referring to fonts licensed under a specific open source license, as per your definition, sorry if I have added to the confusion by using the terms interchangeably. In some cases it may be the intention from the initiation of a concept, through the drawing of letters to engineering and distribution to consider the typeface as "open source" in whatever sense people choose to interpret that and the more philosophical debates at the beginning of the thread are certainly more along those lines, but as Chris was asking for a list (and as this is something I would find useful as well) that is what I have focused on.