Re: Fedora 11 font package changes proposal (renames, splits, etc)

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Le dimanche 09 novembre 2008 à 11:04 -0500, Matthias Clasen a écrit :
> On Sun, 2008-11-09 at 12:09 +0100, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> > ▶ package splits, to offer more flexibility to spin groups and fedora
> > users
> Can I voice some doubt about the usefulness of this ?

Sure, the whole discussion is open.

> Going to your wiki
> page, I read that dejavu has been split into ~10 subpackages.

Actually, it has been split from 3 packages (2 full + 1 lgc) to 6 font
packages (3 full + 3 lgc) + 1 common package and 2 compat packages which
are only used for upgrades (and will be killed in F12). 

The font packages still weight more than your average package. And I'd
be happy to get rid of the lgc packages, except that's pitchfork land,
so if I had to maintain them they should follow the same rules as

> If this
> happens to all font packages, it will blow up metadata and package lists
> and make it harder for users to install a reasonable set of fonts.

I don't think so, packages with a clear content are more user-friendly
than packages that mix good and bad stuff. And the item users recognize
is the font family name they get in font lists. I've seen all too many
times users ask what package provides a particular font, because it was
hidden in a big bundle.

One package per font family means we can get packagekit font
auto-install to work (the main problem when it was last discussed was
how to handle fonts with different capabilities in a single package)
instead of having @font-face install proprietary blobs on use systems.

Also it means that when we add support to a new script spins only need
to add *one* small package to their default package list instead of big
packages that weight 10s of megs.

(for example there is enough size pressure on defaults we're seriously
considering to pass on korean bold because the space is already taken by
other packages)

As written in the wiki page we've tried to let maintainers find the
"best" split and it ended up a mess, one package per font family is a
clear rule which is easy to understand by everyone, and will even result
in subpackage consolidation in a few cases.

> There
> are real costs associated with overly fine-grained package splits. Have
> you really weighted to pros and cons of this idea ? The use case you
> cite
>   Wanting serif from dejavu, mono from liberation, and sans from     
>   tiresias, without dragging in all the other dejavu/liberation/tiresias
>   fonts is a valid setup.
> Doesn't really strike me as worth supporting...

Another use-case is indic fonts. If we had a big monolithic lohit
package malayam users would complain. Because it is split we can have
one set of defaults taken from lohit, and another from smc, without
requiring full install of both of them.

And which font is default at any time is a policy decision, having to
rework package split each time one font gets better than another is not
a good use of resources.

Lastly, multi-font packages have all too often turned into a licensing
mess, because fonts are usually not created together and bundling fonts
often means bundling licenses. tetex is a sorry example of what happens
when you start creating font collections. And once you've decided you
want to split collections the only simple splitting rule everyone
understands without running circles in package reviews is splitting
along font family lines.

(I'm sorry if I need to insist on clear rules for new packagers. I've
just had too many painful font reviews lately)

Nicolas Mailhot

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