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Microsoft Typography Withdraws Free Web Fonts

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the kindness-of-strangers dept.

Microsoft 649

jonadab writes: "Microsoft Typography has for years provided a set of very nice True-Type fonts for free-as-in-without-monetary-cost, including the excellent Andale Mono (the only scalable fixed-width font I really like). They are gone. Here is the Microsoft page where they formerly were, which now tersely explains that they're not available any longer. There is an article about this on extremetech. According to the article, Microsoft says the withdrawal of the fonts at about the same time as the LinuxWorld is coincidence. The article also references a Debian package that has been removed from the distro because of this. If I understand my rumours correctly, it was a package that downloaded the fonts from MS, displayed their EULA, and allowed the user to extract and install the fonts. It was possible to do the same thing using other distros. Guess it's time for the OSS people to make some decent-looking scalable both-screen-and-printer fonts (preferably TrueType). At minimum, we need nice-looking serif proportional (to replace Verdana), a sans proportional (to replace Georgia), and a mostly-sans fixed (to replace Andale Mono), all with good language support. This should have been done a long time ago, since the MS fonts were, albeit $0, not licensed in an open fashion. We always knew we were relying on MS Typography's generosity, and that these could disappear at any time. But now the need is more urgent."

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Nigga!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092542)

GD FP biasodifjaopj!

These wil be missed (0, Offtopic)

kikensei (518689) | about 12 years ago | (#4092544)

This is no good :(. First thing I do with a new SuSE install is fetchmsttfonts.

First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092545)

linux rlz m$ sux lololololol!

micro$haft are bastards for doing this to us!

Re:First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092551)

you slow boy.... very slow...

Re:First post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092567)

hope you have 10 bux

Re:First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092615)

this is /. not SA

Luxi fonts? (3, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about 12 years ago | (#4092550)

Having just done a big bunch of font changes
(on my Gentoo machine, Helvetica won't anti-alias, so I had to reconfigure KDE) I noticed the Luxi fonts that aren't from MS, but
they do look pretty nice, and they scale and anti-alias well, could they be used as a base for
more fonts.

I personally would like a replacement for the
Comic-sans MS font (personal preference I know).
Since I've already got the fonts, looks like they're getting burned to CD for future use!

How do you design a font? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092552)

What open source tools can I use?

Tools for you (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092610)

I found a nice program a couple of days ago.

Try pfaedit [sf.net] . It supports TTF fonts as well as bitmap fonts and has a lot of good features. It supports simple latin-1 fonts as well as unicode fonts and author seems to really know what he's doing since website tells a lot about differences and inner workings of different font types. Pfaedit seems to try its best to convert everything necessary so user doesn't have to worry about them too much.

It is a work in progress but I think good artists can make miracles with it. Website also has good documentation altough I think in-program documentation could be a bit better (just to know where to start). I tried it myself a bit but since I'm no artist..

Website also links to other free font editors but pfaedit seems to be most mature. Most of others only support bitmap fonts.

Re:How do you design a font? (5, Insightful)

karm13 (538402) | about 12 years ago | (#4092632)

i know this sounds troll, but if you don't know which tools to use you are not the right person to do this.

designing fonts is not rocket science, but it comes pretty close. typography might even be the equivalent of rocket science in design.
what we certainly don't need is hundrets of people making up amateur open source fonts, but a few people who know what they're doing.

what might be possible is to find and old font (most common fonts are quite old, and the other good fonts usually are based on them), or a former-eastern-block font and reconstruct it. but you still need quite some experience to do this. i personally wouldn't even try.

Re:How do you design a font? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092680)

what might be possible is to find and old font (most common fonts are quite old, and the other good fonts usually are based on them), or a former-eastern-block font and reconstruct it.

We'll even get used to having the letter "R" backwards after a while.

Re:How do you design a font? (5, Insightful)

wfrp01 (82831) | about 12 years ago | (#4092693)

You're right of course. However, making font design tools widely available is still a good idea. If we want more good fonts, then we need more good designers. And if we want more good designers, then we need to give people who aren't designers yet the tools to get there.

What do you think Hermann Zapf's first font looked like? Probably horrible.

Re:How do you design a font? (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | about 12 years ago | (#4092653)

Well, software isn't even the main obstacle. Designing a font is a huge amount of work, and requires lots of special training. The best typography is done by people who have devoted their lives to it. For that reason, it probably makes more sense to start from font designs that are already free-as-in-something, and just translate them into formats that are open and not patent-restricted [sourceforge.net] .

Also, remember that you aren't just designing an ASCII character set. You need a math font, such as the STIX project [slashdot.org] , and what about Chinese, Arabic,...?.

Anyway, to answer your question, Knuth's Metafont is a standard part of TeX [tug.org] . It's a special-purpose programming language for designing scalable fonts. Way ahead of its time! The problem is that its output isn't in any modern format. There are various conversion tools, but I don't know how good they are (pktrace, textrace, ps2mf, Mathkit,mktekpk).

There are also some free font-design tools that I know even less about: PfaEdit [sourceforge.net] , TTX (converts between TT and XML, so you can edit by hand).

Re:How do you design a font? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092659)

How do you design a space shuttle?

I heard 3ds max is a good tool?

hmmm (4, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | about 12 years ago | (#4092555)

"In a statement, a spokesman for Microsoft said that the company withdrew the free fonts for several reasons. "Most users who wanted the fonts have downloaded them already," a company spokesman wrote in an email to ExtremeTech. "They ship with recent OS's - Windows XP and Mac OS (via Internet Explorer). Microsoft has also found that the downloads were being abused - repackaged, modified and shipped with commercial products in violation of the EULA [licensing agreement]."

So, everyone who already wanted them had downloaded them, they come with XP and OS X, and people were abusing them.--Damned OSS hippies ;) (joking, joking, out down the chair)

Didn't know you could determine that everyone who needed them already had them. Interesting. I'd like to see the metric used to determine that.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092687)

Reminds me of "nobody needs more than 640k."

i don't know much about font making.. (1)

digirave (569748) | about 12 years ago | (#4092556)

was curious how much resources it would take? i always imagined it'd take a lot esp. for multilingual unicode supporting fonts(so many chinese characters too!! not to mention korean characters are also stored one by one not as the korean alphabet) dunno, may be simple, but it seems so daunting to me

SHUT UP! SHUT UP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092619)

[slashdot.org]

Other systems fonts? (0)

hermeshome.se (233303) | about 12 years ago | (#4092557)

Isnt there any other fonts from other systems that can be used? I know Atari used vector fonts for example. Maybe some of their old fonts can be recycled without breaking any laws/copyrights?
There must be free fonts somewhere that are free.

GNU should make this a priority (5, Insightful)

JamesKPolk (13313) | about 12 years ago | (#4092560)

I once mailed GNU, asking them what they're doing about fonts, but got no reply.

Good fonts are important for the usability of a computer system. And even if GNU doesn't make the fonts themselves, GNU seems to be the project that would create the tools needed to make fonts, just as GNU provides their make and compiler and debugger to developers worldwide.

Re:GNU should make this a priority (1, Troll)

10Ghz (453478) | about 12 years ago | (#4092708)

Well, looking at pace of GNU-projects and if they started designing replacement fonts right away, we might expect them to become available in 2007 or so

What will we do?! (0)

6e7a (256012) | about 12 years ago | (#4092563)

Oh no! Let's all upload the fonts to an off-shore site! The fonts want to stay free!

Desktop Layout. (1)

TheStudent-stickit.n (547195) | about 12 years ago | (#4092566)

First thing new users notice when I set them up with there first Linux desktop is that the fonts look different then they do in windows. So I now have a policy of changing the fonts to look more like windows now before I send them a new machine. Guess that won't be a option anymore. My question though is isn't there a alternative to TTF for linux thats nativly done? I seem to remember different ways that TTF could be used being talked about in my X Setup.

I don't see the problem (5, Funny)

Krapangor (533950) | about 12 years ago | (#4092569)

Won't be missed.
I never got these fonts working with lynx or vi.

Re:I don't see the problem (2)

Dahan (130247) | about 12 years ago | (#4092590)

Try using xterm's -fn option.

Re:I don't see the problem (1)

frankske (570605) | about 12 years ago | (#4092606)

-fa you mean? If you want them Xft anti-aliased (and you shoud!)

www.microsoft.com.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092570)

Microsoft's TrueType core fonts for the Web are no longer available for download from www.microsoft.com

I expect them on at least 4 major P2P networks by, say, the 100th post.

Anyone else see the irony? (2)

CBNobi (141146) | about 12 years ago | (#4092572)

The web fonts were released so people can design sites which look sharper and nicer, such as the Verdana font. Others, like Georgia is "bordering on trendiness", as someone else put it.

And yet, Slashdot, the site that posted this news, is still using Times New Roman.. ironic.

Re:Anyone else see the irony? (3, Interesting)

gilroy (155262) | about 12 years ago | (#4092589)

Blockquoth the poster:

And yet, Slashdot, the site that posted this news, is still using Times New Roman.. ironic

Why? I happen to like Times New Roman. I don't like many of the "hipper" fonts people tout. This isn't meant to be a flame... I seriously want to know why people have moved away from TNR.

Re:Anyone else see the irony? (2, Interesting)

CBNobi (141146) | about 12 years ago | (#4092612)

Why?

If you're asking why it's ironic, it's because the web fonts' primary purpose (I believe) was to move away from the classic fonts like TNR.

If you're asking why people started to move away - it's a matter of style. Just like you don't often see advertisements with serif-text.

Re:Anyone else see the irony? (5, Insightful)

bziman (223162) | about 12 years ago | (#4092643)

And yet, Slashdot, the site that posted this news, is still using Times New Roman.. ironic

Actually, I would imagine that Slashdot is one of the very few sites that doesn't suck, and uses what ever fonts your browser specifies. Of course, since I have fonts disabled, I only see Times New Roman and Courier New in my browser anyway.

<RANT>

Do any of you adults out there remember when Tim Berners Lee came up with this stuff, and how HTML was just supposed to be a recommendation on how to present the data, and not a formal definition of what it's supposed to look like? Hmmm? If you develop a site and you want it to look a specific way (then you're... nm), then use flash or pdf or postscript. But if you give me HTML, I'm going to render it the way I want to see it rendered.

</RANT>

-brian

Re:Anyone else see the irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092688)

If you look at the recent HTML standards (not like Slashdot follows any kind of HTML standards much less recent ones) you'll see they're getting back to the idea that it's supposed to be a Markup Language. All of the appearance controlling elements in the *MLs are deprecated and it's just about structuring and content. If you want style use CSS which can be overriden and controlled by the viewer.

Re:Anyone else see the irony? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092717)

Anyone remember the day when things were allowed to evolve to meet the needs of the medium and people didn't bitch about how their browsing experience isn't exactly the same as 1995?

Grow fucking up. Things change over time. The world doesn't just stop wehn you get comfortable with something. Goddamn Luddite.

Re:Anyone else see the irony? (3, Insightful)

Hrunting (2191) | about 12 years ago | (#4092613)

And yet, Slashdot, the site that posted this news, is still using Times New Roman.. ironic.

No, not ironic. Slashdot does not still use Times New Roman. Your web browser still defaults to Times New Roman. I have my default font on my MS box set to Tahoma, and Slashdot renders in Tahoma and is much easier to skim because of it. If anything, Slashdot's solution is the "most open" solution.

The real question is, "Why are you still using Times New Roman, when other better web reading fonts are out there?"

Web sites shouldn't specify fonts. (2)

cduffy (652) | about 12 years ago | (#4092646)

If it doesn't render right with the default font (or any reasonable font selected by the user), it's broken.

Relying on specific fonts for pages to render correctly is just asking for breakage -- and the FONT tag is deprecated, anyhow.

CSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092720)

You can also specify fonts using CSS which is not deprecated.

Re:Web sites shouldn't specify fonts. (1)

Anonymous Cowtard (573891) | about 12 years ago | (#4092721)

If it doesn't render right with the default font (or any reasonable font selected by the user), it's broken.

How's that? Funny how Slashbots decry people who don't follow the W3C standards then, when they do use things specified (until now) in those self-same standards they say it's broken.

Can't have it both ways bucko.

How is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092573)

Microsoft is an amoral corporation. If they can hurt Linux sales in some way, they`ll just go ahead and do it.

What did you expect? "Here are our clearly superior fonts, please use them in your open source project."

You must be quite naive. Hopefully the open-source commnity has learnt from this and will produce some exceent fonts of their own (GPL'd, of course.)

Nitpicking... (1)

bdesham (533897) | about 12 years ago | (#4092575)

we need nice-looking serif proportional (to replace Verdana), a sans proportional (to replace Georgia)
Actually, Verdana is a sans-serif font, while Georgia is serif.

backwards? (0, Redundant)

Bleeblah (602029) | about 12 years ago | (#4092578)

"At minimum, we need nice-looking serif proportional (to replace Verdana), a sans proportional (to replace Georgia)..." Verdana is sans, Georgia is serf.

LICENSE (5, Interesting)

jmd! (111669) | about 12 years ago | (#4092580)

1. GRANT OF LICENSE. This EULA grants you the following rights:

* Installation and Use. You may install and use an unlimited number of
copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.

* Reproduction and Distribution. You may reproduce and distribute an
unlimited number of copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT; provided that each copy
shall be a true and complete copy, including all copyright and trademark
notices, and shall be accompanied by a copy of this EULA. Copies of the
SOFTWARE PRODUCT may not be distributed for profit either on a standalone
basis or included as part of your own product.

So uhm, looks like I can distribute it without charge. Someone give me a place to stash 1.5M:

-rw-r--r-- 1 jmd jmd 1524606 Dec 7 2000 truetype.tar.gz

Re:LICENSE (5, Interesting)

erikdalen (99500) | about 12 years ago | (#4092634)

They're already distributed here [sourceforge.net]

(An easy way to install Microsoft's TrueType core fonts on linux)

/Erik

Re:LICENSE (1)

Soft (266615) | about 12 years ago | (#4092662)

So uhm, looks like I can distribute it without charge. Someone give me a place to stash 1.5M:

-rw-r--r-- 1 jmd jmd 1524606 Dec 7 2000 truetype.tar.gz

According to this debian-devel message [debian.org] , you may not place the files into a tarball. They must be the original .exe's, with the same file names.

But another poster replied to you to point to SourceForge.

Re:LICENSE (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092672)

If anybody has the orignal files, matching the following md5sums, we should check the EULA and see if we can, indeed, distribute these executables.

MD5 (webfonts/andale32.exe) = cbdc2fdd7d2ed0832795e86a8b9ee19a
MD5 (webfonts/trebuc32.exe) = 0d7ea16cac6261f8513a061fbfcdb2b5
MD5 (webfonts/georgi32.exe) = 4d90016026e2da447593b41a8d8fa8bd
MD5 (webfonts/verdan32.exe) = 12d2a75f8156e10607be1eaa8e8ef120
MD5 (webfonts/comic32.exe) = 2b30de40bb5e803a0452c7715fc835d1
MD5 (webfonts/arialb32.exe) = c9089ae0c3b3d0d8c4b0a95979bb9ff0
MD5 (webfonts/impact32.exe) = 7907c7dd6684e9bade91cff82683d9d7
MD5 (webfonts/arial32.exe) = 9637df0e91703179f0723ec095a36cb5
MD5 (webfonts/times32.exe) = ed39c8ef91b9fb80f76f702568291bd5
MD5 (webfonts/courie32.exe) = 4e412c772294403ab62fb2d247d85c60
MD5 (webfonts/webdin32.exe) = 230a1d13a365b22815f502eb24d9149b
MD5 (webfonts/Aruniupd.exe) = 1bef548eb449a0b24ad1c0b8e9d5f2ba

Other distro (2)

mfos.org (471768) | about 12 years ago | (#4092581)

The familiar distro (for ARM based PDAs, mostly iPaq's) counted on this heavily I believe, for your handheld.

I could tar them up for you people? (1)

i_am_pi (570652) | about 12 years ago | (#4092582)

Anyone want a copy, send an email to littlemanthegeek at yahoo dot com

Pi

Not to Nitpick... (3, Interesting)

Archie Steel (539670) | about 12 years ago | (#4092584)

...but Georgia is the serif font, and Verdana is the sans serif (the serif being to little line thingies at the top and bottom of the letters).

Anyway, this is bad news indeed - I believe it's aimed squarely at Codeweaver's Crossover programs, making them less usable by removing the possibility of downloading fonts. IANAL, but can't someone just take the original font, change it by a specified amount, and re-release it as a replacement font?

No, that would be a Derivative Work (1)

Great_Jehovah (3984) | about 12 years ago | (#4092652)

Unless you could convince someone it was a satire :-)

Redistribution is OK as long as it is not for profit. This means that someone completely unaffiliated with any arguably profit-making venture that might use the fonts could set up a server and all the installers could point to that. I suppose a non-profit could be set up and run on donations.

But that would require time and resources better spent hiring a typographer to make some good free fonts.

Re:Not to Nitpick... (2)

DavidBrown (177261) | about 12 years ago | (#4092664)

Taking the original font, modifying it, and publishing it is a violation of copyright - the new font would be a derivative work, well beyond the boundary of "fair use".

The solution here is to adopt any of a number of true-type fonts that are in the public domain. I had a CD-ROM of them once, and I still use "blackletter686.ttf", a sort of olde english font, to make the words "Last Will and Testament"
look more official looking.

Lots of good fonts (1)

platypussrex (594064) | about 12 years ago | (#4092587)

There are lots of good fonts out there. Some designed specifically as replacements for the M$ fonts. Trouble is getting any kind of uniform decision on them. M$ weren't the best, but they were (are) everywhere, so you know that if you use Verdana, say, on your web page, almost everyone will have it.

This sounds like a typical M$ trick. Take something that is widespread and then break it so that other products don't work with it.

No tools for making fonts (1)

Adenine (201170) | about 12 years ago | (#4092591)

Creating fonts (good ones) is considerably harder than it may seem. The tools to do so are limited and aren't being supported well. An open source tool similar to Fontographer (but with more features and updates) would be welcome. Many private font companies develop their own in house software to create fonts. The really big stumbling block is that most font design is done on the mac and right now there are no font creation tools I know of for mac osx.

Re:No tools for making fonts (2, Informative)

sunya (101612) | about 12 years ago | (#4092623)

PFAEdit [sourceforge.net] is a sophisticated graphical editor for designing and editing Postscript fonts. It has tools for specifiying hints for the glyphs, and even has a autohint function that will determine and set hints for you automatically. Truetype hints, called instructions, while not supported at design stage, PFAEdit will try to convert PS hints to TT instructions. But yes, font design is an art and a science.

Re:No tools for making fonts (1)

Libor Vanek (248963) | about 12 years ago | (#4092699)

Sorry, but I disagree. I don't know too much about font design, but as far as I know it's very complicated thing which needs lot of knowledge and practise. And also - designing font is not something that Joe The Guru will EVER do. So the tools are targeted to VERY limited group of user with very specific requests and features.
So I think doing OSS for font desing is WASTE of time and I'd prefer to see some foundation for letting fonts designed.

Font Editor (5, Informative)

sunya (101612) | about 12 years ago | (#4092592)

PFAEdit [sourceforge.net] is a sophisticated graphical editor for designing and editing Postscript fonts.

Still available (2)

Da Schmiz (300867) | about 12 years ago | (#4092594)

CrossOver Office uses this to install necessary MS fonts, and the office-support mailing list has been buzzing about this lately.

For a while, the fonts were still available here [microsoft.com] , but I just checked it and it looks like they were taken down from there too.

Isn't redistribution permitted? (3, Insightful)

Soft (266615) | about 12 years ago | (#4092595)

According to /usr/share/doc/msttcorefonts/READ_ME!.gz on Debian Woody machines:
1. GRANT OF LICENSE. This EULA grants you the following rights:
Installation and Use. You may install and use an unlimited number of
copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.
Reproduction and Distribution. You may reproduce and distribute an
unlimited number of copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT; provided that each copy
shall be a true and complete copy, including all copyright and trademark
notices, and shall be accompanied by a copy of this EULA. Copies of the
SOFTWARE PRODUCT may not be distributed for profit either on a standalone basis
or included as part of your own product.
2. DESCRIPTION OF OTHER RIGHTS AND LIMITATIONS.
[...]
Software Transfer. You may permanently transfer all of your rights
under this EULA, provided the recipient agrees to the terms of this EULA.
Can't this package be redistributed verbatim for free?

Is TrueType 'free'? (2, Interesting)

qurob (543434) | about 12 years ago | (#4092596)

Or is it adobe property?

linux people won't make/use fonts (or anything else) unless everything about them is free

Re:Is TrueType 'free'? (1)

elflord (9269) | about 12 years ago | (#4092648)

Is TrueType 'free'? (Score:1) Or is it adobe property?

TrueType was created by Apple and Microsoft to break up Adobes font monopoly. Even today, Adobe are largely Type1 only.

linux people won't make/use fonts (or anything else) unless everything about them is free

Not true. THere have been several non-free packages that have enjoyed widespread popularity on Linux, such as these fonts.

Cheers,

Re:Is TrueType 'free'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092685)

"Is it an adobe property?"

How can you not know that truetype was created by Apple and Microsoft so that they wouldn't have to pay licences to Adobe!? It was made to make ATM and Postscript fonts go away!

Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092601)

There are lots of mirrors for this file. Now stop bitching.

We have (4, Informative)

Ruie (30480) | about 12 years ago | (#4092608)

Well, actually, XFree86 4.2.0 already includes truetype fonts, contributed by Bigelow and Holmes.

inspire:/etc/X11/fonts/TTF$ ls -l
/etc/X11/fonts/TTF/
total 980
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 3214 Jan 19 2002 encodings.dir
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 7892 Jan 19 2002 fonts.dir
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 7892 Jan 19 2002 fonts.scale
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 74076 Jan 19 2002 luximb.ttf
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 69872 Jan 19 ....
more fonts follow

For further information please see /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/doc/RELNOTES (search for 4.22) and /xc/fonts/scaled/TTF/COPYRIGHT.BH (the latter file is located in XFree86 4.2.0 source tree)

Re:We have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092630)

localhost~:$ ls -l /etc/X11/fonts/TTF
ls: /etc/X11/fonts/TTF: No such file or directory

Stop using Linux, you fucktard. Or maybe you meant ls -l /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TTF?

Either way, everybody should use *BSD!! You hear me?

Re:We have (1)

Ruie (30480) | about 12 years ago | (#4092665)

I just want to point out that:
  • there is nothing wrong with using Linux
  • using /etc/X11/ for storing common files makes a lot of sense when one keeps several XFree86 trees (for example for driver development or, latest DRI CVS and stable 4.2.0)

Using Linux is IMMORAL. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092696)

Linux is so badly written, it undermines people's faith in well-engineered free software ike the BSDs or XFree.

Once a newbie has been exposed to Linux and its general unusability, they will never again consider using open source, which is a shame, given that open source offers so much for everyone.

Re:We have (2)

Ray Dassen (3291) | about 12 years ago | (#4092650)

Yes, do look carefully at its copyright. It's the reason why it's included in Debian's non-free section in the xfonts-scalable-nonfree [debian.org] package.

Re:We have (2)

Ruie (30480) | about 12 years ago | (#4092684)

The original point that was raised was about absence of fonts not the inability to modify them (which applied to MS fonts as well)

AFAIK, the reason copyright file excludes modifications is because B&H wanted to preserve fonts as is and not to have slightly modified copies floating around

Another Reminder... (0, Offtopic)

Psx29 (538840) | about 12 years ago | (#4092614)

of why even thinking of using that .NET apache plugin is a bad idea.

Re:Another Reminder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092626)

Exactly!

Specially when the Mono guys have a working ASP.NEt implementation that works on any platform supported by Mono.

Go Mono Go!

Re:Another Reminder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092647)

What the hell fuck are you talking about you dumb hippie?

Open Source Licensing for fonts (1)

Froze (398171) | about 12 years ago | (#4092616)

If there is another area of "IP" besides code that would benifit from an open source license, I would think that fonts would be it. the font could be tweaked an fixed until it was a nice usable design, the font could serve as the foundation for other font construction, and it would serve as a foundation for multiplatform standard. How come there aren't already a bunch of OSL fonts already out there??? It shouldn't extrememly difficult to create said fonts, should it?

Note, IANAFD (font designer) so if anybody know about font design this would be a great chance to enlighten the rest of us.

Heh (5, Insightful)

ErikZ (55491) | about 12 years ago | (#4092618)

Well, Linux has always had a problem with nice looking fonts. It doesn't have any.

And who wants to program fonts when they're trying to program something cool? Font making is generally not covered in Computer Science classes.

My suggestion? Pay to have them done by a professional. Bang together a donation page and try to set up a deal with someone who can do the work. If you name the font set after the company and put contact info in there, it's free advertising.

I'm sure they'd offer a discount if you did something like that.

Re:Heh (1)

Libor Vanek (248963) | about 12 years ago | (#4092678)

Mod this guy up - I absolutely agree, except the advertising - it'll be frustrating to use in documents fonts named "John Smith, Company Ltd. - Times New Roman" :-)

Re:Heh (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092690)

My understanding is that you need to have each font in every character set, which costs a LOT, especially if you need them all manually hinted (every symbol's edge manipulated at the different sizes it will display at so that it will always anti-alias correctly, which is something a computer can't do)

Ofcourse, you can start with latin-1, and work your way out from there.

Another problem is that you need license which is like a gpl for fonts (you can't use the GPL because fonts are not code). And as I understand it the FSF is working on just that. This license issue is very important too. Debian recently discovered that they only have a few fonts (only a handful) in the whole of debian which comply with the debian free software guidelines (and by extension the open source definition).

CrossOver Office (1)

Lyran (398696) | about 12 years ago | (#4092622)

Could it be that people were dumping Windows and Microsoft Office for Linux + CrossOver Office + Microsoft Office.

For many people, Microsoft Office is the primary application that they use. It is mandated at the university that I teach at that documents must be distributed in MS Word, Excel ,or PowerPoint format. CrossOver Office allows Linux to be pretty good (and much more stable) platform than Windows - free of DRM, spyware and the Microsoft tax.

As part of the install, you have (had) the option of downloading TrueType fonts (arial, Times New Roman, et al). This was so a document produced in Microsft Office running under Linux looked the same is it did running under native Windows.

This seems the only reason to download the fonts from M$.

Debian and fonts (1)

return 42 (459012) | about 12 years ago | (#4092624)

The Debian community recently became more aware of font licensing issues after one of the developers noticed there are a lot of non-free fonts in main [debian.org] . So I expect there will be some shaking out and reorganizing of non-free fonts anyway.

not to nitpick, or anything... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092625)

but Verdana is the sans, and Georgia is the serif.

The loss of Verdana is really sad -- it was the"first" (read: first designed by a famous typographer) font ever designed specifically for the screen instead of adapated from print media and was commissioned by MS from Matthew Carter. More info [microsoft.com] , straight from the horse's mouth.

My favorite Carter font is Walker, the mix 'n' match typeface that he designed for the Walker Art Center [walkerart.org] in Minneapolis. Totally brilliant.

Linux Font Project (5, Informative)

erikdalen (99500) | about 12 years ago | (#4092628)

Something to checkout for people wanting free fonts: Linux Font Project [nitro.dk]

/Erik

the one good thing about the MS monopoly... (3, Insightful)

mlas (165698) | about 12 years ago | (#4092629)

...and now they're taking it away! I teach web development and design, and I've referred my students to this page for a couple of years now so that they can see the fonts they can count on most people having on their machines. These MS fonts were, for a time, installed with every MS OS, every copy of Office (Mac and PC) and every copy of Explorer (mac and PC) which is an alarming percentage of machines.

I used to joke that the monopoly was a good thing in this case because it drops these fonts everywhere and somewhat standardizes the font choice for web developers. I don't wanna contemplate a world without Verdana.

Thank god at least I've been using central CSS, so I only have to change one or two lines per site if the fonts need to be changed!

Get an old CorelDRAW! CD (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092633)

Any version from 3.0 onwards will have 600+ excellent quality TrueType and .pfb fonts, and you will pay about $10 fair and square for them.

Could someone explain something for me? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092635)

How come that using the same fonts (MS fonts) in Xfree without anti aliasing looks far worse than disabling anti aliasing in windows?

In fact windows 95 did not even have AA by default it wa spart of the plus pack and fonts were always perfectly acceptable? Is there some config related trick to sorting this out?

Re:Could someone explain something for me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092663)

A lesson learned: Windows is better than Linux.

Single-source/monopolist dependency (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092636)

In most engineering projects, especially any for govt. or military, one is not allowed to use any product or material which is only available from a single-source. Obviously, some exceptions can't be helped, but generally it's adhered to, and for the very reasons you (we) experience with this MS font and other similar situations.

So now you know why monopolies are a bad thing.

good free fonts: an oxymoron (1)

alienw (585907) | about 12 years ago | (#4092640)

Unlike other things, free fonts that look good on a display are almost impossible to create. They simply will not look nearly as good as the Microsoft fonts.

Typefaces are one of the most difficult things to create: you have to have hundreds of glyphs that have to look consistent, proportional, and pleasing to the eye. You have to get the spacing exactly right, or it will look horrible.

Low-resolution scalable display fonts (like the Microsoft ones) are even more difficult to create. When you have a monitor running at 75 or 100 dpi, you cannot automatically scale vector fonts and have them look good. That's why most type1 fonts look like sh*t on a display even though they were professionally made. Scaling only works on high-resolution output devices: typesetting machines have several thousands dpi of resolution, while monitors have 75 - 100 dpi. The Monotype (the company that made fonts for M$) fonts use special programming (ttf bytecode) to provide low-resolution glyphs. Most font editing programs will erase the bytecode, and the font then looks like crap. Try opening Verdana with FontLab, changing a glyph or two, and saving it. It will then look like sh*t.

Anyway, my point is that font design should be left to the professionals. No amateur designer will be able to make something as good as one of the Microsoft/Monotype fonts. If you want to try anyway, the tool to use is FontLab. It is one of the best font editors out there.

not TrueType, OpenType (4, Informative)

khuber (5664) | about 12 years ago | (#4092642)

OpenType succeeds TrueType and Type1 fonts. It's a better format.

opentype overview [adobe.com]

-Kevin

Freeloading linux wankers unite! (0, Flamebait)

mveloso (325617) | about 12 years ago | (#4092644)

Geez, it's amusing how many comments here blast MS on the one hand, then bitch that MS removed its free fonts (that the same critics were using).

It just goes to show how ridiculous Linux advocates really are. Chhhhumpolas!

(Slap) I'm a user (Slap) I'm a developer (Slap) I'm a user (Slap) I'm a developer (Slap) I'm a user and a developer!

So WHAT? (0, Troll)

limekiller4 (451497) | about 12 years ago | (#4092645)

Could someone please explain to me what is so hard about making a font that this is a crisis? I can't imagine it would be any harder than specifying the vectors in something like Illustrator and then releasing it. What's the big deal? So they aren't free anymore. We can make our own.

If it's so easy... (2, Funny)

ChaoticCoyote (195677) | about 12 years ago | (#4092704)

...why don't you do it?

Re:So WHAT? (1)

DebianGeek (92502) | about 12 years ago | (#4092707)

Sorry, but anybody who thinks good looking, scalable typefaces (not fonts!) are easy to create is displaying ignorance.

To understand why, read up on what led Donald Knuth to create TeX and all the supporting programs--arguably the earliest, significant (80-90% of all mathematical papers are typeset with TeX) Open Source programs out there.
Incidentally, typeface creation leads us back to Donald Knuths' programs as tools, which kind of close the Open Source history a bit.

Sans-Serif (1)

eSun (217758) | about 12 years ago | (#4092655)

Serifs are the little lines at the edges of letters. Georgia is a serifed font, Verdana is a sans-serif font. (sans=without)

I know I'm ignorant, but... (2)

ColGraff (454761) | about 12 years ago | (#4092656)

Why, exactly, does this matter? Personally, I care not a whit what font I read or write in, so long as it is legible. Is there a large group of people who care about this stuff? Should I be choosing my own fonts for school papers with more care, or is this just some sort of pro/semi-pro publishing thing, that Joe Term Paper need not bother with?

Just as a sidenote (3, Informative)

Zwei (300334) | about 12 years ago | (#4092661)

The default fonts in that package, and the fonts that come with Microsoft proucts, are actually knockoffs [ms-studio.com] of the fonts that came with the original PostScript package.

fucking linux hippies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092666)

you fucking assholes really know how to screw things up for everyone else, you know that? because you fucktards can't even be self-reliant and make your own damn fonts, now no one else can use them.

fuck you all.

and quit calling microsoft M$ or whatever. its fucking lame and it doens't make you cool or "l337".

assholes. all you bastards even have the cheek after fucking things up for everyone else, to post this on slashdot, home of unwashed hippies, and bitch about microsoft doing anything to take a potshot at OSS.

now don't even get me started on the lame jokes about bill gates. you all are just jealous cos you'll all never be like him, which you all secretly want to be.

did i get my message across clear? if not i'll repeat myself: FUCK ALL LINUX HIPPIES!! YOU'RE ALL JUST A BUNCH OF FUCKING LOSERS AND ASSHATS!!!

Who/what is affected? (1)

SunPin (596554) | about 12 years ago | (#4092669)

Is directed solely at Linux users?

Re:Who/what is affected? (1)

Alec Varezz (583223) | about 12 years ago | (#4092711)

FreeBSD has a port /usr/ports/x11-fonts/webfonts.

The open source two-step (1)

HawaiianMayan (550426) | about 12 years ago | (#4092677)

1. "Open source software is great because it's designed *by* engineers *for* engineers to itch a scratch. So it's free of the corrupting influence of all the idiots you have to deal with in corporate programming: marketing types pandering to users, graphic designers adding useless frills, usability people trying to dumb it down, and technical writers getting things wrong."

2. "Why are there no open source fonts? Where can I get free icons? This online help is useless! Why don't non-programmers like Linux?"

I know I'm wildly over-generalizing. But read Slashdot comments sometime with an eye toward how "creatives" are regarded by the open source community.

Re:The open source two-step (1)

khuber (5664) | about 12 years ago | (#4092689)

HawaiianMayan:
I know I'm wildly over-generalizing.

Indeed.

-Kevin

Serif/Sans-Serif (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4092706)

-- snip -- ...we need nice-looking serif proportional (to replace Verdana), a sans proportional (to replace Georgia), and a mostly-sans fixed (to replace Andale Mono)...
-- snip --

A Serif is that pointy thing hanging off of the letters in fonts like 'Times'. Times is a serif font, VERDANA is a sans-serif font, GEORGIA is a serif font. You've got it backwards.

Corefonts project (5, Informative)

jensend (71114) | about 12 years ago | (#4092712)

These fonts are still available from the Corefonts project [sourceforge.net] . This is perfectly legal and in accordance with the EULA [sourceforge.net] ; see the copy of Microsoft's FAQ [sourceforge.net] . The project also includes "a source rpm that can be used to easily create a binary rpm package that, when installed, gives access to Microsoft's TrueType core fonts for the Web."

This thing is something I have never understood... (2, Interesting)

jukal (523582) | about 12 years ago | (#4092714)

I quess, I am the only one, but I don't really understand how someone can "own" a fucking font. To me, this is even more bizarre than the case with mindless patents - even the Amazon.com one. But a font, it's ridiculous. Where does this originate from - history anyone? To me this has been for around 15 years one of the biggest mysteries in computing.

Download link (1)

IdentityCrisis (235840) | about 12 years ago | (#4092722)

You can still download the fonts here [files.vn.ua]
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