Description of problem:
The freetype maintainer in https://www.freetype.org/freetype2/docs/subpixel-hinting.html recommends "using the Liberation family of fonts (version 2 and up, important!)" and criticises Fedora because it still ships version 1.x. I think it's time to try switching to v2 again. We tried that a few years ago (https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/Liberation_Fonts_2 ) and stopped it then due to problems (see Bug 856239); but from above recommendation it sounds like the problems we faced might be gone fixed in between.
From skimming the mentioned bug report, I think the "problems" didn't go anywhere. v1 ships with a different hinting strategy than v2. v1 goes for full-pixel snapping of all stems at all sizes like it's Windows 95. v2 goes for a lighter (subpixel) stem snapping all around, giving a much softer ClearType-y look that is still pretty sharp. Using FreeType 2.7 will display both softer than with previous versions. It's guaranteed that people will file bug reports like Bug 856239 again. It's a matter of expectations and getting used to the look of the newer and technically better version.
(It's possible to combine both hinting approaches in one font and have them used depending on FT's TrueType interpreter version, but that would require someone to do the combining work and add old strategy hints to all the newer glyphs of v2. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)
As you know Technically Liberation 1.x and 2.x are different.
For now, i am making Copr repository available for Liberation 2.x, lets again test and have feedback.
Based on user feedback, we can decide what to do.
For F26: We can plan 2 option:
1- Ship Liberation 2.x default and provide Copr repo for Liberation 1.x
2. Ship Liberation 1.x default and provide Copr repo for Liberation 2.x
(In reply to Pravin Satpute from comment #3)
> As you know Technically Liberation 1.x and 2.x are different.
Then it imho would be the best to have both in the proper repos, then those users that don't like the new font design can easily stick with 1.x without having to deal with coprs.
But I assume that's not easily possible? I wonder if using alternatives would be worth the hassle.
I would also prefer to have Liberation 2.x as default. Given that Liberation 1.x is buggy in Fedora since 23 (https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1336042)
Is the copr repository up already? I would be happy to test.
Here is the Copr repo
Let me know if you find any issues while upgrading.
Same issues as with Liberation 1.x. See bug 1336042 :(
Hi, are there plans to move the liberation2 package into Fedora proper? We'd like to update the default font in Workstation.
Excellent, i am happy to know this.
Present plan is at https://pagure.io/i18n/issue/77 but it will take some time.
In brief, have both packaged with different name, so it will be on user side to decide which to use.
Michael What timeline are you looking for?
Well it's not urgent, so I don't have a timeline for you. But it'd be nice to ship with the latest Liberation fonts sooner rather than later.
Providing both sets of fonts seems fine. I think we will install only the newer fonts by default, though. So whenever you have the new package ready, let us know and we'll update comps.
P.S. I misspoke is comment #8. Deja Vu fonts are the default fonts in Workstation and we're not planning to change that. I meant to say that we currently have the old Liberation fonts installed by default, and we'd like to ship the new ones instead, following the recommendation of the FreeType maintainer in the last paragraph of https://www.freetype.org/freetype2/docs/subpixel-hinting.html.
Created attachment 1404651 [details]
Screenshot for Liberation1 with no hinting
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Screenshot for Liberation1 with hinting, v35 engine.
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Screenshot for Liberation1 with hinting, v40 engine
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Screenshot for Liberation1 with auto hinting
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Screenshot for Liberation2 with no hinting
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Screenshot for Liberation2 with hinting, v35 engine
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Screenshot for Liberation2 with hinting, v40 engine
Created attachment 1404658 [details]
Screenshot for Liberation2 with auto hinting
I understand that v40 is the default FreeType engine now.
Liberation 2.00 looks better overall to me: eg compare the height
of "Th", "d", and numbers for sizes 13, 15, 16.
Liberation 1 sometimes looks a little heavier (due to hinting I guess).
I think we should build liberation-fonts 2.00.1 first for F29 Rawhide,
and then consider updating F28.
Built the Liberation 2.00.1 upstream release in Fedora 29/rawhide. Please test if you are using rawhide and provide any feedback here or open a new bugzilla if needed.
Did we get https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1336042 under control?
Actually, I'd rather see the Liberation fonts leave Fontconfig territory and be converted to UFO sources. Then we'd have up-to-date tooling to build the fonts.
(Err Fontforge territory)