Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Review of Kannada fonts released by Karnataka Government

I just did a quick review of fonts released by Karnataka Government [a]. This is not from rendering perspective but from technical aspects of the fonts.

All fonts has following issues:

1. Font is specified as a Serif in PFM family.    Fonts is sans-serif still style is incorrectly given in true type fonts.

2. Version should not contain wording like "Initial Beta release".
    Presently given versions are like:- "1.000 2013 initial Beta release"
    Please refer [b] for version guidelines.

3. Font Embedding Permissions should be more relax.
    Presently it is only Editable embedding. It should Installable fonts so even receiver of document can use it.
    Refer font embedding permissions [c]

4. Incorrect License url
http://shabdalipi.com/ of TTF names not working

5. Some glyphs does not follows AGL guidelines
    Font has some glyph names starts with "_".
    Example: _uni0C96_uni0CCD  there is also glyph name uni0C96_uni0CCD. When two glyphs has same component one should be with name .alternate or .alt
    In above case it should be
    uni0C96_uni0CCD and uni0C96_uni0CCD.alt
    Please refer: [d]
    "If multiple glyphs in a font represent the same character in the Unicode standard, such as "A" and "A.swash," they can be differentiated by using the same base name with different suffixes. The suffix (the part of glyph name that follows the first period) does not participate in the computation of a character sequence. It can be used by font designers to indicate special characteristics of the glyph. The suffix may contain periods or any other permitted characters. For example, small cap "A" could thus be named "uni0041.sc" or "A.sc.""

6. This is not a bug but font contains 1478 glyphs. 
I am sure one can make same quality font with less number of glyphs by using Open type GSUB and GPOS tables.

7. Normal and Bold version of font should have same family name.

Following are the fonts in release tarball
  • Kar Chandrashekhara Kambara.ttf 
  • Kar Girish Karnad.ttf         (Bold:-  Looks like bold version of Kar Chandrashekhara Kambara.ttf   )
  • Kar Puthina.ttf
  • Kar Gopalakrishna Adiga.ttf   (Bold: Looks like bold version of Puthina)
  • Kar Puchamthe.ttf  
  • Kar U R Ananthamurthy.ttf
  • Kar K S Narasimhaswamy.ttf  (Bold)
  • Kar Maasthi.ttf     (Bold)
  • Kar Kuvempu.ttf              (Bold)
  • Kar Shivarama Karantha.ttf  (Bold)
  • Kar Vi Kru Gokak.ttf  (Bold)

  • Kar Da Raa Bendre.ttf

      Above mentioned bugs should be fix before the purchase and release of the fonts from Government. One should test rendering of these fonts with latest stable version of Harfbuzz-NG included in most of the key projects including Libreoffice, Gnome, Android and so on. These rendering issues must be fixed before the release of the fonts.

a. http://www.karnataka.gov.in/kcit/Downloads/Kannada%20and%20Culture%20Department-Unicode%20Softwares.zip
b. http://semver.org/
c. http://www.adobe.com/products/type/font-licensing/font-embedding-permissions.html
d. http://sourceforge.net/adobe/aglfn/wiki/AGL%20Specification/

Tags: #kannada, #fonts, #agl, #harfbuzz, #opentype