Reading Canonical Design's post 4 months ago made me really intrigued using 11.04.. yet, we're already in Beta 1, feature freeze and all, and no fonts.
Is this still due to be implemented in this version?
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
The only expansions of the fonts have been ready to go in for the Ubuntu 11.04 release are Light (+Italic) and Medium (+Italic). It is unlikely that any of the other expansions will make the release. Remember that Ubuntu the operation system uses time-based releases, but Ubuntu the font family uses quality-based releases. Yet like (in theory) all of the other components in Ubuntu, it is about taking the best that is available at the time of the freeze and polishing that.
Proportional Light and Medium (four fonts) work fine on MS Windows, Mac OS X and via Google Webfonts we have an issue that somewhere, probably in FontConfig/Qt is not parsing the weight of Medium correctly on Ubuntu. Medium is between is between Regular and Bold, and Light is lighter than all of the rest.
The Ubuntu Monospace consists of a further four fonts. There are currently blocked on deciding whether they should be the same height as the proportional fonts:
The Semitic fonts (Arabic/Hebrew) are expansions of the main four fonts (not be separate
.ttf files). These are at the engineering stage, the beauty of Arabic means that it needs to flow from one letter to the next using various OpenType features and this has required more effort. On the Hebrew side the reception of the design has not been as clear-cut as for the Arabic, so Hebrew may end up taking longer. A Hebrew sans-serif font is very hard to get right, and there's no point releasing it until it's clear that it's definitely better than the other libre fonts out there covering Hebrew. Both Hebrew and Arabic represent vowels sounds/cantillation marks as diacriticals placed around the characters:
Although the Semitic fonts were originally scheduled/hoped to come out at the same time, it's possible that the Arabic additions may be earlier if they end up being ready first.
One of the hardest part is knowing who can provide feedback on a given script/language. One of the most useful things you could do is assemble a contact list of people who have the skills to test the fonts and are definitely willing to give feedback (positive or negative) after doing so to improve the final result.
It would be useful up to the mailing list or beta team so that it's easy to keep in contact and know when new parts are available, or proceeding through the phased testing process:
Hope that helps. Making a typeface and its fonts takes a really long time! Is there any specific that you had in mind which I've missed above, or which I can try and get answers for? Please do let me know!