Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Re: Lohit vs Noto Indic fonts

If there was a way to encourage more consumers of Indian scripts to
test the Indic Noto fonts (thanks for the Copr repo!) it might make it
easier to decide whether the future would have less of Lohit.
Anecdotally, I have been using the Noto fonts for Bengali for a while
now - web applications from Google and all - and I have not stumbled
into any obvious rendering issues. Would be worth the while to run any
test cases for rendering with Noto and check for printing as well (the
early days of Lohit font included quite some testing which surfaced
need to improve the print quality)


On Sun, Jun 11, 2023 at 11:37 AM Jens-Ulrik Petersen
<petersen@redhat.com> wrote:
> Hi, we have been thinking about the default fonts for Indic (Indian) scripts in Fedora.
> For many languages in Fedora we are already using Google's open-source Noto fonts (for most Western languages and also Arabic and CJK (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) and more, not least Emoji too. Also already for Gurmukhi (Punjabi) and Sinhala.
> $ rpm -qa google-noto-*-fonts | wc -l
> 26
> Noto fonts have the advantage that they are available in different faces ("Sans" and "Serif") and multiple weights (also as Variable Fonts (VF), which can save a lot of space). They also seem to be generally actively maintained.
> So we would like feedback on how Indian Fedora users feel about using the Indic Noto fonts compared to Lohit fonts (which we haven't been able to maintain actively for some time now), given the above advantages.
> Sudip Shil has prepared some comparison screenshots using his fonts-compare tool of Lohit vs Noto: see https://sshil.fedorapeople.org/lohit-vs-noto-comparison.html
> To easily test Noto yourself, Sudip Shil has also prepared a Copr repo which contains the Lohit fonts rebuilt with lower priority: https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/sshil/indic-fonts-test which needs to be enabled:
> $ sudo dnf copr enable sshil/indic-fonts-test
> Furthermore it is necessary to install the corresponding Noto VF fonts
> $ sudo dnf install google-noto-sans-devanagari-vf-fonts google-noto-sans-bengali-vf-fonts google-noto-sans-gujarati-vf-fonts google-noto-sans-kannada-vf-fonts google-noto-sans-oriya-vf-fonts google-noto-sans-tamil-vf-fonts google-noto-sans-telugu-vf-fonts
> Then run:
> $ sudo dnf update lohit-*-fonts
> Note: if you are on Fedora Rawhide you currently have to "dnf remove lohit-*-fonts" instead, since the Indic Noto fonts there have lower priority currently.
> And now you should see Noto as the default for most Indic scripts:
> $ for lang in as bho bn brx doi gu hi hne kn kok mai ml mni mr or pa sa sat ta te; do echo -en "$lang\t" ; fc-match :lang=$lang family; done
> You may prefer to try this first in a test VM, or to shut down your important applications using Indic text first before changing the fonts on your system.
> The instructions on Sudip's Copr repo also include the steps for undoing these changes.
> Do let us know what you think of the Noto fonts compared to Lohit for Indic scripts.
> If they look good we can consider switching those scripts to default to Noto.
> Jens

sankarshan mukhopadhyay
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