Fonts prohibiting installable embedding

Felix Lechner felix.lechner at
Tue Oct 5 04:24:53 CEST 2021

[please carbon-copy, if needed; I do not subscribe to your lists]


A kind soul pointed me to your thread. I wrote both checks. Thanks for
taking a look at the flags!

> I am confused why there needs to be both and
> files.

That's only temporary. As far as I understand, TrueType and OpenType
are two different but related standards that were written sixteen
years apart. OpenType shares many similarities but also offers
additional features.

The code in both checks is similar because (1) none of OpenType's
extra features are being analyzed, and (2) because the Perl module
Font::TTF::Font was, at the time of writing, the best way forward for
both. The licensing flags seemed to have legal implications, so I
focused on them. With your help, the checks could look different very

Probably even less interesting to you, Lintian suffers from
accumulated, nested conditionals. Both checks operate on different
files and issue different tags. Combining them would increase the
nesting depth and reduce maintainability—a major concern with the
complex heuristics in Lintian.

Sometimes, we offer centralized features but the flag logic was too simple.

On the substantive issue, Lintian has a new feature to grant group
exemptions. [1] I am not sure we should use it to ignore uncomfortable
license settings, whether they were intended or not.

Please also consider the possibility that Lintian is wrong. You are
the first people to look at those flags—and you presumably know more
about fonts than the Lintian maintainers. Please keep us abreast of
your findings!

Thank you for all your valuable contributions to free software!

Kind regards

Felix Lechner
on behalf of the Lintian maintainers


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