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Alternatives to media-fonts/noto{,-cjk,-emoji}?
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Ant P.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:22 pm    Post subject: Alternatives to media-fonts/noto{,-cjk,-emoji}? Reply with quote

The latest versions of those packages have a hard build dependency on imagemagick (incompatible with graphicsmagick). They're also enormous: 10× the previous version's size, and definitely not a 10× increase in utility. I know the old 2017 version's still in the tree, but Google-run projects love to cause linkrot…

What other options with good coverage are there? I have a few “speciality” fonts installed but they're not enough - Symbola for emoji and fringe scripts (but not much else, and it only does monochrome emoji), aquapfont for Japanese characters (upstream is completely dead and the license doesn't allow mirroring), and GNU Unifont (ugly bitmap font).
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dantrell
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:45 am    Post subject: Re: Alternatives to media-fonts/noto{,-cjk,-emoji}? Reply with quote

Ant P. wrote:
The latest versions of those packages have a hard build dependency on imagemagick (incompatible with graphicsmagick). They're also enormous: 10× the previous version's size, and definitely not a 10× increase in utility. I know the old 2017 version's still in the tree, but Google-run projects love to cause linkrot…

What other options with good coverage are there? I have a few “speciality” fonts installed but they're not enough - Symbola for emoji and fringe scripts (but not much else, and it only does monochrome emoji), aquapfont for Japanese characters (upstream is completely dead and the license doesn't allow mirroring), and GNU Unifont (ugly bitmap font).

I had to address this issue myself as I started having reproducible performance problems and my LiveDVDs started tripping over the size limit. The common link was Noto so I investigated and found that the cause was it's enormous size (no pun intended).

Since Noto's glyph coverage is hard to beat (also no pun intended) I decided to trim it down through the introduction of two USE flags:
  • extra (font styles/variants)
  • minimal (font sets)
Here are the results of "du -hs /usr/share/fonts/noto":
  • 357M {+extra, -minimal}
    (equivalent to what's in Gentoo)

  • 170M {+extra, +minimal}
    (only support Latin, Greek and Cyrillic glyphs)

  • 84M {-extra, -minimal}
    (don't support Condensed, Extra or SemiBold styles)

  • 34M {-extra, +minimal}
    (don't support Condensed, Extra or SemiBold styles and only support Latin, Greek and Cyrillic glyphs)
Needless to say, my issues went away.

Here's my proof of concept along with some rationale.

P.S. The 84M option is the default since it covers all the languages (except CJK) but I will point out that the 34M option still covers at least 582 languages (Latin, Greek and Cyrillic).
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Ant P.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed the new Noto comes with opentype variation fonts; the current stable version of freetype seems able to handle those. All the other hardcoded variants could be off-by-default.

If only upstream actually bothered to make logical, self-contained tarballs...
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dantrell
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ant P. wrote:
I noticed the new Noto comes with opentype variation fonts; the current stable version of freetype seems able to handle those. All the other hardcoded variants could be off-by-default.

I actually missed that.

I read somewhere that using the OTF format could result in smaller file sizes so I guess I'll be testing that out. :wink:

Ant P. wrote:
If only upstream actually bothered to make logical, self-contained tarballs...

I'll say this though, when it comes to issues with the various upstreams, I just fix it on my end and then move on with my life.

Edit: Here's the updated "du -hs /usr/share/fonts/noto" results:
  • 357M {+extra, -minimal}
    (equivalent to what's in Gentoo)

  • 170M {+extra, +minimal}
    (only support Latin, Greek and Cyrillic glyphs)

  • 84M {-extra, -minimal}
    (don't support Condensed, Extra or SemiBold styles)

  • 44M {-extra, -minimal, -ttf}
    (don't support Condensed, Extra or SemiBold styles while using the OTF format)

  • 34M {-extra, +minimal}
    (don't support Condensed, Extra or SemiBold styles and only support Latin, Greek and Cyrillic glyphs)

  • 16M {-extra, +minimal, -ttf}
    (don't support Condensed, Extra or SemiBold styles and only support Latin, Greek and Cyrillic glyphs while using the OTF format)
Although I didn't check every combination the results speak for themselves.
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