The Ubuntu community has introduced a namesake open source font.
In his blog Tuesday, Ubuntu creator and lead developer Mark Shuttleworth announced the publishing of the first source code for Ubuntu -- the font -- and revealed plans for an entire open source font family.
"We'd build a complete family: various weights, variable-width and mono, across some of the key language groups of our community," he wrote. "We knew we couldn't do everything but we figured we could establish a core upon which everything could be done. We'd fully hint and kern the work, too, so it's good enough to be a default interface font for something we all use all day long. A huge project, one that will take some time to finish. But today we're publishing the first source for Ubuntu, the font, a milestone worth celebrating.
Here it is:
Others have made attempts at establishing open source font collections, notably the Open Font Library (OFL).
Shuttleworth said it will take some time to hammer out licensing issues. He and others in the community are working with font designers and typographers on a common font license but no solution has been reached.
"A key open question, of course, was licensing. There are two obvious candidates, among quite a large field: the OFL, from SIL, and the GPLv3 with a font-specific clause added. Digging into this in more detail turned up a tricky situation: both approaches have issues which precluded us from adopting them immediately," Shuttleworth noted.
"So we came to the compromise of an interim license, which you can find atbzr branch lp:ubuntu-font-licence While licence proliferation sucks, I’m optimistic we’ll converge in due course."