Chinese in Ubuntu Touch should use Heiti style sans serif font

Bug #1346766 reported by Anthony Wong on 2014-07-22
38
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubuntu-touch-meta (Ubuntu)
High
Gunnar Hjalmarsson

Bug Description

Ubuntu Touch uses Kaiti style font as the main UI font for displaying Chinese, which is not optimal as nowadays operating systems all use Heiti style font for the UI, we should really change it asap.

Currently there are two choices on Ubuntu, fonts-droid and wqy-microhei. Below I will list out the pros and cons.

wqy-microhei (DroidSansFallbackFull.ttf, modified):
- Pros:
  - The advantage of wqy-microhei being its wider codepoint coverage, for example it also contains Japanese Kanas and Korean Hanguls in one font. The downside is it may be of lower quality than the original DroidSansFallbackFull.ttf due to its lack of maintenance in recent years.
- Cons:
  - I am not too much in favour of using wqy-microhei, the reason being that it is basically a font that based on the Droid font (DroidSansFallbackFull.ttf to be exact).
  - Upstream has not updated wqy-microhei for long time, so it lacks any new updates from the Droid font, although it may not be obvious to users.
  - Another possible disadvantage of wqy-microhei is it includes more latin characters, which may result to inconsistent glyphs being used.

fonts-droid (DroidSansFallbackFull.ttf, original):
- Pros:
  - The advantage is it has coverage of CJK ext. A [1], which wqy-microhei does not provide.
-Cons:
 - On the other hand, wqy-microhei has added some glyphs that the droid font does not provide, I don't have the exact number of that but I believe it's just a small number.
 - The disadvantage is it does not include Korean Hangul, which can be remedied with another Korean font, and it's not our current concern anyway.

As an additional alternative, just a few days ago, Google released the Noto Sans CJK fonts [2][3]:

fonts-noto (Noto Sans CJK fonts):
- Pros:
  - It takes care of different writing standards of Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Korean, which makes everyone happy (see slide 13-14 of [3])
  - It covers Japanese and Korean as well
- Cons:
  - Needs to be tested
  - Bigger size than the other alternatives as a result of catering for both Traditional and Simplified Chinese
  - Not yet packaged [4]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CJK_Unified_Ideographs_Extension_A
[2] http://googledevelopers.blogspot.de/2014/07/noto-cjk-font-that-is-complete.html
[3] https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1xIBCsqwrSxowmLQS7kJm9gM58-FmOIYlZWoRlgqtqE4/edit#slide=id.g36327fada_643
[4] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=754926

description: updated
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in ubuntu-meta (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
David Planella (dpm) on 2014-07-22
description: updated
description: updated
David Planella (dpm) on 2014-07-22
description: updated
Rex Tsai (chihchun) wrote :

Enclosed please find the system-settings with Noto font.

Original font - http://i.imgur.com/EYICCHm.png
Noto font - http://i.imgur.com/1uQGOcm.png

noto+1

Cheng-Chia Tseng (zerng07) wrote :

I support Noto Sans CJK or Source Han Sans (they share the same content of CJK part, while Adobe holds the copyright, licensed under Apache v2) regular style for default CJK displaying.

That is absolutely better than Droid Sans Fallback because it takes care of various region-specif shapes well and fits CJK characters displaying better.

Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :

The Chinese font package currently seeded in Ubuntu Touch is fonts-arphic-ukai.

On the desktop, fonts-droid is now the default Chinese font package as a result of bug #1173571, and if we want this to be changed soon, I can think it would make sense to replace fonts-arphic-ukai with fonts-droid in the touch seed.

As regards Noto, the new CJK fonts are not yet included in the fonts-noto package. There is a Debian bug about it: https://bugs.debian.org/754926

affects: ubuntu-meta (Ubuntu) → ubuntu-touch-meta (Ubuntu)
Aron Xu (happyaron) wrote :

At this very moment, Source Sans is still not an option and there are also questions to be answered to determine whether it fits the requirement of DFSG.

Comparing wqy-microhei and fonts-droid, there is no reason to continue using microhei anymore, because after several updates of Droid Sans, the coverage problem is already improved (and wqy-microhei stops its development right after this is the fact) to be wider than wqy-microhei.

description: updated
Rex Tsai (chihchun) wrote :

+1 on happyaron's commen, need to clear the requirement of DFSG on Noto Sans CJK.
However RTM deadline is coming, I like to replace fonts-arphic-ukai with fonts-droid or wqy-microhei.

However, I found the current qt stack has problem rendering fonts-droid[1]. It does not render mixed lanaguage code, root cause need to be investigated.

Only fonts-droid installed
http://i.imgur.com/RG91uaT.png

fonts-droid+fonts-wqy-microhei (you can see it render with two differnet fonts)
http://i.imgur.com/2uTgJ3y.png

[1] https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/fonts-android/+bug/1334495

Rex Tsai <<email address hidden>
<javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','<email address hidden>');>> 於 2014年7月28日星期一寫道:

> +1 on happyaron's commen, need to clear the requirement of DFSG on Noto
> Sans CJK.
> However RTM deadline is coming, I like to replace fonts-arphic-ukai with
> fonts-droid or wqy-microhei.
>
> However, I found the current qt stack has problem rendering fonts-
> droid[1]. It does not render mixed lanaguage code, root cause need to be
> investigated.
>
> Only fonts-droid installed
> http://i.imgur.com/RG91uaT.png

Qt does not support fontconfig configuration well, the workaround is
to specify CJK font as the first candidate font instead of western font.

> fonts-droid+fonts-wqy-microhei (you can see it render with two differnet
> fonts)
> http://i.imgur.com/2uTgJ3y.png
>
> [1] https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/fonts-android/+bug/1334495
>
> ** Attachment added: "fonts-droid-only.png"
>
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubuntu-touch-meta/+bug/1346766/+attachment/4164217/+files/fonts-droid-only.png
>
> --
> You received this bug notification because you are subscribed to the bug
> report.
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1346766
>
> Title:
> Chinese in Ubuntu Touch should use Heiti style sans serif font
>
> To manage notifications about this bug go to:
>
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubuntu-touch-meta/+bug/1346766/+subscriptions
>

--
Cheers,
by Cheng-Chia Tseng

David Planella (dpm) wrote :

- What are exactly the questions related to the DFSG that affect fonts-noto? Is there a bug to track these?
- Is anyone actively looking into fixing the fontconfig issues Qt has? Is the workaround from Cheng-Chia Tseng something that can be used and that it won't impact on the rest of the languages on the phone image?

Aron Xu (happyaron) wrote :

On the issue of DFSG-ness, it's still discussion only and no bug tracking it.

I would advise to use wqy-microhei for the moment to RTM because such bug isn't likely to have a proper fix land in a time. Though I didn't see the issue with KDE environment, I didn't spend time on investigating it either.

David Planella (dpm) wrote :

Aron, to be clear it's not a typo: on comment #5 you advise to use fonts-droid and on comment #9 to use wqy-microhei? Which one would you recommend to use?

Aron Xu (happyaron) wrote :

I prefer fonts-droid in the longer run (before we can re-evaluate noto), but it seems there are outstanding issue to do with fonts-droid, so using wqy-microhei for RTM is the recommended solution.

Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :

The attached fontconfig recipe might make it possible to still use fonts-droid in the phone. It moves DroidSansFallbackFull.ttf to the top of the candidate list in case of a Chinese locale, thus not affecting non-Chinese languages.

On the desktop this is accomplished through the 69-language-selector-zh-??.conf files in language-selector-common, but if I understand it correctly, language-selector-common isn't included in Ubuntu Touch.

Aron, what do you say? Worth a try?

Aron Xu (happyaron) wrote :

@Rex, Can you have a try with Gunnar's fontconfig configuration?

Rex Tsai (chihchun) wrote :

Hi,

No, language-selector-common is not included in Ubuntu Touch image. I tested the 65-droid-sans-touch.conf config, it still render the some text as tofu/empty box.

Rex Tsai (chihchun) wrote :

Regarding the license, there are two types of pacakges

1. fonts-android[1] included the binary fonts, which is licensed under Apache-2.0.
2. fonts-source-sans-pro[2]/fonts-source-code-pro[3], which required proprietary Adobe ADFKO to be built from source. That makes not DFSG-compatible.

Google Noto fonts[4] is same with Adobe Source hans sans[5], it depends how Debian/Ubuntu pack the font as debian packages.
If the package need to be built from source, then it need Adobe ADFKO, which make it not DFSG-compatible

[1] https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/fonts-android
[2] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=736680
[3] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=736681
[4] http://www.google.com/get/noto/#/
[5] https://github.com/adobe-fonts/source-han-sans

Cheng-Chia Tseng (zerng07) wrote :

Rex Tsai <email address hidden> 於 2014年7月29日星期二寫道:

> Hi,
>
> No, language-selector-common is not included in Ubuntu Touch image. I
> tested the 65-droid-sans-touch.conf config, it still render the some
> text as tofu/empty box.

Is the locale right?

If the configuration file does not work, it seems that qt has a
epic regression on fontconfig configuration support.... :S

> --
> You received this bug notification because you are subscribed to the bug
> report.
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1346766
>
> Title:
> Chinese in Ubuntu Touch should use Heiti style sans serif font
>
> To manage notifications about this bug go to:
>
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubuntu-touch-meta/+bug/1346766/+subscriptions
>

--
Cheers,
by Cheng-Chia Tseng

Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :

On 2014-07-28 18:47, Cheng-Chia Tseng wrote:
> Rex Tsai <email address hidden> 於 2014年7月29日星期二寫道:
>> I tested the 65-droid-sans-touch.conf config, it still render the
>> some text as tofu/empty box.
>
> Is the locale right?
>
> If the configuration file does not work, it seems that qt has a epic
> regression on fontconfig configuration support.... :S

I'm also a little surprised.

Bug #1334495 is about qt apps and fonts-droid on a Kubuntu desktop. However, the reporter of that bug confirmed in comment #13 that the issue is not present in case of a Chinese locale.

Rex Tsai (chihchun) wrote :

No, I tested it with both en_US.UTF-8 and zh_CN.UTF-8 locales. Both are borken. ;-)

I tried to trace the qtbase, but currectly the gcc4.9 in utopic is blocking me building qt.

David Planella (dpm) on 2014-07-29
tags: added: rtm14
Changed in ubuntu-touch-meta (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :

On 2014-07-29 04:04, Rex Tsai wrote:
> No, I tested it with both en_US.UTF-8 and zh_CN.UTF-8 locales. Both
> are borken. ;-)

Well, the config file I attached in comment #12 does not make a difference with an English locale, but it ought to change the behaviour if LANG is zh_CN.UTF-8.

This indicates that the problem with fontconfig configuration and qt apps is worse in the phone than elsewhere. So, before a change is made to the seed, could you please test if the fonts-wqy-microhei package gives the desired rendering?

Rex Tsai (chihchun) wrote :

On the phone, the LANG/LANGUAGES env value are not changed. It's always en_US.UTF-8.

If fonts-wqy-microhei only, it rendered correctly.

David Planella (dpm) wrote :
Download full text (3.7 KiB)

On Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 5:51 PM, Rex Tsai <email address hidden> wrote:

> On the phone, the LANG/LANGUAGES env value are not changed. It's always
> en_US.UTF-8.
>

I'm not sure I follow that: the LANG variable should change (as the
LC_MESSAGES) should, otherwise you wouldn't be able to switch languages.
Same for the LANGUAGE env var.

Could you be a bit more specific on which environment variable you don't
see changing? What's the output of the 'locale' command from the terminal
app?

Thanks!

>
> If fonts-wqy-microhei only, it rendered correctly.
>
> ** Attachment added: "fonts-wqy-only.png"
>
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubuntu-touch-meta/+bug/1346766/+attachment/4165235/+files/fonts-wqy-only.png
>
> --
> You received this bug notification because you are subscribed to the bug
> report.
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1346766
>
> Title:
> Chinese in Ubuntu Touch should use Heiti style sans serif font
>
> Status in “ubuntu-touch-meta” package in Ubuntu:
> Triaged
>
> Bug description:
> Ubuntu Touch uses Kaiti style font as the main UI font for displaying
> Chinese, which is not optimal as nowadays operating systems all use
> Heiti style font for the UI, we should really change it asap.
>
> Currently there are two choices on Ubuntu, fonts-droid and wqy-
> microhei. Below I will list out the pros and cons.
>
> wqy-microhei (DroidSansFallbackFull.ttf, modified):
> - Pros:
> - The advantage of wqy-microhei being its wider codepoint coverage,
> for example it also contains Japanese Kanas and Korean Hanguls in one font.
> The downside is it may be of lower quality than the original
> DroidSansFallbackFull.ttf due to its lack of maintenance in recent years.
> - Cons:
> - I am not too much in favour of using wqy-microhei, the reason being
> that it is basically a font that based on the Droid font
> (DroidSansFallbackFull.ttf to be exact).
> - Upstream has not updated wqy-microhei for long time, so it lacks any
> new updates from the Droid font, although it may not be obvious to users.
> - Another possible disadvantage of wqy-microhei is it includes more
> latin characters, which may result to inconsistent glyphs being used.
>
> fonts-droid (DroidSansFallbackFull.ttf, original):
> - Pros:
> - The advantage is it has coverage of CJK ext. A [1], which
> wqy-microhei does not provide.
> -Cons:
> - On the other hand, wqy-microhei has added some glyphs that the droid
> font does not provide, I don't have the exact number of that but I believe
> it's just a small number.
> - The disadvantage is it does not include Korean Hangul, which can be
> remedied with another Korean font, and it's not our current concern anyway.
>
> As an additional alternative, just a few days ago, Google released the
> Noto Sans CJK fonts [2][3]:
>
> fonts-noto (Noto Sans CJK fonts):
> - Pros:
> - It takes care of different writing standards of Traditional Chinese,
> Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Korean, which makes everyone happy (see
> slide 13-14 of [3])
> - It covers Japanese and Korean as well
> - Cons:
> - Needs to be tested
> - Bigger size than the other alternatives as a re...

Read more...

Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :

On 2014-07-29 17:51, Rex Tsai wrote:
> On the phone, the LANG/LANGUAGES env value are not changed. It's
> always en_US.UTF-8.

Well, that's confusing. I agree with David; we must be talking at cross-purposes somehow.

> If fonts-wqy-microhei only, it rendered correctly.

Ok. Just made a merge proposal.

Changed in ubuntu-touch-meta (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj)
status: Triaged → In Progress
Martin Pitt (pitti) on 2014-08-01
Changed in ubuntu-touch-meta (Ubuntu):
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package ubuntu-touch-meta - 1.175

---------------
ubuntu-touch-meta (1.175) utopic; urgency=medium

  * Refreshed dependencies
  * Replace fonts-arphic-ukai with fonts-wqy-microhei on desktop, touch
    (LP: #1346766)
 -- Martin Pitt <email address hidden> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:22:21 +0200

Changed in ubuntu-touch-meta (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers

Remote bug watches

Bug watches keep track of this bug in other bug trackers.