STIX fonts for free mathematics - comments needed on draft license

Steven G. Johnson stevenj at
Tue Sep 6 18:25:44 UTC 2005

Dear OSI folks,

I noticed something where your input may be important.

As you may know, there is a major effort by a consortium of scientific 
publishers and organizations, called STIX, to produce a comprehensive 
royalty-free font for mathematical typesetting (with almost 8000 glyphs):

These fonts are needed, for example, to fully support MathML in Mozilla 
(, which cannot currently bundle 
math fonts.

STIX is now almost complete, with the remaining 472 glyphs scheduled to be done 
by October 2005, and they have recently released a draft user license for 

Unfortunately, the license does not quite meet the open-source criteria. 
It allows you to add glyphs to the font, as long as you release the new 
font under a different name, but you cannot modify the existing glyphs 
(even if you rename the font).

They are soliciting comments on the license (see above link), and I think it 
would be good for the FLOSS community to get involved (politely).  The 
intentions of the STIX people seem good, and I'm hopeful that they can be 
persuaded that such license restrictions do more harm than good.

Steven G. Johnson

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