For Approval: IPA Font License v1.0

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Thu Feb 19 19:55:01 UTC 2009

yuko.noguchi at wrote:
> Therefore, font programs is a
> program that has the function of both object code and source code at the
> same time.

It may be true that /some/ fonts have no source code, but it is probably
not true for most.

> IPA informs me that there is another type of files called "native files"
> created by font developing tools, which are sometimes attached to font
> programs.  These native files, however, is not required in order for a
> recipient of font programs to modify the font programs.

In my opinion, this /is/ the source code.  Source code is (per OSD),
"the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program."
Someone would /prefer/ to have access to the native files.

  For example,
> OSS developing tool "fontforge" and "TTX/Font Tools" do not require
> native files to modify font programs.

That's not the point.  I can modify the Linux kernel with a hex editor,
but I would strongly prefer the C code.  I realize that the distinction
between font source and object may be less important than (for example)
C source and object code.  However, there still is a distinction.

> IPA acknowledges that SIL Open Font License is now approved by OSI.  IPA
> understands that the largest difference between the IPA license as
> proposed and the SIL OFL is this difference file requirement.  IPA
> thought that, because font programs have the function of source code, it
> could ask the difference file system under OSD #4, and also it would
> help avoiding confusions in the OSS font market by making the changes
> readily distinguished from the base source.

As I said, you can required that derived versions be made
distinguishable by a new name and version.

Matt Flaschen

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