new font, kernel problem, and Unicode problem

Albert Cahalan acahalan at
Tue May 1 20:54:36 EDT 2007

I just made a nice console font for the XO. I hope others agree that this
is useful. Should I just attach it to a bug report or stuff it in the wiki?
I don't have a more appropriate place to upload it.

It's 15x30, 2-pixel thick lines, sans serif. That gives 80x30. I think I
did a fair job of avoiding the color-fringe effects; my font is certainly
better at that than the sun12x22 font is. Note that 15x30 is divisible
by 3 in both directions, which greatly helps on the XO display.

Because of Linux console limits, I can't currently supply the whole font.
I can supply the 256 PC characters now. Once the kernel is fixed to not
reject large fonts, I can supply 870 glyphs which represent 978 Unicode
code points. I did this:

* MES-2, except polytonic Greek and defunct currency symbols
* named characters of HTML 4
* named characters of groff (troff, nroff, etc.)
* DEC Technical Character Set (VT330, VT420 and VT520) except sigma parts
* much of the Pan-Nigerian Alphabet (see note below)
* numerous chess pieces and other wingding-like things

That should cover all modern Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek. It's all there,
from the smily face (in true VGA style) to the Ukranian characters
that were suppressed by Stalin.

I strongly suggest that somebody fix the kernel. I'm somewhat unlikely
to get that done, especially since I don't have a regular PC to test
the VGA text mode. The annoying limits are 256 max glyphs (512 requires
giving up the foreground intensity bit, which is not acceptable), 64 kB
max size, and 32-line max height.

I also suggest that somebody resubmit the Unicode proposal for
the 12 precomposed characters needed for Yoruba. It was rejected
on 1996-Sep-07, over a decade ago. 12 is hardly anything. Without
these characters, Yoruba might be unworkable on the console.

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