Note that the Vera copyright is incorporated in the fonts themselves. The License field in the fonts contains the copyright license as it appears below. The TrueType copyright field is not large enough to contain the full license, so the license is incorporated (as you might think if you thought about it) into the license field, which unfortunately can be obscure to find. (In pfaedit, see: Element->Font Info->TTFNames->License).
Our apologies for it taking longer to complete the fonts than planned. Beta testers requested a tighter line spacing (less leading) and Jim Lyles redesigned Vera’s accents to bring its line spacing to more typical of other fonts. This took additional time and effort. Our thanks to Jim for this effort above and beyond the call of duty.
There are four monospace and sans faces (normal, oblique, bold, bold oblique) and two serif faces (normal and bold). Fontconfig/Xft2 can artificially oblique the serif faces for you: this loses hinting and distorts the faces slightly, but is visibly different than normal and bold, and reasonably pleasing.
On systems with fontconfig 2.0 or 2.1 installed, making your sans, serif and monospace fonts default to these fonts is very easy. Just drop the file local.conf into your /etc/fonts directory. This will make the Bitstream fonts your default fonts for all applications using fontconfig (if sans, serif, or monospace names are used, as they often are as default values in many desktops). The XML in local.conf may need modification to enable subpixel decimation, if appropriate, however, the commented out phrase does so for XFree86 4.3, in the case that the server does not have sufficient information to identify the use of a flat panel. Fontconfig 2.2 adds Vera to the list of font families and will, by default use it as the default sans, serif and monospace fonts.
During the testing of the final Vera fonts, we learned that screen fonts in general are only typically hinted to work correctly at integer pixel sizes. Vera is coded internally for integer sizes only. We need to investigate further to see if there are commonly used fonts that are hinted to be rounded but are not rounded to integer sizes due to oversights in their coding.
Most fonts work best at 8 pixels and below if anti-aliased only, as the amount of work required to hint well at smaller and smaller sizes becomes astronomical. GASP tables are typically used to control whether hinting is used or not, but Freetype/Xft does not currently support GASP tables (which are present in Vera).
To mitigate this problem, both for Vera and other fonts, there will be (very shortly) a new fontconfig 2.2 release that will, by default not apply hints if the size is below 8 pixels. if you should have a font that in fact has been hinted more aggressively, you can use fontconfig to note this exception. We believe this should improve many hinted fonts in addition to Vera, though implementing GASP support is likely the right long term solution.
Font rendering in GNOME or KDE is the combination of algorithms in Xft2 and Freetype, along with hinting in the fonts themselves. It is vital to have sufficient information to disentangle problems that you may observe.
Note that having your font rendering system set up correctly is vital to proper judgement of problems of the fonts:
We believe and hope that these fonts will resolve the problems reported during beta test. The largest change is the reduction of leading (interline spacing), which had annoyed a number of people, and reduced Vera’s utility for some applcations. The Vera monospace font should also now make ‘0’ and ‘O’ and ‘1’ and ‘l’ more clearly distinguishable.
The version of these fonts is version 1.10. Fontconfig should be choosing the new version of the fonts if both the released fonts and beta test fonts are installed (though please discard them: they have names of form tt20[1-12]gn.ttf). Note that older versions of fontconfig sometimes did not rebuild their cache correctly when new fonts are installed: please upgrade to fontconfig 2.2. “fc-cache -f” can be used to force rebuilding fontconfig’s cache files manually on older fontconfig installations.
If you note problems, please send them to fonts at gnome dot org, with exactly which face and size and unicode point you observe the problem at. The xfd utility from XFree86 CVS may be useful for this (e.g. “xfd -fa sans”). A possibly more useful program to examine fonts at a variety of sizes is the “waterfall” program found in Keith Packard’s CVS.
$ cvs -d :pserver:email@example.com:/local/src/CVS login
Logging in to :pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:2401/local/src/CVS
CVS password: <hit return>
$ cvs -d :pserver:email@example.com:/local/src/CVS co waterfall
$ cd waterfall
$ xmkmf -a
# make install
# make install.man
Again, please make sure you are running an up-to-date freetype, and that you are only examining integer sizes.
Please send problem reports to fonts at gnome org, with the following information:
Please check the fonts list archives before reporting problems to cut down on duplication.
The fonts have a generous copyright, allowing derivative works (as long as “Bitstream” or “Vera” are not in the names), and full redistribution (so long as they are not sold by themselves). They can be be bundled, redistributed and sold with any software.
The fonts are distributed under the following copyright:
Copyright (c) 2003 by Bitstream, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Bitstream Vera is a trademark of Bitstream, Inc.
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of the fonts accompanying this license (“Fonts”) and associated documentation files (the “Font Software”), to reproduce and distribute the Font Software, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, merge, publish, distribute, and/or sell copies of the Font Software, and to permit persons to whom the Font Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright and trademark notices and this permission notice shall be included in all copies of one or more of the Font Software typefaces.
The Font Software may be modified, altered, or added to, and in particular the designs of glyphs or characters in the Fonts may be modified and additional glyphs or characters may be added to the Fonts, only if the fonts are renamed to names not containing either the words “Bitstream” or the word “Vera”.
This License becomes null and void to the extent applicable to Fonts or Font Software that has been modified and is distributed under the “Bitstream Vera” names.
The Font Software may be sold as part of a larger software package but no copy of one or more of the Font Software typefaces may be sold by itself.
THE FONT SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT, PATENT, TRADEMARK, OR OTHER RIGHT. IN NO EVENT SHALL BITSTREAM OR THE GNOME FOUNDATION BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE FONT SOFTWARE OR FROM OTHER DEALINGS IN THE FONT SOFTWARE.
Except as contained in this notice, the names of GNOME, the GNOME Foundation, and Bitstream Inc., shall not be used in advertising or otherwise to promote the sale, use or other dealings in this Font Software without prior written authorization from the GNOME Foundation or Bitstream Inc., respectively. For further information, contact: fonts at gnome dot org.