Paul Hardy

Account nameunifoundry
OpenPGP fingerprint 95D2 E9AB 8740 D804 6387 FD15 1A09 227B 1F43 5A33 0 Endorsements
Status Debian Contributor on since 2021-09-27

Short Biography


I would like to become a Debian Maintainer, able to upload the Unifont package that I have been maintaining. I have read and agree to the Debian Social Contract, DFSG, and DMUP. I am subscribed to the debian-devel-announce mailing list.

I began using Debian with the Sarge release, after buying a copy of the book Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Bible.

Later on, I wrote graphics conversion utilities for rendering Unifont glyphs, and then drew thousands of missing glyphs with those utilities. I also added glyphs from Wen Quan Yi (with permission) to give Unifont complete coverage of the Unicode Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP) for the first time. That was in 2008. This culminated an effort to achieve complete Unifont coverage of the Unicode BMP begun about ten years earlier by Unifont's creator, Roman Czyborra.

At the time, the Unifont package had been orphaned on Debian for several years. I adopted the Debian package and contributed this new version. I also added a TrueType version with combining character support by modifying a FontForge script that Luis Alejandro González Miranda wrote (with his permission).

I then began an effort to get all glyphs licensed under the GPL, so that Unifont could become an official part of the GNU Project. This was a desire of Unifont's creator as well as something that I wanted very much to accomplish. That effort took several years--much longer than I thought it would originally. In 2013, thousands more glyphs later, Unifont finally became an official part of the GNU Project, with me as the GNU maintainer.

I uploaded that GNU Project version of Unifont to Debian shortly thereafter in 2013, and have been providing regular updates for Debian since then.

In addition to supporting new Unicode releases, these updates have included extending Unifont coverage to scripts in the Unicode Supplemental Multilingual Plane and adding several ConScript Unicode Registry (CSUR) scripts; this often involves incorporating the work of other contributors. I also introduced a specialized PSF font to allow use of GNU APL and other APL implementations in console mode on GNU/Linux systems (coordinating my work with the GNU maintainer for GNU APL).

I have also updated the Unifont Debian packaging by converting to the new rules format, simplifying the build process, moving to quilt, adding watch file support, and adding Multi-Arch support to the control file.

Matt Kraai has been sponsoring my Debian uploads since 2013, and has seen me work through all of these changes.

Today, GNU Unifont is the sole source of glyphs for many Unicode scripts in Debian, as noted on the Debian Wiki page

I also announced an ITP on Debian for man2texi, a package to convert man pages into texinfo files. I had hoped to finish that before the Stretch freeze but the upstream maintainer, Nelson Beebe, ran into problems with the new version on some of his (non-Debian) systems. We are trying to resolve those issues so that I can upload something that carries his approval.

After my final Unifont upload shortly before the Stretch freeze, I happened to notice that the Wen Quan Yi font package xfonts-wqy had two RC bugs (737167 and 808850), one of which was about three years old. I communicated with the package maintainer, ChangZhuo Chen (陳昌倬), about those bugs. Along with contributions from Matt Kraai, we got the xfonts-wqy font package in a non-RC state just in time for the freeze.

The week of the Stretch release, I posted a workaround for a lintian bug where a maintainer requested help (802721). I also posted a bug report concerning garbled UTF-8 characters in an online debian-policy text file (865713), and posted a patch for a somewhat related bug in less (473227) that had been open since 2008.

While setting up Stretch on my computer, I noticed that fontforge and its companion program sfddiff did not have Debian man pages. I wrote man pages for them based on earlier versions that I found, updated the contents, vetted them with the upstream maintainer, and submitted bug report 866690 with those files attached.

I have also supported Debian at Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) gatherings over the past few years, helping several Debian Developers.

Paul Hardy


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Personal history

New-style processes
Started Last Target Applicant UID Status AM
DC Paul Hardy unifoundry Closed
2018-10-13 2019-12-30 DD, upl. Paul Hardy unifoundry Closed lamby
2017-07-02 2017-08-01 DM Paul Hardy unifoundry Closed
Old-style processes
Applicant From To Applying for Progress AM Advocate(s)