[Xapian-discuss] Powered by Xapian

Olly Betts olly at survex.com
Wed Sep 16 15:29:27 BST 2009

On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 02:42:34PM +0200, Daniel Ménard wrote:
> Olly Betts a écrit :
> > I guess we should think about what licence is most appropriate.  I don't
> > think we want to demand verbatim use, but also I'm not sure a completely
> > liberal licence is appropriate for what is essentially branding.
> Creative-commons ? I'm afraid I won't be able to help on this...

There's a tension between trying to lock down the branding so that it
can't be diluted by inappropriate uses, and the freedoms/openness
which Free Software/Open Source promotes (at least for code).

Different approaches have been taken by various projects, sometimes with
results which seems to nobody's benefit (e.g. Debian feel forced to
unbrand Firefox, and rename their version "Ice Weasel").

I'm not sure I've seen a totally satisfactory solution yet, and it's
quite possible there just isn't one.

> > Jenny Black drew this SVG version a couple of years ago, which should
> > be good for making resized bitmap versions, and for different
> > backgrounds: 
> >
> > http://oligarchy.co.uk/xapian/patches/xapian-logo-square.svg
> Jenny Black really did a good job, her SVG version is very nice.

I'll pass that on.

> I've started to play with Inkscape (never used it before...) to produce 
> some derivatives (logo with text, powered-by logo, blog style buttons) 
> with transparent/white backgrounds in different sizes.
> May I create a new page on the wiki and upload them so we can discuss 
> further? Or perhaps a new ticket? Please let me know.

Sure.  A wiki page seems best - if the name is sane we can just evolve
it into a permanent home for such images.

You should be able to attach files to wiki pages and reference them
inline.  If not, let me know and I'll check the trac permissions.

> Another point with the logo is the font used for the textual parts 
> ("Xapian" and "Powered by").
> By using "What the font" [1] on the upper-left Xapian logo on the web 
> site, I identified it as being "ITC American Typewriter medium" which is 
> a commercial/copyrighted font by Linotype [2].

Yes, that's what I concluded before.  It is apparently included with Mac
OS X, which also makes it a likely choice.

> I don't know if this is a problem or not to use a commercial font in the 
> logo of a GPL project...
> By looking around, it seems that the Drupal project had the same 
> problem. They resolved it by providing a SVG version of the word 
> "Drupal" so derivatives works can be done without having to buy the font 
> [3]. On the other hand, Wordpress also uses a licenced font but only 
> mention it [4].

My (probably inaccurate) understanding is that the actual shapes of a
typeface and bitmap renderings of them aren't copyrightable (at least in
the US), but scalable fonts (with hinting) are regarded as computer
programs of sufficient complexity to be subject to copyright.

I don't know how this would apply to an SVG of text rendered using a
scalable typeface (I'd guess the outline is rendered as if at a certain
point size, and only the results of the hinting are present in the SVG),
and the situation may not be the same outside the US anyway.

> If you agree, it would be easy to do as Drupal.

Legally it may be fine to provide an SVG version, but it's unambiguously
safe to use a freely licensed font, and it's certainly philosophically
more consistent.  So I think that's probably my preference if we can
find one which looks good with the logo.

> Last : I don't know what are the most useful sizes/formats to offer to 
> users.
> If anybody have any hint/recommendation, it would help (for now I've 
> just taken multiples of 2 for the height: 16, 32, 64, 128 and 256 px).

That seems a good start.  If we also provide SVG versions where possible
it'll be easy for people to produce them at other sizes too.


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