MeeraNew font new release 1.3

MeeraNew is the default Malayalam font for Fedora 36. I have just released a much improved version of this libre font and they are just built for Fedora 36 & rawhide; which should reach the users in a week of time. For the impatient, you may enable updates-testing repository and provide karma/feedback.

Fig. 1: MeeraNew definitive-script Malayalam font version 1.3.

Two major improvements are present in version 1.3

  1. Improved x-height to match RIT Rachana, the serif counterpart. This should improve readability at default font sizes.
  2. Large improvements to many kerning pairs including the above-base mark positioning of dotreph (0D4E) character (e.g. ൎയ്യ), ി (0D3F), ീ (0D40) vowel symbols (e.g. ന്റി), post-base symbols of Ya, Va (e.g. സ്ത്യ) etc.

The font source and OTF/TTF files can be downloaded at Rachana website or at GitLab.

RIT Malayalam fonts are available & default in Fedora 36+, ELN

The upcoming Fedora release 36 (due end of April 2022) and beyond, and ELN (Enterprise Linux Next, what would become RHEL) will have default Malayalam script fonts as RIT Rachana and Meera New fonts. In addition, Sundar, TNJoy, Panmana and Ezhuthu fonts are now available in the official repositories. This brings Malayalam fonts that are modern (Unicode 13 compatible), well-maintained, having perfect complex-script shaping and good metadata to the users of Fedora, RHEL, CentOS & downstream OSen. I have made all the necessary updates in the upstream projects (which I maintain) and packaged them for Fedora (which also I maintain).

Update: thanks to Norbert Preining, all these fonts are also available for ArchLinux!

RIT Malayalam fonts available in Fedora.

RIT Rachana and Meera New fonts will be default serif and sans-serif fonts for Malayalam. smc-rachana-fonts and smc-meera-fonts are deprecated as they are unmaintained.

All the fonts can be installed from your favourite package managers (GNOME Software, Discover, dnf etc.).

RIT fonts in GNOME software of upcoming Fedora 36.

The packages can be installed using dnf via:

sudo dnf install -y rit-*-fonts

This change in Fedora required many well orchestrated steps:

  1. Packaging & building RIT fonts according to latest font packaging guidelines
  2. Set as default serif/sans-serif fonts for Malayalam in langpacks
  3. Set as default serif/sans-serif fonts for Malayalam in fedora-comps
  4. Propose the ChangeRequest which is then discussed & approved by Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCO).

I would like to especially thank Parage Nemade for coordinating all the changes and relevant engineering procedures, and Pravin Satpute for initial discussions; in helping to complete these updates in time for Fedora 36.

New packages in Fedora/EPEL: screenkey & python-secure_cookie

TLDR: Two software packages — screenkey and python-secure_cookie are available in Fedora and EPEL repositories.

Screenkey

Screenkey is a tool that displays the keys one type, on the screen. It is quite useful for screen recording/casting for video tutorials and such. I use it particularly to record tutorial sessions on Vim where keystrokes are important.

Fig. 1: Screenkey in action. Source: screenkey.

Secure-cookie

The Python module secure-cookie — which provides secure session and cookie management — is split from Werkzeug WGSI module as of version 1.0. Odoo depends on python-werkzeug and currently keeps a vendor copy of the functionality in 14.0; they haven’t migrated to use secure-cookie mostly because many distros including Arch and Fedora — who have a reputation to ship latest software — haven’t packaged secure-cookie yet.

I have packaged both software for Fedora & EPEL and will be hitting release version repositories soon.