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.

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 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.


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.

SMC Malayalam fonts updated in Fedora 30

The Fedora package smc-fonts has a set of Malayalam fonts (AnjaliOldLipi, Kalyani, Meera, Rachana, RaghuMalayalamSans and Suruma) maintained by SMC. We used to package all these fonts as a single zip file hosted at These fonts were last updated in 2014 for Fedora, leaving them at version 6.1.

Since then, a lot of improvements were made to these fonts — glyph additions/corrections, opentype layout changes, fontTools based build system and separate source repository for each font etc.. There were lengthy discussions on the release management of the fonts, and it was partially the reason fonts were not updated in Fedora. Once it was agreed to follow different version number for each font, and a continuous build+release system was put in place at Gitlab, we could ensure that fonts downloaded from SMC website were always the latest version.

To reflect the updates in Fedora, we had to decide how to handle the monolithic source package at version 6.1 versus the new individual releases (e.g. Rachana is at version 7.0.1 as of this writing). In a discussion with Pravin Satpute, we agreed to obsolete the existing fonts package and give each font its own package.

Vishal Vijayaraghavan kindly stepped up and did the heavy lifting of creating the new packages, and we now even build the ttf font file from the source. See RHBZ#1648825 for details.

With all that in place, in Fedora 30, all these fonts are in latest version — for instance, see Rachana package. The old package smc-fonts no longer exists, instead each individual package such as smc-rachana-fonts or smc-meera-fonts can be installed. Our users will now be able to enjoy the improvements made over the years — including updated Unicode coverage, new glyphs, improved existing glyphs, much better opentype shaping etc.