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[Xapian-discuss] Powered by Xapian

Daniel Ménard
Sep 15, 2009 at 1:50 pm
Hi,

I'm not so far, by now, of publicly releasing the next version of our
web site which is extensively using Xapian, so I thought it was time to
say "thank you" by adding in the footer and in the "credits" page of my
site the Xapian logo with a link back to the Xapian web site.

I was surprised to discover how hard it was for me to find how to do...
I'm not a novice user and I know pretty well the Xapian web site and its
content, but I only found :
- the "MoreUsers" entry of the wiki [1] which states "We'd love a
reciprocal "powered by Xapian" or similar link to help spread the word"
but does not provide any logo or guidelines on how to do so;
- the "Users" page of the main web site [2] which contains a "Powered by
Xapian" logo but does not if/how this logo can be used.

I know that creating a reciprocal link is not a requirement (and I
appreciate this point) but it would be easier for users wishing to
create such a link to have a dedicated page (e.g. like this one [3]...)
Looking at the "current users" web page, it seems that there are very
few web sites which are showing the "powered by xapian" button (e.g. gmane).
It would help to spread the word about Xapian...

For now, some questions:
- can I use the "powered by" logo found on [2]? what is the license? (I
guess the answer, but...)
- does this logo exist in other dimensions/backgrounds?
- can I modify it? (as is, it is quite large, and the textual part of
the logo does not suit well on a French web site)
- does anybody have a vectorial version (svg, eps..) of this logo or of
the big Xapian logo [4]? (it would help)

Cheers,

Daniel

[1] http://trac.xapian.org/wiki/MoreUsers
[2] http://xapian.org/users
[3] http://www.sphinxsearch.com/buttons.html
[4] http://xapian.org/xapian-logo.png
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9 responses

  • Olly Betts at Sep 15, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 03:50:15PM +0200, Daniel M?nard wrote:
    I was surprised to discover how hard it was for me to find how to do...
    I'm not a novice user and I know pretty well the Xapian web site and its
    content, but I only found :
    - the "MoreUsers" entry of the wiki [1] which states "We'd love a
    reciprocal "powered by Xapian" or similar link to help spread the word"
    but does not provide any logo or guidelines on how to do so;
    - the "Users" page of the main web site [2] which contains a "Powered by
    Xapian" logo but does not if/how this logo can be used.
    Thanks for raising this. We should have some more helpful guidance,
    and that might help encourage people to add a link.
    For now, some questions:
    - can I use the "powered by" logo found on [2]? what is the license? (I
    guess the answer, but...)
    I don't think we have an explicit licence on it.

    It was actually drawn in a "xapian logo competition" by a tweakers.net
    user, and I don't think a licence was specified. We really should have
    picked up on this at the time - I did try to make contact later but
    failed.

    It's probably reasonable to assume that it was provided to us to use as
    a logo for Xapian, but I'd certainly be happier with an explicit
    licence.

    I've just done a quick bit of internet stalking (um, I mean sleuthing)
    and I seem to have found an email address for him, so I'll try to
    contact him once I checked I remembered the right user name.

    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.
    - does this logo exist in other dimensions/backgrounds?
    - can I modify it? (as is, it is quite large, and the textual part of
    the logo does not suit well on a French web site)
    - does anybody have a vectorial version (svg, eps..) of this logo or of
    the big Xapian logo [4]? (it would help)
    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

    Cheers,
    Olly
  • Daniel Ménard at Sep 16, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Olly Betts a ?crit :
    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...
    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'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.


    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].

    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].

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


    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).

    Cheers,

    Daniel


    [1] http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/
    [2] http://www.linotype.com/187375/itcamericantypewritermedium-font.html
    [3] http://drupal.org/node/86942
    [4] http://wordpress.org/about/logos/ (end of page)
  • Olly Betts at Sep 16, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 02:42:34PM +0200, Daniel M?nard wrote:
    Olly Betts a ?crit :
    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.

    Cheers,
    Olly
  • Daniel Ménard at Sep 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Olly Betts a ?crit :
    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.
    I've just tested with the SandBox page. I'm able to upload and attach a
    file, but I don't see an option to then delete the attachment...

    BTW, if I save many times the wiki page, won't it generate too many
    entries in the trac timeline, and perhaps send mails to admins or things
    like that?
    (I ask because I see that my test now appear in the timeline and I don't
    want to create "pollution"...)
    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.
    Ok.
    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.
    I'm sorry, but I'm not sure to understand your answer... Do you mean I
    should:
    (1) use the commercial font for the logo and provide SVG versions for
    the texts (Drupal approach);
    (2) try to find a free alternative font which looks similar;
    (3) try (2) and then (1) if no free font can be used;
    (4) go back to school and take an English course ! ;-)

    (1) is very easy to do. For (2), the font "American Typewriter Medium
    BT" can be downloaded freely from many web sites [1] and looks very
    similar, but how can I be sure that this font is really free/not
    licensed/not copyrighted?
    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.
    OK, will do that.

    Thanks for your patience!

    Cheers,

    Daniel
  • Olly Betts at Sep 16, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 05:32:20PM +0200, Daniel M?nard wrote:
    Olly Betts a ?crit :
    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.
    I've just tested with the SandBox page. I'm able to upload and attach a
    file, but I don't see an option to then delete the attachment...
    It looks like that's probably controlled by the WIKI_DELETE permission
    which is only available to admins currently. I think we'd want to
    check that deletion can be undone before allowing it to be done by
    anyone who signs up for an account (so spam and vandalism can be
    reversed).
    BTW, if I save many times the wiki page, won't it generate too many
    entries in the trac timeline, and perhaps send mails to admins or things
    like that?
    (I ask because I see that my test now appear in the timeline and I don't
    want to create "pollution"...)
    It appears in the wiki edits timeline, and RSS feed for that. I'd say
    don't worry about it - the wiki is there for people to use, so use it.
    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.
    I'm sorry, but I'm not sure to understand your answer... Do you mean I
    should:
    (1) use the commercial font for the logo and provide SVG versions for
    the texts (Drupal approach);
    (2) try to find a free alternative font which looks similar;
    (3) try (2) and then (1) if no free font can be used;
    (4) go back to school and take an English course ! ;-)
    Or maybe I should...

    I think it would be better to find a free (as in freedom not just as in
    beer) font. It doesn't necessarily have to look similar even, provided
    it looks good with the logo.
    (1) is very easy to do. For (2), the font "American Typewriter Medium
    BT" can be downloaded freely from many web sites [1] and looks very
    similar, but how can I be sure that this font is really free/not
    licensed/not copyrighted?
    There was no URL for "[1]", but I found it and if I open it in the Gnome
    font viewer I see:

    Copyright 1990-1998 Bitstream Inc. All rights reserved.

    Which doesn't sound promising.

    Cheers,
    Olly
  • Daniel Ménard at Sep 16, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Olly Betts a ?crit :
    It looks like that's probably controlled by the WIKI_DELETE permission
    which is only available to admins currently. I think we'd want to
    check that deletion can be undone before allowing it to be done by
    anyone who signs up for an account (so spam and vandalism can be
    reversed).
    Oh yes, I understood. I while leave a note in the wiki page if I have
    files/attachments I wish to delete.
    It appears in the wiki edits timeline, and RSS feed for that. I'd say
    don't worry about it - the wiki is there for people to use, so use it. Ok.
    I think it would be better to find a free (as in freedom not just as in
    beer) font. It doesn't necessarily have to look similar even, provided
    it looks good with the logo.

    There was no URL for "[1]", but I found it and if I open it in the Gnome
    font viewer I see:

    Copyright 1990-1998 Bitstream Inc. All rights reserved.

    Which doesn't sound promising.
    Sorry for the missing link! For anybody interested, it was just a Google
    search:
    http://www.google.fr/search?q=%22American+Typewriter+Medium+BT%22)

    I should have checked. But it's just a copyright, it does not necessary
    mean that the font is not free, does it? (I mean. Xapian is free but
    source files headers contain copyrights. Am I wrong?)

    However, I agree that I can't use this font because it is not
    accompanied by a full license.

    So I searched a bit and I found this site
    http://openfontlibrary.org/
    which offers "Public domain" [1] and "Open font licence" [2] fonts (I
    confess: I did not yet read the texts).

    If I stay in the monotype fonts family, there are 5 fonts [3] (some
    fonts have previews, click on the font name), but I don't know how to
    use one of them (adler clean : pfb file only).

    To my eyes, UMTypeWriter looks like the most similar to the original one
    but we can also start with something completely different...

    There are many fonts, the choice is hard and I'm not the one who should
    decide...

    Do you have a preference?
    (I mean : Xapian team, please, choose one for me!)

    Cheers,

    Daniel


    [1] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain
    [2] http://scripts.sil.org/OFL
    [3]
    http://openfontlibrary.org/media/search/results?search_text=monospace&search_type=any&search_in=3
  • James Aylett at Sep 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 03:29:27PM +0100, Olly Betts wrote:

    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.
    There isn't a perfect solution. However Mozilla makes things worse
    because of their guidelines around branding, which mean that you can't
    distribute modified versions under Mozilla names. The logo cannot be
    distributed under DFSG, so Firefox has to be modified, so it can't be
    called Firefox.

    We can avoid this particular issue by allowing things to call
    themselves Xapian in more relaxed circumstances. (Since we don't have
    a policy on the Xapian name at the moment, it isn't a problem right
    now.)

    To avoid similar problems with the logo, my current feeling is that we
    should have a mechanism for creating a distribution that doesn't use
    it at all. Right now, that is all distributions; in my docs branch
    I can add a mechanism to build all docs with just the name "Xapian"
    instead of the logo. This provides an entirely-GPL distribution, and a
    mixed distribution if anyone wants; the website doesn't have to be
    under the same license, so we can use the logo no matter what license
    it's under.
    Jenny Black really did a good job, her SVG version is very nice.
    I'll pass that on.
    I'd like to second that, by the way. It's a very good job.
    Another point with the logo is the font used for the textual parts
    ("Xapian" and "Powered by").
    I don't know if this is a problem or not to use a commercial font in the
    logo of a GPL project...
    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.
    This is correct. (While IANAL, I've had to deal with font licensing
    before.) What tends to happen is that the font files are licensed, and
    that license includes permission to create renderings.

    SVG typically will just reference the font, but of course you can
    generate outlines of the font rendering as proposed. This will in
    general produce lower quality bitmap renderings than by working with
    the original font, because of the lack of things like hinting and
    kerning information.
    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.
    I'm not wild about the font we have at the moment anyway. I will note
    that lots of suitably-free fonts aren't actually very good. There are
    lots of fonts that aren't strictly OSS, but have licenses sufficiently
    permissive that they can be used by anyone; some of these are pretty
    good.
    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).
    They feel very techie-orientated. I don't know any designers who'd
    naturally chose those kinds of grids. It may be worth looking at the
    IAB ad sizes guidelines (currently
    <http://www.iab.net/iab_products_and_industry_services/1421/1443/1452>)
    for button sizes.

    J

    --
    James Aylett

    talktorex.co.uk - xapian.org - uncertaintydivision.org
  • Daniel Ménard at Sep 16, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    James Aylett a ?crit :
    This is correct. (While IANAL, I've had to deal with font licensing
    before.) What tends to happen is that the font files are licensed, and
    that license includes permission to create renderings.

    SVG typically will just reference the font, but of course you can
    generate outlines of the font rendering as proposed. This will in
    general produce lower quality bitmap renderings than by working with
    the original font, because of the lack of things like hinting and
    kerning information.
    If if understand correctly, it would mean that the "Drupal approch" is
    acceptable.
    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.
    I'm not wild about the font we have at the moment anyway. I will note
    that lots of suitably-free fonts aren't actually very good. There are
    lots of fonts that aren't strictly OSS, but have licenses sufficiently
    permissive that they can be used by anyone; some of these are pretty
    good.
    For me, the problem is to choose one...
    If you have some candidates, I can render some graphics so we can see if
    they look 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).
    They feel very techie-orientated. I don't know any designers who'd
    naturally chose those kinds of grids. It may be worth looking at the
    IAB ad sizes guidelines (currently
    <http://www.iab.net/iab_products_and_industry_services/1421/1443/1452>)
    for button sizes.
    Good suggestion, I will check.

    Thanks,

    Daniel
  • Adam Sjøgren at Sep 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    On Wed, 16 Sep 2009 20:21:53 +0200, Daniel wrote:

    For me, the problem is to choose one...
    If you have some candidates, I can render some graphics so we can see if
    they look good with the logo.
    How about the Deja Vu family (descendants of the Bitstream Vera
    fonts)?

    * http://dejavu-fonts.org/
    + http://packages.debian.org/lenny/ttf-dejavu

    * http://www.gnome.org/fonts/
    + http://packages.debian.org/lenny/ttf-bitstream-vera

    Deja Vu comes in a narrow "condensed" form as well, these days, I think.

    There's also the fonts created for the Android phones:

    * http://www.ascendercorp.com/pr/2007-11-12/
    + http://packages.ubuntu.com/jaunty/ttf-droid


    Best regards,

    Adam

    --
    "The unavoidable price of reliability is simplicity" Adam Sj?gren
    asjo at koldfront.dk

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