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[flagged] Consolas is now open source (github.com)
60 points by yura 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 37 comments

There's something really strange happening here. It looks like a few days ago someone anonymously edited the wikipedia page to add a designer and claim it's open source, linking to the Github page that was just created a few minutes before:


And the reply is hilarious. It's a screenshot of his conversation with Microsoft technical support. https://i.redd.it/9zkgslagked21.png This is either a troll or someone who's gone off the deep end.

He seems unstable...

Yes, sorry, I saw it in Wikipedia too. I didn't bother to fact check too deeply since I was so happy about it.

Looking at the Wikipedia page, as well as the conversations given in the proof: "Consolas used to have bad copyright but I made it open source!" and "Consolas now has twice the amount of designers it used to have.", it does look like some sort of twisted joke. My bad for this, we still have to hear from Microsoft but I don't think this is legit.

I was just about to comment that it looks like a joke or a scam of some kind.

My money's on total ignorance of copyright law. In a world where people post videos with disclaimers of "no copyright intended," I can believe that someone could think that a work they don't own can made open source by simply declaring it so.

Looking at the whole account and Wikipedia edits, I'd guess that it's either a troll, a child or a person with some mental illness thinking they do good.

You're probably right. I just have a hard time wrapping my head around that level of wilful ignorance. It's worse than programmers who think they can "hack" the law.

I don't think this is willful ignorance -- comes off to me more as a child or mentally ill person who means well but doesn't understand what they're doing. Did you see the screenshot of the Microsoft support conversation that they posted as proof it was open source? https://i.redd.it/9zkgslagked21.png

If it was really open source the source files for compiling the ttf would have been published. And the repository would be under the Microsoft organisation account, not some random user account.

There's no license listed, so it may be "open source", but it's not FOSS (which is what people usually mean by "open source"). It's tagged "public domain", but I wouldn't go off a tag for a license statement. The only actual license I can find is in the font files' metadata: "(c) 2018 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved." I don't even know who Piotr Grochowski is or if he actually works for Microsoft/has permission to relicense this font.

It's also not open source in the sense that there's no source -- he's just using the repository as a dropbox for each final version of the compiled font file. The uncompiled versions of each character aren't there, and I can't track changes through the commit history. Here's an example of what an open source font repo should look like: https://github.com/konpa/devicon/

If this really is from Microsoft (which I'm doubting more and more) and they're trying to make Consolas open source, I'm all for it, but there's more to open sourcing something than just dumping it onto GitHub.

There is no clear explanation in the README why it is open sourced, nor is there a license file. Being in possession of the files, or being on Github, doesn't necessarily make something open source.

Someone posted a GitHub issue here. https://github.com/PiotrGrochowski/Consolas/issues/1

Going to guess Microsoft is completely unaware of what has just happened and we'll be hearing more Monday.

From the Github: "because open source is the future."

Perhaps I should have been clearer. There's nothing in the README that suggests that the author has the authority to release it as open source.

It is open source by virtue of the source being available. There is just no license that allows redistribution or derivative works.

That's called "source available", not "open source". At least according to the OSI. https://opensource.org/osd

It's not even that. Old Windows sources are available via torrents. That does not attach any kind of open source license.

Or any license to say I can use it, period.

There's one interpretation which says that isn't required:


> In the United States, once you own a copy of a program, you can back it up, compile it, run it, and even modify it as necessary, without permission from the copyright holder. See 17 USC 117.

> For example, after purchasing a copy of Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Workstation---which is a poorly tuned version of NT 4.0 Server, minus a few utilities---you can back it up, apply a small patch that fixes the tuning, and run the result.

Whether the law is enforcable in court is another matter:

> Ten years ago, the SPA convinced Louisiana to subvert the will of Congress by passing a law that declared shrinkwrap licenses enforceable. In Vault v. Quaid, 847 F.2d 255 (5th Cir. 1988), this law was struck down. Federal copyright law preempts state law.

> The SPA didn't give up. It keeps arguing in court that, gee, if all these software makers claim that you can't use the software without a license, then they can't all be wrong, can they? (Ignore the fact that they're willingly selling their software to the public.)

> The SPA lost again in Step-Saver but then won in ProCD. I expect the Supreme Court to step in within the next few years to resolve the dispute in favor of Vault and Step-Saver.

That interpretation looks like legalistic wishful thinking rather than a proper analysis of law. For starters, it's relying on 20-30 year old cases as the most recent guidance.

Vernor v. Autodesk (decided by the Ninth Circuit in 2010) held that it is possible for companies to license you software in lieu of selling it, which pretty much is the exact opposite of the contention here. And when you're a licensee, not an owner, well, §107 doesn't apply here at all.

Perhaps you can use it on your own machine, but you can't redistribute it and you can't publish any works that use the font. A font is next to worthless if you can't publish anything you typed with it.


If you use consolas with cmd.exe on Windows this new font will break it. the font is stuck in italic mode in the console. for anyone foolish enough to install this font, first delete all Consolas fonts from Control panel. then gather correct fonts using virtual machine:

    copy C:\Windows\Fonts\consola.ttf .
    copy C:\Windows\Fonts\consolab.ttf .
    copy C:\Windows\Fonts\consolai.ttf .
    copy C:\Windows\Fonts\consolaz.ttf .

But, what is the license?

There's multiple references to it being "open source" but no license to back it.

I've opened old sfd file which is long text file and the only license information I've found is something like this:

2018 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft: Consolas Bold Version 7.00 Consolas is a trademark of the Microsoft group of companies Microsoft Corporation Luc(as) de Groot http://www.microsoft.com/typography/ctfonts http://fontfabrik.com Microsoft supplied font. You may use this font to create, display, and print content as permitted by the license terms or terms of use, of the Microsoft product, service, or content in which this font was included. You may only (i) embed this font in content as permitted by the embedding restrictions included in this font; and (ii) temporarily download this font to a printer or other output device to help print content. Any other use is prohibited. http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/default.aspx

Another file (consolasboldmod8.2.sfd) has this text: "Copyright: (c) 2018 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved." which I believe is not open source either.

Some files have empty copyright, some files have string "Copyright: Consolas is rightfully public domain it isn't copyrighted by Microsoft or anything". I believe there should be some additional cleanup work to be done.

> Open source is the future [...] Consolas [...] became open source as a result of future.

WTF does that even mean ?!

Someone has come back in time to open-source Consolas and kill Hitler. And they're all out of Hitler.

"result of future" is by far the wackiest phrase I've come across this year.

No Italics? Oh no no. Not like this.

I've to admit I'm a user of Consolas and actually prefer it over all these alternatives (https://app.programmingfonts.org/). One reason: I like the italics. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

> from a Microsoft employee WHY THE HECK IS IT OPEN SOURCE?!

> Open source is the future, whether you like it or not. Consolas is one of the things that became open source as a result of future.

It seems like he made it open source without permission...

This stuff must be real, a conversation with a Microsoft assistant happened and there is no way someone modified the chat messages via "Inspect element"

Obvious /s of course

am i missing something, or is there no actual source files in this "open source" release?

.sfd files are the "source" for fonts made with FontForge. http://fontforge.github.io/en-US/documentation/developers/sf...

It's also worth noting that .sfd files can be created by importing .ttf files.

...which is certainly how this post came about.

ah, thanks.

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