I'll rattle through some quick points before I try to explain my idea about packaging a default font with Scribus.
1. I'm almost 100% sure that Arial comes with Windows 10. Unless something I've installed has added it - which is unlikely, but not impossible - then it came with my machine. It's such a ubiquitous Windows font that I really can't see Microsoft dropping it.
2. I think we can all agree that bundling clipart with a DTP application is an idea from the 1990's that, because of the web, is now redundant. It was a nice thing for companies to do before most people had access to the web but it's an idea who's time has come and gone. I don't think there's more to say on that.
3. I'm fairly sure that Minion Pro (and its variants) is copyrighted. Companies like Apple and Adobe will have licensed it for inclusion with their products. It's a lovely font but there's probably no way that it could be packaged with Scribus.
4. I don't think packaging a font with Scribus would be a good idea unless it was done "properly" (see below). I know I was the person who mentioned it but unless it's done right it would be a bad idea.
5. In my opinion, packaging a whole bucket-load of fonts would be a bad thing. That's certainly not what I am proposing.
Now on to the explanation...
When someone starts using DTP software they might have heard about fonts and might even have tried a few different ones - changing the formatting in their emails or whatever - but they will probably not be used to the way Scribus presents fonts to the user.
By way of example, I've seen plenty of posts in this forum where people ask why there's no "bold" or "italic" button and they have to be told about how Scribus doesn't create these variants on-the-fly - like word processors do - and they need to choose the correct variant from the relevant drop-down.
This means that the beginner needs to start looking at the concept of font variants which can be a difficult concept to grasp early on. This is a vital part of the DTP process but it can be made more difficult if the default font that Scribus chooses has only one variant, meaning that the user has no bold or italic to choose from. If they have no variants to choose from then they need to start getting into the idea of finding fonts on the internet - where do they look? - then installing new things in ways they've never done before - where do they get the instructions? - all before they can do a simple thing like making some text a bit thicker or giving it a bit of a slant.
I don't think that's giving people a good start to their Scribus experience. All they want to do is make some small formatting changes but they have to start installing other things in order to do it. Word processors don't give them this kind of hassle, so why should they put up with it in Scribus? In other words: "To hell with this, I'm going back to Word!"
Now I'll quickly come at this from the point of view of experienced users before moving on. Basically, experienced users won't care that a default font has been packaged with Scribus. They probably won't even notice that one exists. They will use the fonts that they want to use and this "default thing" will fly under their radar.
Personally I don't care if the default font is Arial or Times or Impact or even Comic Sans. Except for quick examples that I create to help with the explanations that I give on this forum I don't use the default font. One of the first things I do after putting some text in a frame is to change the font. I might move the frame around a bit before that, but changing the font is something that I do - pretty much - without thinking about it. I know the font has to change before I create the frame as I already have some idea of how I want the text to look.
I don't think that any kind of packaged default font will have any repercussions for experienced users. They can simply ignore it completely and just get on with doing whatever they were doing before. With this in mind, I can continue my explanation...
To get down to it, my proposal for a default font package - I'll call it the DFP to keep the typing down - goes something like this:
* The DFP would not be installed. It would be bundled as a resource that only Scribus knows about and can be used in the same way that Scribus uses fonts in the same folder as the user's document. The user's system would be unaffected by its existence.
* Scribus would not have to search for a default font as it would just use the one it provided for itself. No extra complications, just go straight to the one that is supplied. (The user can, of course, select a different default font as they would currently do via Preferences. Nothing changes there.)
* The chosen "base" font would be one that looked nice for most general text. Something like Arial or whatever, it's not really important, as long as it's a good general-purpose font that contains the glyphs for most of the characters that an average user will need. Most beginners are used to sans serif so any decent-looking one of those will be fine. (I really have no preference, throw a dice to choose if necessary.)
* The DFP would contain only three variants of the font: Regular; Bold and Italic. Nothing else would be required. It would be a "starter set" and nothing more. (Obviously the user has other fonts to choose from if they want to but the point is that they don't have to if they don't want to; the basics are there to get them started.)
SIDEBAR: I realise that I'm only talking about "western" fonts here and that's a problem that I can't come up with a good solution to. Packaging fonts that cover all languages would make the installation unwieldy. Having separate installations for different language groups would probably add too many extra complications. There's no "best" solution that I can see so I've kept my proposal to what I think is the "easiest" to achieve.
* The font would be named in Scribus as the "Default Font", no matter what the font that was used was actually called. In other words, when you open a list of fonts, the default font would be called "Default Font". People don't need to know what the "real" name of the font is; its real name is irrelevant. If it's not what you want then work out how to change it and then change it, otherwise just use it. Keeping the real name of the font secret would push users towards finding their own fonts while also giving beginners something they can use without having to think about things too much at the start.
* This would bring in some consistency with the default character and paragraph styles. The default styles would use the default font so if the beginner got themselves into a real mess they would just have to go back to the default font/style and start again. (As before, more experienced users could alter the defaults if they wish. Nothing changes there.)
* Having a DFP would give all Scribus users the same font resources they can use in tutorials. If the tutorial says to use the default font - or doesn't mention which font to use - then everyone has the same thing and their documents will look exactly the same as the one in the tutorial. If everyone has a different default then following a tutorial could get tricky.
Hopefully I've been able to explain myself a bit better.
What I'm proposing is not some kind of massive "font-fest" where Scribus installs tons of stuff that most users will never use. All I'm suggesting is that Scribus is given a very small set of font variants that beginners can start to create basic documents with.
Forcing beginners to go looking for other fonts before they can do simple things like making text bold will surely put some people off from using the software. At the same time, experts can quite happily ignore the default font; they should not be affected by any of this.
Have I given a good account of my proposal? Is there anything I haven't explained properly?
If there is anything that has not been explained well or I have missed something - however basic - that presents a problem then please say so.