[Fontconfig] confused about <alias> <prefer>

Keith Packard keithp at keithp.com
Wed Feb 26 11:15:04 EST 2003

Around 20 o'clock on Feb 25, Alan Chandler wrote:

> Is the functionality what would be expected.  Would it not be better for the 
> at least the <alias> functions of <prefer> bind at the same strength as the 
> alias it is prepended to, otherwise it just doesn't do its job

The strong/weak binding was added to resolve issues with language vs 
family matching.  Strongly bound family names are more important in 
matching than language which is more important that weakly bound family 
names.  Before this change, language was actually *more* important than 
family which prevented applications from being able to match family names 
which didn't support the document language, even if explicitly selected by 
the user.

The <prefer> binding is generally used when resolving the generic family 
names (sans-serif, serif, monospace) and hence the names added should be 
"weak" so that they don't end up overriding the "real" names provided by 

I'm afraid the strong/weak binding lets the matching mechanism "show 
through" the configuration language more than I'd like, but any 
significant change in the existing mechanism would make for some 
interesting bug reports from existing users.


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