[Fontconfig] confused about <alias> <prefer>

Alan Chandler alan at chandlerfamily.org.uk
Thu Feb 27 08:07:39 EST 2003

Hash: SHA1

On Wednesday 26 Feb 2003 12:15 am, Keith Packard wrote:
> 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 effect I am seeing is related actually totally unrelated to language.  The 
matching "difference" score for these are 0

> 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
> applications.

Yes - I full understand the use of weak binding for the generic names - I was 
actually tracking my problems through the kde and the qt library and that 
quite sensibly uses "Style Hints" and converts these to the generic names. It 
expects these generic names to have less weight than the application 

> 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.

This sounds a real shame - but are you sure existing users would actually 
notice anything.  For a weak binding alias family name my proposal was that 
the prefered family name would still be prepended as weak.  This is the same 
as it works at the moment.

If there is strong binding alias family name my proposal is that the prefer 
would prepend as strong.  At the moment it prepends as weak, and so the 
matching mechanism effectively ignores this prepending.  This was the problem 
I was having.

The obvious question is why would someone use the alias prefer combination and 
expect it to perform as it currently does for a strongly bound alias family 
and therefore submit lots of bug reports.   I am asking this question with 
the naievity of someone who is newly looking at the issue so forgive me if I 
have totally misunderstood and there would be many users out there for whom a 
change like this would cause problems.


- -- 
Alan Chandler
alan at chandlerfamily.org.uk
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