[Fontconfig] fontconfig-config?

Ciprian Popovici ciprian at zuavra.net
Sun Jun 15 00:47:55 EST 2003

On Fri, 13 Jun 2003 08:45:54 +0200 Olivier Chapuis
<olivier.chapuis at free.fr> wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 12, 2003 at 10:26:49PM -0400, Ambrose Li wrote:
> > On Thu, Jun 12, 2003 at 05:29:08PM -0500, Keith Packard wrote:
> > > 
> > > I switched the configuration from autoconf to automake and didn't
> > > bother to bring that app forwards.  I prefer 'pkg-config', but if
> > > you think fontconfig-config is necessary, please feel free to
> > > submit a working version to the bugzilla...
> > 
> > It seems that fontconfig-config can be created quite trivially as a
> > wrapper of pkg-config; patch to make a working fontconfig-config
> > follows (patch is against the fontconfig-config as shipped with
> > XFree86 4.3.0).
> > 
> The problem with this solution (fontconfig-config as a warper
> of pkg-config) is that:
> 1 - You need pkg-config and so the compilation of a package which can
> use fontconfig needs pkg-config: you add a dependence. 
> 2 - If fontconfig is installed at a no standard place (vs pkg-config)
> you should set the PKG_CONFIG_PATH env variable. In the other hand
> if you have installed fontconfig in a no standard place you must
> have set your PATH accordingly and fontconfig-config is found.
> By the way, I prefer fontconfig-config than 'pkg-config'. For me
> 'pkg-config' add only complication for low level library.

Maybe, but try using an environment full of applications installed in
odd (ie. non-standard) places, based on *-config rather than pkg-config.
Sooner or later, as more packages are added or upgraded, you're gonna
have some trouble with dependencies and whatnot and you're gonna have to
fix stuff by hand. On the other hand, with pkg-config all you have to do
is make sure PKG_CONFIG_PATH contains all the relevant *.pc files'

It was enlightening when I switched from Gnome 1.x to 2.x. Before that I
had just the type of trouble I mentioned, plus all kinds of quirks and
workarounds when compiling from source. Now all I do is keep
PKG_CONFIG_PATH up to date and all packages that use it compile
basically out of the box.

An outstanding example was Galeon 1.2.x (a Gnome 1.x app) which required
(for me) a rare, ugly and non-obvious hack against gnome-config to

I don't really know if pkg-config adds another level of obfuscation but
even if it does I think it also does a good job towards unification and
standardization so it's worth it.

Ciprian Popovici

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