[Fontconfig] Disabling font X for language Y

Stefan Baums baums at u.washington.edu
Fri Apr 23 10:36:16 EST 2004

> It probably is. Qt 3, can synthesize a missing font on the fly.

That is actually another problem of QT that I wasn’t planning to
go into here and now, but since you bring it up...  Apparently, QT
can substitute whole scripts that are missing in font X from font
Y, but not individual characters.  Have a look at the attached
screenshot of one of my directories in Konqueror.  The words with
the empty boxes are “brāhmī” and “замѣтка”.  The font used for the
former (Bitstream Vera Sans) has some coverage of the Latin
script, but is lacking glyphs for the two characters ā and ī, and
QT seems incapable of recognising this and getting those glyphs
from another font.  Similarly, the font used for “замѣтка” (the
ugly Chinese one) has some coverage of Cyrillic, but does not
include a glyph for the character ѣ, which QT fails to supply from
another font.

So the overall impression is that QT 3 uses Fontconfig
superficially and incorrectly.  This probably has to be fixed at
the QT end, but in the meantime I would like to configure
Fontconfig so I can sidestep QT’s most egregious mistakes.

> You can adjust Qt font settings in qtconfig, which may or may
> not be installed with with Debian's packaging.

It is in the package qt3-qtconfig, but all it allows you to do is
to substitute one whole font for another.  But I don’t want to
replace the whole of the Chinese fonts with some other fonts, just
the Cyrillic part of them.  Also, even after I did specify in
qtconfig a substitution of “Free Helvetian” for both “AR PL KaitiM
GB” and “AR SungtiL GB”, that didn't have the slightest effect
when typing Cyrillic in kedit - it still uses the Cyrillic glyphs
from the Chinese font.


Stefan Baums
Asian Languages and Literature
University of Washington
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