[Fontconfig] Re: [DejaVu-fonts] [RFC] Fontconfig lang-specific font override

Nicolas Mailhot nicolas.mailhot at laposte.net
Mon Jun 12 06:29:43 PDT 2006

Le Lun 12 juin 2006 15:01, Ben Laenen a écrit :

> So yes, many Arabic users won't like the design probably, just like they
> don't like Tahoma in those cases.

Thank you for the explanation. I think it would be worthwhile to put some
"designer notes" in a .txt in the sfd/ttf archives.

As for your assessment, my experience is users are *extremely*
conservative WRT font design, presented with something different they'll
always start saying it's ugly, you have to wait some years for them to get
used to it before you receive fair feedback.

(you can just google for Arial appreciations at about the time Microsoft
introduced it - today no one blinks when seing Arial, it's many people's
default/preferred font, but at the time it was presented as some sort of
abomination not worth of helvetica)

> Forcing DejaVu Sans Arabic therof is
> a bad idea. But that doesn't mean that DejaVu Sans Arabic it has no use
> at all.

Fully agreed

> So, if you discuss about Arabic in DejaVu Sans in other places, please
> take this knowledge with you. Don't try to persuade other people that
> Arabic in Sans should be the default for Arabic users, that will never
> work. Something which is quite tricky, given the fact that we want the
> other scripts to be default, and not made easier by the way fontconfig
> is set up (though I see that luckily some work has been done on that)

Well, I've done what I could but at this point given the resistances in
the fontconfig/pango communities and the lack of any will to fix the tools
to make it easier it'd be probably best to spin off the arabic block in
its own font (I hate myself for writing that). But it you do this *please*
do not put any european glyphs in there (unless they are used to write
arabic of course) so they get the full split they want (of course this
will suck big time uder windows without the alaisaing fontconfig does)

And I must write this is nothing but an ugly workaround, it's not the
"right" solution but the "right" solution depends on people who do not
want to look at the problem.

BTW you may be happy to learn the feedback on fedora list is so far
positive (with the usual Behdad exception) with a respected voice like Aln
Cox even writing :

** Bitstream-vera is essentially unmaintained, deja-vu *is*.  I think it's a
** no-brainer.  deja-vu is the way to go, +1.

* Agreed

Nicolas Mailhot

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