[Fontconfig] Re: Fonts for distribution

Behdad Esfahbod behdad at cs.toronto.edu
Thu Mar 9 07:12:26 PST 2006

On Thu, 9 Mar 2006, Simos Xenitellis wrote:

> There is a similar discussion going on at the dejavu-devel mailing list.
> There is interest from contributors to add glyphs for more languages,
> like Arabic and CJK, as it has been with FreeFont which supports with
> different levels of quality Latin, Central European, Cyrillic, Greek,
> Arabic, CJK and perhaps more.

Then please ask them to release DejaVuArabic, DejaVuCyrrillic,

> The issue arises from the fact that to use such a wide-coverage Unicode
> fonts, one has to add high on the preference list
> at /etc/fonts/fonts.conf
> However, by doing so, other fonts are masked (hidden), such as Arabic
> and CJK (Kochi).

There are several issues.  Most fonts that cover multiple
scripts, have ugly glyphs for all but one or two of them.  Or
they may simply not be my favorite ones.  And remember that
beautiful fonts for Arabic are among the ugliest for Persian.
Listing defects really doesn't make much sense.  It's like
bundling all GNOME apps together, saying you can either use all
of these, or none of them.

> Therefore, we have the interest of individual contributors to have their
> script added or new fonts submitted that have partial support for some
> scripts (for example, SIL Doulos has partial Greek support).
> What is the best solution to solve this issue?

fontconfig configuration.  Fontconfig knows about languages, so
if SIL Doulos has partial Greek support, fontconfig doesn't mark
it as supporting Greek, and so when some text is marked as Greek,
SIL Doulos will not be used to render that...  This support is
not perfect in the stack, but definitely improving.

> Or, should fontconfig be enhanced so that it allows a new configuration
> option to mask/hide character ranges on specific fonts?
> For the latter, there is a bug report waiting for developer love, at
> https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5987

No, I don't think that bug is going to be resolved any time soon.
As I said above, it's supposed to be already handled in another

> Simos


"Commandment Three says Do Not Kill, Amendment Two says Blood Will Spill"
	-- Dan Bern, "New American Language"

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