Behdad Esfahbod behdad at
Thu Apr 9 07:00:44 PDT 2009

On 04/09/2009 09:52 AM, Mikhail Gusarov wrote:
> Twas brillig at 09:31:01 09.04.2009 UTC-04 when jg at did gyre and gimble:
>   JG>  So the X11 core font design is fundamentally a mistake, which we
>   JG>  fixed.
> Given this topic resurfaced again, I'd like to ask the related question:
> core X fonts had the feature of being controlled by server settings
> (XRDB), so applications did ajust the fonts according to the per-display
> preferences (given the XRDB settings for the each display were set
> correctly), so it was possible to have radically different fonts on tiny
> LCD screen on netbook and hude 2m-sized display, not limited to
> recalculating size due to different DPI.
> Is there equivalent functionality with Xft? And whose responsibility it
> is now, if this functionality is not here: applications, toolkits or
> something else?

Xft and cairo have (shared) XRDB keys for antialiasing and other stuff, but 
not dpi.  GTK+ uses XSETTINGS for those as well as DPI, and those are 
per-screen.  gnome-settings-daemon populates them based on user's preferences 
stored in gconf.

More recently I added a fontconfig configuration timestamp there, such that 
applications get notified when fonts are added/removed.  GTK+ and Pango handle 
it automatically, so the effect for apps is that they pick up the new font 


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