A question about fonts

Eirik Byrkjeflot Anonsen eirik at opera.com
Wed Mar 9 23:21:42 PST 2011

"Andersen, Jan" <jandersen at informatica.com> writes:

> It is not entirely obvious what you want to accomplish.  Are you writing
> an application that displays text?  Then any sane modern toolkit should
> handle the problem for you.
> =========================
> Hi Eirik,
> No, no, nothing as ambitious as that. I have a problem when I study
> Chinese: there are many good dictionaries, but the electronic ones
> invariably assume that you have the text in electronic form, and the
> paper one are big and bulky. The texts I read are printed on paper,
> and I find the best index method is the radical based one; but it
> makes the lookup cumbersome for obvious reasons. So, I have gone to
> the Unicode Consortium, downloaded their CJK related data, formatted
> it somewhat, loaded it into a MySQL database, extracted a huge-ish set
> of static web-pages that I can now use to look up characters using a
> radical index on a computer; I can then use an electronic dictionary
> to give me the last step. It is actually quite handy, if not
> excessively elegant, but some characters come up as blank
> squares. There is a pair of fonts (called han-nom for some reason)
> that seems to cover a large part of the interesting range, and I
> wasn't aware that Fontconfig can help me there, alleged ly. So I am
> going to learn about Fontconfig now.

So your problem is that the web browser you are using fails to display
all the glyphs?  That sounds like an issue with that application.  I
would think all main web browsers today would have proper font switching
support.  That is, if the font they are using does not support a
specific glyph, they will use a different font for that glyph.  A
possible complication could be if there is a font on the system that
claims to support the glyph but renders it as a "glyph-not-found" shape.
(I think I have seen that happen.)

It would probably make sense to take the question to the web browser's

(That isn't to say that X and related technologies (e.g. fontconfig)
can't be improved to make it easier for applications to do proper font
switching, of course.)


More information about the xorg mailing list