Re: Installing fonts

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On Thu, 2007-04-19 at 13:55 +0100, Thomas Worthington wrote:

> Eurostile appears to be the biggest problem. There is Eurostile and
> Eurostile Extended.

Why is it called 'Extended'? That's an odd style name. My guess would be
that it is an expanded variant, can you confirm this? And, is this a
TrueType font? If so, it would be very useful to see the output of
fc-cache run on this font with FC_DEBUG=256 as that will show us the
contents of the OS2 table that is supposed to specify the set width of
the font.

> but fc-match "Helvetica:Narrow" gives the Regular style and filename again:

Try Helvetical:condensed; there is no mapping of the width name
'narrow'. Alternatively, Helvetica:style=Narrow should also work fine.

> The result was a long, somewhat unorganised list of fonts, to be sure, but
> far more importantly, I could access any font in any style I had installed
> in any program I had. 

If applications would simply list the styles available along with the
family names, that would be true today. Unfortunately, many of them have
boolean medium/bold and roman/italic buttons which makes the job of
fontconfig a lot harder. Take a look at the Gnome or KDE font selector
dialogs; they provide a family name and a style name. This can access
all of the fonts you use without resorting to merging the family and
style names.

Applications which retain a simplistic notion of font variation should
be fixed, although getting OpenOffice to change will probably take

The problem is confounded as the style names for fonts include
information about slant, width, weight, caps styles and numerous other
bits of information. Merging all of this information with the family
name would make even existing simplistic applications harder to use as
the 'style' selection in all applications would cease to have any

Without keeping fonts unified by family name, applications like Mozilla
cannot take general font specifications and convert them into a range of
related glyphs -- fetching the 'condensed variant' of the 'serif' font
requires that whatever family is used for 'serif' has the same family
name as the condensed version.

> The idea of using such rules seems far outside the desired functionality
> for a modern font system. I can cope with one or two special cases, but to
> ask a designer trying out Inkscape or any othe program to edit XML files,
> and then to *take those files with them* to every new machine ever
> afterwards is madness!

As Inkscape uses the usual Gnome font dialog, it should be able to reach
all of the fonts on your system, as long as they have unique
family/style combinations. If not, that dialog is just broken and needs
to be fixed.

I don't see a simple solution that can work without fixing applications
so that they present the full list of style options for each family.


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