Re: Nimbus Sans L Condensed [Summary]

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 >|Le jeudi 06 mars 2008 à 19:45 -0500, Bob Tennent a écrit :
 >|> >| Create a fontconfig alias that would create a virtual
 >|>  >| font-family "Nimbus Sans L Condensed".
 >|> The following works for me:
 >|It works for you, when "working" is defined as making a specific font
 >|face available to web designers today ignoring all other considerations.
 >|It does not "work" for me where working is defined as a solution :
 >|+ which is not tied to a particular font
 >|  (esp. one which is not actively maintained anymore, and pre-dates
 >|advances in screen legibility)
 >|+ which is not tied to a particular encoding set
 >|  (direct result of tying to a semi-maintained font with limited
 >|+ which is not a fugly workaround we'll have to keep ad vitam eternam
 >|  (ie what is the migration plan mid-term when all the short-termists
 >|will have hardcoded the name of this font face everywhere)
 >|+ which is not a fugly workaround others are now going to ask for other
 >|  (because if we say yes there where will we stop?)
 >|+ which will not actively obstruct the resolution of the root bug
 >|  (and we've seen how quick the mozilla developpers are to dismiss any
 >|need to work on it as long as there is a single condensed face available
 >|through family name hacks)
 >|In other words this snippet will offload problems from mozilla and you
 >|to the distributions foolish enough to accept it. And since Fedora wants
 >|problems fixed upstream instead of accepting the burden of piles of
 >|short-term workarounds that make their authors think the problems are
 >|solved and they can let the distro deal with straightening things out, I
 >|don't think we want to accept it.

Blaming the lack of interest in font-stretch since 1999 on the snippet I
circulated yesterday seems a bit of a stretch :+)

It seems you inhabit a universe where font selection by applications is
already as you want it and only Firefox is holding out. But the reality
is that family and {regular,bold,italic,bold-italic} are the only
choices available, not just in browsers, but in desktop applications
of all sorts. AFAIK, LaTeX2e (and derived variants) are the only
applications currently available that implement extended families.
Until this reality changes, there is really no point in distributing
fonts that are inaccessible to the vast majority of applications;
if such fonts are distributed, they should be distributed in a way
that allows their use, either changing the family name in the font
or via the fontconfig hack I suggested. I would argue the same way
for "modern" font families such as Vera and Liberation if they have
condensed/expanded variants and don't use family names to distinguish
them from the conventional variants.

The real problem with the Nimbus fonts is that distribution and
development are fragmented; they've been distributed by ghostscript,
abiword, TeX, and no doubt others, and some of the development has been
unsatisfactory; so there is no evident reliable "upstream" to whom we
can complain. But the reality is that they are the only fonts that can
be found on every Linux box.

Bob T.
Fontconfig mailing list

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