Re: Tutorial or guidance for using fontconfig

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Hi Robert,

I agree with Ed that you should highly consider using pangocairo (pangoft2
would do it too, but is not developed anymore).  Now, you probably will see
some resistance as this will introduce a few new dependencies.  But that's
really the only way to bring full internationalization to your toolkit.

If you still decide to use fontconfig directly, I always reply to messages
that are to the point.  True, there is no good guide to read.  But if you ask
smart questions (like, "I have a family name, how do I find the best font file
 to use?"), you get smart answers.  If you ask stupid questions ("how do I use
fontconfig?"), you probably don't get any answers.


Robert Kerr wrote:
> Ed,
> Thanks for the response.  I appreciate your input.
> So, my situation is that I'm rather new to the team, and was given this 
> assignment by someone else, and it was suggested that I look into putting 
> fontconfig into the project.  If pango et al already handle what we need, 
> then that drastically reduces the issues I have to deal with.  It would be 
> a case of the person giving me the assignment not having any experience in 
> font issues, and not knowing what route to take for this.
> I'll certainly look more into what pango/cairo provide, in the hopes that 
> it'll prove a better avenue of exploration.
> Thanks again!
> -bob
> On Wed, 7 Jan 2009, Ed Trager wrote:
>> Hi, Robert,
>> I don't understand *why* you would want to integrate fontconfig into
>> VTK.  I assume that VTK only really needs access to high-level string
>> layout functionality, such as that provided by the Pango, Pango+Cairo,
>> or Pango+FreeType2 libraries.  So why don't you just go one of those
>> routes and let Pango/FreeType deal with fontconfig under the hood
>> somewhere?
>> - Ed Trager
>> On Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 11:16 AM, Robert Kerr <rakerr@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>> First, let me introduce myself.  My name is Bob Kerr, and I'm
>>> investigating the possibility of involving fontconfig into VTK.  It seems
>>> like this would be a good match, and there's some good excitement on the
>>> vtk side for this.
>>> Now, I've got fontconfig 2.6.0 installed, and it seems that everything is
>>> working correctly, as far as I can tell.  But, there doesn't seem to be
>>> any way to get from where I am to where I want to go.  I firmly believe
>>> that fontconfig is useful, and viable, and valuable, but I can't find any
>>> type of documentation or tutorial or guide as to how to put fontconfig
>>> into my application.  There's the developers' guide, which is just a list
>>> of functions and a brief description.  There's the users' guide, which
>>> describe how to add fonts to fontconfig and then use an application that
>>> uses fontconfig.  There's some slides that Keith has posted (from years
>>> ago) about the reasons for fontconfig.  But there's nothing out there that
>>> tells me how to integrate it.
>>> After some lengthy searching, I've found a few items that make me somewhat
>>> concerned--requests for help from other people in my position, which have
>>> gone unanswered, both to this list and in other forums.  I took the
>>> initiative to email one of those requestors, and they responded that they
>>> had received no help from the fontconfig community, and had decided that
>>> fontconfig wasn't important for their application, since it looked to be
>>> too high of a cost to try to integrate it, since there was no help
>>> available.
>>> So, in a perhaps futile gesture, I'm asking once again if there is some
>>> sort of Newbie Guide to Integrating fontconfig into an Application.  Or,
>>> failing that, is there an application that uses fontconfig and is
>>> well-structured, such that I can learn from it?  Or, failing that, is
>>> there anyone in the fontconfig community that is willing to mentor
>>> someone?
>>> I realize that this is something that isn't fun to do--the mentoring of
>>> new people, but if the goal of fontconfig is to provide a standard
>>> interface and mechanism for handling fonts across a wide variety of
>>> platforms and applications, then it behooves the community to provide some
>>> way to get more people using it, rather than just ignoring requests for
>>> guidance.
>>> Thanks in advance for any answers you might be able to provide.
>>> --
>>> -bob
>>> Bad Performance Evaluations: "This employee is depriving a village
>>> somewhere of an idiot."
>>> **********************************************************************
>>> *      Robert Kerr, Member of the Cubit Mesh Generation Team         *
>>> *       and the Titan Informatics Toolkit Development Team           *
>>> *      rakerr@xxxxxxxxxx          |    PO Box 5800,  MS 0376         *
>>> *      Phone: (505) 844-8606      |    Sandia National Labs          *
>>> *      Fax: (505) 284-0140        |  Albuquerque, NM 87185-0376      *
>>> **********************************************************************
>>> _______________________________________________
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