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Bug#873462: debian-installer: need to figure out what rendering to use in graphical installer

Source: debian-installer
Severity: important

During the beginning of the buster release cycle, a number of changes
have affected the installer (hello expat, hello udev), and the most
visible ones right now are:
 - fontconfig-udeb: between 2.11.0-6.7 and 2.12.x (I didn't check the
   x=1 version that only reached experimental), hinting now defaults
   to slight instead of full (symlink under /etc/fonts/conf.d)
 - libfreetype6-udeb: with the bump from 2.6 to 2.8, freetype uses a
   new subpixel hinting mode.

This results in rather different rendering for the graphical installer,
and I'm not too happy with letting those go through without making sure
people have a chance to comment on the new output for various languages
(we have many of them, and way too many unknown to me).

Thanks to the hints (no pun intended) provided by Laurent Bigonville,
I've verified it is possible to (almost) get back to the original
 (1) by adjusting the conf symlink so that it points to
 (2) by creating a new start-up script for debian-installer, called
     /lib/debian-installer.d/S63freetype-workaround, which exports the
     following variable:

The slight sad part is that I'm doing so from build/Makefile in the
debian-installer source package instead of properly patching the
relevant udebs. It's been a while already since stretch has been
published, and I don't want to keep the udeb freeze in place for too
long, so I guess releasing debian-installer ASAP makes it an acceptable

The resulting rendering is very close to what we've had for many years,
(except for a little more vertical space being used), so I'll be pushing
this in a few minutes (filing this bug report first, so that I can point
to it from the source and changelog entry).

I have no ETA for a comprehensive study at the moment, but it would be
great to have data from native speakers for as many languages as
possible. Translators might be a nice entry point.


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