A critical bug in all xfont packages
The new XFree4 X server and font server don't have internal support
for all encodings. For some of them they need a file encodings.dir in
the font directories. The command `mkfontdir' automatically makes
such a file if invoked with the option '-e', for example:
mkfontdir -e /usr/lib/X11/fonts/encodings /usr/lib/X11/fonts/Type1
The basic font packages for X (xfonts-base, xfonts-75dpi,
xfonts-100dpi and xfonts-scalable) install files encodings.dir in the
font directories and that was a smart decision of Branden Robinson,
because the other font packages didn't need to use the option -e in
their postinst and postrm. (The file encodings.dir doesn't change
after installing new fonts or removing fonts.)
Unfortunately the version of `mkfontdir' in the most new xutil package
removes the file encodings.dir if not invoked with -e option.
Currently the X fonts Debian packages don't use this option in their
postinst and postrm.
I maintain packages with Cyrillic fonts that need the file
encodings.dir (for example scalable-cyrfonts-x11). The current
situation with the new `mkfontdir' is that the Debian packages with X
fonts remove the file encodings.dir after their installation and thus
they left my packages in broken state.
So, what can be done? One possible fix is to return the old behavior
of `mkfontdir': it didn't touch the file encodings.dir when invoked
without -e option.
Another fix is to add this option to postinst and postrm of all xfonts
packages. I can make NMU for the maintainers that are busy and ask me
to do so. Some official policy for using -e option should be made in
that case. And the directory /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/encodings
should be moved from xfonts-base to xlibs (so it is guaranteed that it
According to the definition, a bug with critical severity is a bug,
that makes unrelated software on the system to break. But against
what packages should I file such a bug report, all xfonts packages?
I will be very unhappy if I need to define in my font packages
conflicts with the other font packages. And at least xfonts-base,
xfonts-75dpi, xfonts-100dpi and xfonts-scalable need to be fixed.
The contents of the postinst and postrm files of the font packages is
more or less standard. May be Branden will be able to make
update-fonts-dir script that should be used instead of sequential
invoking of update-fonts-scale, update-fonts-alias and mkfontdir?
Anton Zinoviev, email@example.com