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Re: Font problem - Nimbus Sans L

Jack Dodds wrote:
I believe this problem could be considered a bug - or at least an error in the installation of Debian.

I encountered it on Woody, and now have encountered the same problem on Sarge.

Specifically, the standard fonts that are installed include

Nimbus Sans L, and
Nimbus Sans L Condensed.

Nimbus Sans L is very similar to Helvetica or Arial and is important to have for interoperability with Windows machines.

However, when characters are formatted Nimbus Sans L in Abiword and in OpenOffice, it is actually Nimbus Sans L Condensed that is displayed and printed. This means that there is no Arial/Helvetica equivalent font available to the user.

On Woody, I deleted n019043l.pfb, n019044l.pfb, n019063l.pfb, n019064l.pfb from /usr/lib/X11/fonts/Type1. Then I ran type1inst in that directory, ran xset fp rehash, deleted XftCache. Atger rebooting, there were no more "Condensed" fonts and the real Nimbus Sans L was used in Abiword (I didn't have OpenOffice).

On Sarge, the behaviour is stranger. I deleted the same files, which fixed the problem for Abiword but not OpenOffice. Then I restored the files. Still, Abiword used the correct Nimbus Sans L.

I have spent a significant amount of time trying to understand the font system, and all that happens is that I follow symbolic links in circles. So perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I can identify the problem here. I suspect it has something to do with inappropriate font substitutions being specifed in the configuration that is set up by Debian Installer.

This has nothing to do with debian-installer. See e.g. http://bugs.debian.org/243329

However, the fact that it also happens outside fontconfig suggests that this is a more general issue with these fonts. I'm CC-ing the fontconfig developers, in case they have a clue.
 .''`.           Josselin Mouette        /\./\
: :' :           josselin.mouette@ens-lyon.org
`. `'                        joss@debian.org
  `-  Debian GNU/Linux -- The power of freedom

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