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RE: font policy changes

> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: font policy changes
> From: Julien Cristau <jcristau@debian.org>
> Date: Wed, July 16, 2008 8:47 am
> To: unifoundry@unifoundry.com
> Cc: debian-devel@lists.debian.org, debian-mentors@lists.debian.org
> On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 08:37:12 -0700, unifoundry@unifoundry.com wrote:
> > Thank you. I can write a proposed addition to the Policy Manual for
> > TrueType fonts after I'm done with the current package unless someone
> > else wants to do it. The "update-fonts-dir" utility currently only
> > handles fonts in the X11 tree (not TrueType), and even then the new X11
> > font directory options to look under /usr/share/fonts/X11/ ("-7" and
> > "--x11r7-layout") don't work on my stable release (Etch 4.0r3).
> > 
> These options are no-ops. What do you mean by "don't work"?
> Also please stop breaking the thread.
> Cheers,
> Julien
> -- 
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What I meant by "don't work" is that, as you mention, these two options
are no-ops.

According to the update-fonts-dir(1) man page, these options should not
be no-ops:
update-fonts-dir creates a fonts.dir file in an X font directory by
invoking mkfontdir(1x) with the appropriate arguments....For each
directory, which is simply the last component of its path (such as
'75dpi' or 'misc'), update-fonts-dir will generate either
/usr/lib/X11/fonts/directory/fonts.dir or
/usr/share/fonts/X11/directory/fonts.dir from the fonts.scale and font
files found within it.

-7, --x11r7-layout switches the font layout to the one introduced in
X11R7: fonts in /usr/share/fonts/X11/directory (default is: fonts in

Here are examples of what happens in practice on Etch (4.0r3, i386 DVD
install), showing where the man page says the program should look versus
what actually happens.

Invocation:      update-fonts-dir misc
Documented Path: /usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc
Actual Path:     /usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc
Status:          works as advertised (and complains that
/usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc doesn't exist)

Invocation:      update-fonts-dir -7 misc
Documented Path: /usr/share/fonts/X11/misc
Actual Path:     /usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc
Status:          looks in wrong directory; "-7" has no effect

Invocation:      update-fonts-dir --x11r7-layout misc
Documented Path: /usr/share/fonts/X11/misc
Actual Path:     /usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc
Status:          looks in wrong directory; "--x11r7-layout" has no

Invocation:      update-fonts-dir /usr/share/fonts/X11/misc
Documented Path: /usr/share/fonts/X11/misc
Actual Path:     /usr/share/fonts/X11/misc
Status:          "warning: absolute path /usr/share/fonts/X11/misc was


With the current stable release, use of /usr/lib/X11/fonts is
deprecated.  This gives a few options:

a) Leave "-7" and "--x11r7-layout" as no-ops, but change the default
font top directory from "/usr/lib/X11/fonts" to "/usr/share/fonts/X11"
in the source code (so it never looks in "/usr/lib/X11/fonts" anymore).

b) Change "-7" and "--x11r7-layout" to work the way the man page says
they should work.

c) Change update-fonts-dir to accept an absolute font path without

d) Change update-fonts-dir to look by default in both the old top-level
directory and the new one.

e) Phase out update-fonts-dir in favor of something else that also looks
in the truetype/ and other font directories outside the customary X11
font directories (for example, defoma or fc-cache).  Remove the mandated
use of update-fonts-dir from the Policy Manual (it doesn't handle
truetype fonts anyways).

f) Other suggestions?

Paul Hardy

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