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Re: Processed: please read the bugreport until the end to understand why I reassigned this bug

On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 5:09 AM, Debian Bug Tracking System
<owner@bugs.debian.org> wrote:
> Processing commands for control@bugs.debian.org:
>> retitle 238833 wrong rendering fallback
> Bug#238833: general: not all fonts contain glyphs for all codepoints
> Changed Bug title to `wrong rendering fallback' from `general: not all fonts contain glyphs for all codepoints'.

If you need a fallback Unicode font, you can look at the
"xfonts-unifont" and "ttf-unifont" packages in unstable & testing.
I'm currently maintaining the "unifont" package.  The current version
of those packages contains a glyph for every visible code point in the
Unicode 5.1 Basic Multilingual Plane.  The TrueType font will look
best at 12pt (and might look outright unacceptable at smaller point

However, beware the Jabberwock, er, I mean the combining marks.  The
xfonts-unifont font encodes glyphs for them, but they are not
superimposed on a preceding glyph.  The ttf-unifont font displays
combining marks superimposed over a following glyph, rather than over
the preceding glyph as per the Unicode Standard.  So combining marks
aren't handled in accordance with the Unicode Standard in either
version yet, but at least they only form a small fraction of the total
Basic Multilingual Plane.

I made a new version of the TrueType font that ought to render
combining marks in accordance with the Unicode Standard.
Unfortunately, the font renders perfectly under Windows XP but not
under GNOME on Debian.  I haven't tried it under KDE and would be
interested in feedback if someone wants to try it under KDE.  The new
version of the TrueType font is at


(You'll have to gunzip it before you use it.)

I just barely got the current version of the "unifont" package in with
the lenny freeze, and I haven't assembled yet another version with the
above 2008-09-07 TrueType font.  It was about all I could do to finish
all the missing glyph renderings before the freeze -- there wasn't
time for everything I would have liked to accomplish.

If there is interest though, I could try to have one more version
brought into lenny that includes the very latest TrueType font.  One
reason I didn't bother so far is because its combining marks don't
render correctly under GNOME, and I think it is probably a more
generic X11 bug not specific to GNOME (though I haven't had time to
check the font with KDE).  The combining marks in that latest TrueType
font do have an advance width of zero so I am fairly confident that
the bug is not with the TrueType font.  See bug #497326 for more
mention of this.  I also posted a message about TTF Unicode combining
marks on the debian-x list about half a week ago.

I also have a file containing a list of every code point in the
Unicode 5.1 Basic Multilingual Plane that should have zero advance
width (i.e., the combining marks), with one code point per line in
hexadecimal.  The file is at


I entered all the data in that file, and I'm placing it in the public
domain to help spread support for Unicode.

Paul Hardy

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