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Re: Semi-OT: Speed improvement from fontconfig

In a message of Thu, 20 Oct 2005 16:07:53 EDT, Josh Metzler writes:
>On Thursday 20 October 2005 08:11 am, Laura Creighton wrote:
>> I'm having a problem with fontconfig and kde.
>> Every so often, all my fonts go away.  Nothing but little boxes.
>> xterm works fine, only kde apps are affected.
>> dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig does not fix the problem.  What does fix
>> the problem is to go to /usr/lib and then remove (or rename) fontconfig
>> Kde running without libfontconfig then initialises itself properly, and
>> all is well again.  You can move libfontconfig.a back, too.  Do you kno
>> what happens when kde tries to run without libfontconfig?  I would like
>> to know what it is that needs resetting, so I can better find out how i
>> is getting mangled in the first place.
>This seems fairly strange to me.  libfontconfig.a is part of the 
>libfontconfig1-dev and is a static library.  Its only use is to statically 
>link it into other applications or libraries.  It should not affect kde at 
>all, as kde is dynamically linked to fontconfig and so 
>uses /usr/lib/libfontconfig.so.
>So, are you sure that removing/renaming that file is what fixes your 
>problem?  Could it just be restarting kde that is doing it?

Definitely restarting kde has absolutely no effect whatsoever.  However,
I also moved /usr/lib/libfontconfig.so so it could be that this was
the moving that fixed things.  What happened was strange -- my 
intention was to recompile the libfontconfig library by hand.  So
I moved /usr/lib/fontconfig* to /usr/lib/oldfontconfigs, on the theory
that it is always possible to make things even worse than they are now,
and if I did so, it would be nice to revert back.  Then, before I could 
get around to recompiling it, I needed to immediately reboot the machine 
to fix a completely unrelated problem with an experimental hardware I am
writing.  To my astonishment, things came up ok.  

Since that time I have had the 'fonts go away' problem twice, and
both times moving /usr/lib/fontconfig* to a different directory,
then rebooting the machine, and moving it back has fixed things
quite nicely.  But I do not understand why.

>If it is that file that is causing you problems, uninstalling 
>libfontconfig1-dev should remove it from your system.

Unfortunately, I have some packages that depend on it.  Indeed this
may be related to the problem.  I typically leave this machine 
running all the time.  So when I reboot, and lose all my fonts, I
have no way of knowing what package update provoked the problem.


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