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Re: Bug#669003: fontconfig: TEXMF fonts status and activation

Hi Keith,

(adding debian-tex-maint, just for completeness)

On Mi, 25 Jul 2012, Keith Packard wrote:
> > - is the current behaviour on purpose, and if yes, why is there
> >   a triggered interest in /usr/share/texmf/fonts?
> This happened when the triggers mechanism was added; it used to be that
> fontconfig would rebuild the caches when any fonts were installed.
> The choice of directories probably reflected an assumption at the time
> that TeX would eventually use fontconfig to locate fonts.

That will *never* happen. DEK has finished TeX and there are only
very minor bugfixes in exponentially increasing time frames. 

Therare newer programs (xetex,luatex) that use fontconfig, but the basic
and still most used engines (pdf(e)tex and tex itself) are using 
kpathsea library to find fonts, not fontconfig, and will for sure never
use it.

> > - if my observation is wrong and fonts installed there (/u/s/t/f) 
> >   actually work, could you also please add
> >   	/usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/fonts
> >   to the list?
> There used to be a pile of TeX math fonts that were broken -- labeled as
> using standard encodings but actually having entirely different glyphs
> in place. Is that no longer the case?

Hmmm, do you have references for that? I actually don't expect that 
much has changed in this respect. BTW, does it matter? I mean the
user will see that strange things are coming out if he uses these fonts.

> > - if fonts are not actually supported, should we (texlive-*) ship
> >   a /etc/fonts/avail.d/ config file activating the ttf and otf
> >   fonts we are shipping, i.e., simply adding the paths
> >   	/usr/share/texmf/fonts/{opentype,truetype}
> > 	/usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/fonts/{opentype,truetype}
> >   to the search paths?
> Having this in the texlive packages while fontconfig continues to have
> the paths in .triggers seems wrong; one package or the other should be
> responsible for knowing when to rebuild fontconfig caches for those
> directories.

I agree, but in this case there should be some formal way to propose
trigger aware directories.

> > - if we do the last step, how are duplicated fonts handled?
> >   (we have many fonts that are linked from their original location
> >   into the texmf trees)
> It's not a serious problem, but will cause applications to randomly pick
> the texlive paths instead of the original paths.

Ok, not good either.

So at the current point I see the following solutions:
- you add /u/s/texlive/texmf-dist/fonts/{opentype,truetype)// to the
- we link all the pfb/otf/ttf fonts we find to somewhere in /u/s/fonts

is this right?

> I'd rather see TeX use fontconfig to locate fonts so that they needn't
> be linked here, but I imagine that's a bunch of work.

Not a bunch of work, impossible. Plain TeX is anyway not interested in that
(only needs tfm files). pdf(e)tex is the one that needs access to pfb files,
and they are searched by very specific file names (kb scheme).
xetex and luatex can both (afair) search by font name and font file name.

Best wishes

Norbert Preining            preining@{jaist.ac.jp, logic.at, debian.org}
JAIST, Japan                                 TeX Live & Debian Developer
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