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The xbase-fonts issue...

Greetings all,

Maybe this has been suggeted before, if so my apologies and I'll retreat
back into lurk mode...

The nagging problem (undoubtedly classifiable as PEBKAC) is that people
will, ad nauseum, try to run an xserver without fonts available - which
doesn't work and then they come here with a spurious bug report.

Given the number of such reports, it might not be a Bad Thing for it to be
harder for this situation to arise?  Currently, the xserver-common and
xfree86-common packages suggest xfonts-base.  But we can't make that an
explicit dependency as a font server may be elsewhere on the network?

How would it work if xserver packages "depend" on xfonts-base|xfs-config
where xfs-config is a package whose purpose is to ask for and record the
location of the font server?  Of course:

* dexconf could make use of this value (would that imply a pre-depends?)
* users should NOT tell lies here {:-|
* xfs-config should recommend xfs (bonus points here is the configuration
can understand that there should be a local font server and compare that
with what appears to the the installed packages).

On the second point, perhaps the prompt could warn that ``if you lie here
and then submit a bug report we will "point at you and laugh"''[1]? ;-)

What have I missed here?


[1] Not my words: credit to Charl Botha

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