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[Octave-bug-tracker] [bug #52765] FreeSans default font is non portable

From: Pantxo Diribarne
Subject: [Octave-bug-tracker] [bug #52765] FreeSans default font is non portable in svg printout
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2017 08:01:09 -0500 (EST)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:57.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/57.0


                 Summary: FreeSans default font is non portable in svg
                 Project: GNU Octave
            Submitted by: pantxo
            Submitted on: Sat 30 Dec 2017 01:01:08 PM UTC
                Category: Plotting
                Severity: 3 - Normal
                Priority: 5 - Normal
              Item Group: Regression
                  Status: None
             Assigned to: None
         Originator Name: 
        Originator Email: 
             Open/Closed: Open
         Discussion Lock: Any
                 Release: dev
        Operating System: Any



FreeSans is now used as the default font. Octave has a copy of this font but
SVG viewers don't have access to it on systems where this font is not
installed (typically all non linux systems). On Windows, I tried to open an
svg produced with the current dev Octave and Inkscape chooses to replace
FreeSans by some fallback sans serif font which has very different character
spacing. This leads to ugly text rendering.

I see no easy way to handle this:
* ask users to install FreeSans (the otf font file is present in the Octave
install dir)
* use css style font-family specification to suggest a fallback font (probably
Helvetica) which has spacing characteristics closer to FreeSans than the
default fallback font (verdana??). Something like 

<text style="font-family:FreeSans, Helvetica, sans;"

* check that FreeSans is installed (use font-config for this) and if not, use
the matching font for "Helvetica" when printing.


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