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Re: System fonts

From: Yen-Ju Chen
Subject: Re: System fonts
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 09:01:09 -0400

From: Banlu Kemiyatorn <address@hidden>
Reply-To: Banlu Kemiyatorn <address@hidden>
To: Kazunobu Kuriyama <address@hidden>
CC: Yen-Ju Chen <address@hidden>, address@hidden, address@hidden
Subject: Re: System fonts
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 17:35:17 +0700

On Thu, 26 Aug 2004 18:54:54 +0900, Kazunobu Kuriyama
<address@hidden> wrote:


I meant he doesn't like the latin glyph provided in Chinese font.
Because he thinks it's ugly.  If he doesn't like it because it didn't
do kerning and using correct ligatures, why should we discussing
glyph substitution in backend rather freetype support (which already
support kerning and partly support ligature) ? He also mentioned
Terminal.app (which didn't use text system). How that relate to
kerning and ligature since Terminal shouldn't use any kind of font
rather mono type?

 I think there are two issues in this discussion:
one is the default font for GNUstep, Vera or FreeSans, which I don't care too much because they looks the same to me and doesn't solve the font problem for CJK people.
 The second is font substitue, so I change the title of discussion.

 For Chinese font, there are not too many choice of good quality fonts
because even the minimal set, your need 65536 glyphs to display reasonably,
 and actually it is usually not enough in many cases. :D
 So the issues here are:

 1. the latin glyph in Chinese font is not fixed-pitched.
     The Chinese glyph is always fixed-pitched due to its nature.
This cause problem in Terminal.app because it need every glyph fixed-pitched. In the fixed-pitched environment, Chinese glyph is twice wide than latin glyph, and Terminal.app can handle it as long as every glyph is fixed-pitched.

 2. In the Chinese glyph, the latin font is really ugly
     because people have no time to design latin glpyh.
     Not the kern or space, but the glyph itself.
People put most of their time in designing numerous Chinese glyphs instead of latin ones.
     And there is an issue about the Chinese font.
At the begin, it is designed to compensate the latin font, not replace it. Therefore, all the latin glyph in Chinese font is designed as big as Chinese glyph,
     which is almost twice wide than normal one (not fixed-pitched).
     Because it is designed to compensate the original latin font,
     people usually don't use it to display latin text.
That's how I say it is ugly, a point of view from a Chinese user using Chinese font.
     I think the fundamental problem of this is that at the beginning,
it is designed to supply the missing glyph in latin font in Chinese environment, not replace it.

3. In GNUstep, you can only specify one font for each type (system font, user font, etc) (http://www.gnustep.org/resources/documentation/User/Gui/LanguageSetup.html) Therefore, my only choice is to specify an Chinese font if I need to display Chinese.
     The results is that I always get the big latin glyph in Chinese,
and Terminal.app can not display latin text properly because latin glyph is not fixed-pitched.
     In many application, such as Mozilla/Firefox, OpenOffice,
you can specify as least the second font for CJK (the first one is latin font) in order to compensate the missing glyph in the default fonts (Vera or FreeSans in GNUstep).
     That's what I ask for.
     I am aware of fontconfig, but I don't know how to use it with GNUstep.
     GNUstep has its own defaults system.
Once GNUstep get one font, this font is used everywhere. No font substitute.
     And as far as I know, it seems that only CJK need a second font.
I never see a choice of second font for any other language in most of applications.
     But maybe it is due to my lack of knowledge.

 I hope this reply answers the technique issue of font substitute.
 Although font subsitute will reduce the speed of text rendering,
 it may only happen to not many users here.



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