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Re: What is the proper way to set the default font these days?

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: What is the proper way to set the default font these days?
Date: Mon, 08 Jun 2009 23:21:21 +0900

Miles Bader writes:

 > David De La Harpe Golden <address@hidden> writes:
 > > ?  It was my understanding (which could be flawed) that applications
 > > never look at .Xdefaults, it's up to you to do an
 > >
 > > xrdb -merge .Xdefaults
 > No, ~/.Xdefaults is read directly by applications,

A behavior deprecated as of X11R5 in favor of using xrdb, which is
handled on the server side.

I guess there's nothing wrong with depending on Emacs reading
.Xdefaults if you want to (except for the fact that GNOME will not
respect your wishes), but that behavior has been obsolete for a long

 > The "rules" (by my observation) are a bit bizarre:  If there's
 > _anything_ in the server's database, even entries for an unrelated
 > application, then ~/.Xdefaults is completely ignored, and only entries
 > from the server database are used; otherwise ~/.Xdefaults is used.

That's is indeed the defined behavior.  Specifically, Xlib reads
~/.Xdefaults if and only if *no resources at set at all* in the
RESOURCE_MANAGER property on the server's root window.

 > You'd think it would be more useful to automagically _merge_ the server
 > database with the contents of ~/.Xdefaults, but that's not what the X
 > libraries do.

The intent was to encourage users to migrate to the modern style,
which uniformly applies to remote clients as well as local ones (which
obviously the .Xdefaults file can't, since it's read by the client).

Why not just put

(lambda () (shell-command "xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources"))

on your save hook in xrdb buffers?

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