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Re: [XForms] Font issues

From: oleuthold
Subject: Re: [XForms] Font issues
Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2014 17:20:40 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.4.0

thanks for your investigation. It looks like I have opened a can of worms ....

I have decided to use the following scheme in my application:

    check for "adobe-helvetica":
        if found, use it;
        otherwise check for "misc-fixed":
            if found use it;
            otherwise the display will show whatever font the system
                substitutes for "misc-fixed"; and
                check for file ".xforms/lxoskope0.85" in home directory:
                    if NOT found, show message GUI.

The message directs the user to the UserGuide, where the font options are explained. The user can turn off the message permanently. The file in the .xforms directory might contain user preferences information in the future. And of course other XForms applications
can have their own preference file in this directory.

On 06/02/2014 09:00 AM, address@hidden wrote:
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Today's Topics:

    1. XForms and TrueType fonts (Jens Thoms Toerring)


Message: 1
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2014 21:46:16 +0200
From: Jens Thoms Toerring <address@hidden>
To: address@hidden
Subject: [XForms] XForms and TrueType fonts
Message-ID: <address@hidden>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii


     I've done a bit of reading and experimenting on how
TrueType etc. fonts can be used with X11. As far as I can
see, with a bit of work they also could be used for XForms
via the Xft extension. As far as I understand it fonts
would be requested from fontconfig and rendered via the
X Render extension and the FreeType library. This would
support the use not only of TrueType fonts but also of
several other font types, including the old bitmap fonts.

This would also allow to install some XForms default
fonts since the new system uses client-side fonts, i.e.,
they get rendered on the machine where the program is
running, so the potential issue with fonts missing on
the machine the programs interface is shown on doesn't
exist (though probably at a certain cost since the in-
formation has to be transmitted over the network to the
machine running the X server).

If we switch to this some new linraries will be needed, at
least libXft, libfontconfig, libfreetype and libXRender.
This would remove backward conpatibility of XForms for
older systems from times before the new font syatem was
introduced. The obvious question is if anyone is still
using one of these old systems? "Old systems" are probably
at least 10 years old when it comes to most Linux distros,
other Unix variants may have made the switch later (or not
at all?).

Of course, it would be possible the make the switch to the
new font handling system a configuration option. But this
probably would require a lot of extra work, both now and
in the future (since we'd need two "branches" of the source
code, each of which would have to be modified and tested
when bugs are fixed or new features added. Thus I would
rather like to avoid that if no-one's using old systems
lacking the new features. So please let me know if you're
on such a system!

Please note that this is still in the planning stage, it
could very well happen that I realize that there are some
insurmountable problems.

                       Best regards, Jens

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