Why do packages install yucky fonts? (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Fri, 09 Jul 2004

Why do packages install yucky fonts?

This evening, thanks to Rob Weir's Debian Font Guide and some suggestions from Rob himself, I finally got rid of that ugly oversized scaled-bitmap helvetica (or similar) font that has plagued all my Debian installs since I first started using Debian. It turns out that it comes from the gsfonts-x11 (ghostscript and gv). Remove gsfonts-x11, and gtk windows now use a much much smaller, clean, truetype helvetica font. Alternately, keeping gsfonts-x11 installed, but removing /usr/lib/X11/fonts/Type1 from the font path, gives me a medium sized, cleanly rendered helvetica in gtk windows. I may have trouble viewing postscript documents in gv; we'll see. But having all my other windows use clean fonts makes it worth risking some gv breakage.

Other things I had to do: install x-ttcidfont-conf (defoma was already installed); disable the font server (comment out the unix/:7100 line from XF86Config-4, plus update-rc.d -f xfs remove); reorder the FontPath lines in XF86Config-4 as suggested in the font guide, and remove (comment out) the /var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/CID line.

Strangely, even if I list the Type1 directory after all the others in XF86Config-4, it still takes precedence over all the other helveticas. Neither Rob nor I could figure out why.

Why do packages include fonts like that? Abiword used to have a font like that on Redhat. It's almost always for helvetica (which has a gazillion other implementations anyway, so it's not as though they have to worry that they won't be able to find a helvetica on the system if they don't install theirs).

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[ 19:00 Jul 09, 2004    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

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