[blfs-dev] DejaVu Fonts Instructions

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at ntlworld.com
Wed Feb 6 18:48:49 PST 2013

On Wed, Feb 06, 2013 at 08:00:16PM -0600, Bruce Dubbs wrote:
> Randy McMurchy wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > In the DejaVu Fonts installation instructions shown on the Xorg configuration
> > page, the instructions seem to need an update. First, the fonts are now in a
> > subdirectory of the source directory, so the installation of the TTF files
> > do not work as shown in the book.
> >

 Arguably, the page needs reworking - I'm still in the middle of
analyzing the coverage of ttf fonts I use/have_used (started in
November, likely to finish "some time this year" - I've never been
good at estimating, and the form of my results is still evolving,
but probably lists of the glyph ranges covered by a font, lists of
the individual glyphs so that people can search to see if their
required glyphs are in a font, and PDFs showing how they appear).

 That was prompted by discovering that I don't really need Charis-SIL
any more (it used to be essential for getting IPA glyphs to show up
on the language pages of wikipedia, but DejaVu now covers that), and
by discovering that I had _too_many_ fonts when I moved to
LibreOffice and wanted to select a different font (I like everything
to render, whether or not I can read it, so I used to use various
packages from debian with _many_ fonts).

 I am still hoping to propose changes, but as a starter I think that
we should just tell people to install the .ttf files [ or .otf, or
.ttc for other fonts we don't mention], wherever they are located.
Also, any documentation (typically, licenses / copyright).

> > However, the reason I'm asking is that there are .conf files shipped in the
> > tarball that are designed to be installed in /etc/fonts/conf.d, yet there is
> > no instruction to install them. Are they required, or do they help fontconfig
> > in the use of the DejaVu fonts, or can these files be reasonably dismissed?
> I don't know the answer to your question, but there is 
> /etc/fonts/conf.d/README.  It indicates the .conf files go in 
> conf.avail/ and conf.d/ should have links there.
> I have no idea why fontconfig does this.
> I do have the dejavu fonts installed in /usr/share/fonts/dejavu, but 
> nothing about them in /etc/fonts.  AFAICT, they work for me.  They do 
> show up in seamonkey.
 Yesterday, I installed the UMing fonts from freedesktop.org - I
can't see any reason to recommend them, and as someone who isn't
sensitive to the differences in certain CJK variants I can't even
_see_ a difference in the variants in these.  BUT, in e.g.
gucharmap I could select these variant fonts after I installed them,
ran fc-cache, and restarted the application.  In libreoffice they
did NOT show up until I went back and followed most of the INSTALL
instructions [ fc-cache with a couple of switches, and copying the
.conf files - I didn't mess about with conf.avail/ and conf.d/, so
far I have all my active fonts in /usr/share/fonts, and any I've
temporarily removed are elsewhere ], and then started the app.

 So, I _guess_ that .conf files are sometimes important. For DejaVu
with recent fontconfig, that doesn't seem to be the case.

> arch does have some explanation at 
> https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Font_Configuration#Fontconfig_configuration, 
> but from that the best I can tell. the .conf files are for tweaks not 
> built into the .ttf files.
>    -- Bruce

 Thanks for the reference, I'll look at it later - I'm guessing that
any font which fontconfig knows about is probably already covered :
for those of us who only want something to render and don't care too
much about how it looks.  I get worked up about how some latin
glyphs appear (particularly, I dislike the 'g' from Times-Roman),
I'm sure CJK users get equally heated by what to them are many
alien stroke forms on the unified CJK glyphs, and for that the .conf
files supposedly allow them to choose simplified or traditional
chinese, or japanese, or korean as their preferred form.  I _did_
notice that pasting CJK glyphs into 'writer' defaults to one of the
AR PL fonts.

 Perhaps a mention that any .conf file should be installed would be
adequate ?  I recall that at least one other font (probably one of
the indic fonts I got from debian) came with .conf files, but I
apparently didn't need them - and now I've dropped all of them
because DejaVu and FreeFont cover all the scripts from the Indian
subcontinent that I have encountered online (apart from Telugu,
which is in lohit from fedora).

das eine Mal als Tragödie, das andere Mal als Farce

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