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Fonts Management in RULE


I (Marco) have put in this section every font-related requirement I could think about. Probably what is here should be spread in other subsystems, just let me know.

General criteria

RULE must support non alphabetic languages, but the user should be able to choose and install only the fonts he will actually need. This may force us to mess with some existing RPM, but there is no need to waste space on alphabets you won’t be able to read anyway, is it?

Ghostscript comes to mind here: in RH 7.2 it claimed some 10/20 megs of far east fonts even if you have selected an european language. The same is true for some XEmacs RPMs circulating around.

Even if the computer itself is obsolete, it may very well happen that it has a state of the art printer attached, or a high resolution monitor. There are lots of situations when a larger monitor or a newer printer increase one’s productivity much more than doubling the RAM. Let’s not forget it.

True Type fonts, anti aliasing….

Of course, it would be nice to have the nicest possible fonts when video card and monitor allow it, but, is it possible. All I can say for now is:

  • Fonts should look the same on paper and screen, if the video HW allows it.
  • When that is not possible, at least the paper version of a document should be as professional as possible.
  • Yes, it must support the EURO symbol without manual setting

Font servers or not?

When the project was started (february 2002) I wrote: “Do we really need one, on a stand alone machine? IIRC, other distributions (slackware?) happily live without it… If it is “only” a matter of modifying something in XFree86config, let’s do it, otherwise let’s at least put down why it is not possible”.

By now (Feb 2003) Red Hat has started the migration to the new xft2/fontconfig system: this promises wonders, both for european and asian languages, and will be the way fonts are handled from now on. Hence, RULE must follow suit, ie make its best to remove xfs and install/recommend only xft2 enabled applications. Of course, this also means that we have to be extra careful with configuration, because the new system needs more memory unless one carefully limits the fonts available.

RULE = Run Up to Date Linux Everywhere
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