Talk:Font configuration

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Revision as of 08:14, 18 October 2013 by Aexoxea (Talk | contribs) (October 2013 Quality of Font Rendering: Update target directory for symlink to preferred destination, at least on mine.)

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freetype2 config changes

freetype2 no longer uses local.conf (same with infinality) and has switched to /etc/fonts/conf.d/* config files symlinked to /etc/fonts/conf.avail/*. I'm happy to update this page but don't want to step on the plans of someone more informed than I. If I don't hear back in a week or so I'll go ahead and add some minor changes to reflect this new configuration setup.

Freetype2 has had conf.avail and conf.d for a while. One of the files in conf.d is "51-local.conf" and that lets you use /etc/fonts/local.conf for your own local settings. The freetype2-infinality package just now installs the default non-customized Infinality config to conf.avail so people know it exists without reading the documentation. thestinger 13:18, 30 November 2011 (EST)

Contradictory recommendations?

I'm not familiar with fontconfig - I've configured it rarely and a long time ago for a different OS. So I'm not sure if something is just not clear to me but as I read the article, it is giving me contradictory instructions:

  • early on, it suggests enabling both the autohinter and subpixel rendering to improve appearance after installing msfonts
  • later on, it says that the autohinter should not be used with subpixel rendering

I realise that the methods used to enable these are different in the two cases (one sets up symlinks in conf.d; one adds sections to local.conf) but if this explains the apparent inconsistency, it would be really good to explain why there's no conflict in this case. --Margali 19:07, 4 March 2012 (EST)

Autogenerating missing shapes and weights

Since the article is about improving the appearance of fonts, I would suggest qualifying the section which explains how to have fontconfig generate italics and bold/bolder fonts on the fly. I doubt very much that it is faking italics. I assume it fakes slanted versions (which are not the same as italics). Moreover, it is unlikely that the results of autogeneration will be especially pleasing. Font designers would abhor such things and not, I think, because they need the work! Faked versions can be acceptable but they will not look as good - the spacing will not be optimal, the shapes of the glyphs and the metrics will not be quite right as good fonts vary these things appropriately for different weights, shapes and sizes. --Margali 19:13, 4 March 2012 (EST)

Configuration confusion

As currently set out, I'm not clear what the relationship is between configuration via symlinks in conf.d (adding to conf.avail as needed) and via local.conf. Should these be used for different aspects of configuration? Or are they equivalent/interchangeable?

I also don't quite understand about the numbering. It looked to me as if higher numbered files under conf.d were more specific than lower numbered ones. I assumed this was so that e.g. config specific to a particular font overrode general, default config for all fonts. But the article suggests that is wrong. So should I be renumbering the files there in order to get this behaviour?

e.g. Will the font-specific set up in 20-unhint-small-dejavu-sans-mono.conf get overridden by 10-bcihint.conf (a file I created with the section for BCI hints from the article)? I used 10- because that's the number for the autohinter file under conf.avail so I assumed that number was about right.

--Margali 19:23, 4 March 2012 (EST)

October 2013 Quality of Font Rendering

The package extra/fontconfig was updated to 2.11.0-1 as at 2013-10-13 (UTC). Per [BBS#1337337] by anton and associated ArchLinux flyspray entry [FS#25499], the file 29-replace-bitmap-fonts.conf was dropped from the package (this file was an ArchLinux customisation).

anton provides a workaround in that thread, as does FDServices at [BBS#1337433] and heftig at [BBS#1337776]. I can confirm -- at least on my rig -- that the workaround provided by FDServices was successful after log out/in to establish a new session

I am noting this here for the benefit of other contributors who may come hunting for this over time; not sure if (or how) it should be worked into the main article. Full credit is due to the contributors named above for this, rather than me; I am merely the messenger here!

--aexoxea (talk) 14:46, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

Further to the above, here is a 'compromise' method (per the information provided by FDServices and heftig above) that doesn't involve restoring the 29-replace-bitmap-fonts.conf file, and that seems to be working OK here: Install extra/tex-gyre-fonts and then symlink /etc/fonts/conf.avail/70-no-bitmaps.conf under ~/.fonts.conf.d/.
Obviously this is user-specific, but it also avoids creating the symlink under /etc manually (since files created therein other than by packages tend to be forgotten). As I know comparitively little about font configuration, any feedback on issues or potential issues with this method is welcomed.
--aexoxea (talk) 07:08, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
The above generated some warnings for me, so I'm now using destination directory ~/.config/fontconfig/conf.d/. This appears to be an XDG-preferred destination (at least on ArchLinux), however I don't know whether others mileage may vary, so both are noted here. Hopefully the last update to this thread from me!
--aexoxea (talk) 08:14, 18 October 2013 (UTC)