Draining the font swamp
lists at janc.be
Fri May 25 20:30:19 UTC 2007
[CC'ed Donn Ingle as I point to his reaction on Mark's blog--Donn,
see  for my original proposal; I think subscribing is required before
mailing to ubuntu-devel-discuss]
Op vrijdag 25-05-2007 om 13:40 uur [tijdzone +0100], schreef Matt
> Sounds like you want a specialized tool like fonty-python, designed
> for people who do this kind of work.
No! If properly implemented, most people would (almost) never have to
do anything that they don't do now. I have been thinking about this for
more than 2 years, after seeing the way too long font list (even before
I installed the hundreds of fonts that I have). I have used font
managers like Fonty-Python and those included in Adobe products before,
on Windows and Mac OS Classic and they are usable but not perfect.
And the way Fonty-Python works is a hackish workaround, as the author
says himself in the comments on Mark's blog, but it's the best that
can be done using the current infrastructure. It actually has to
install and uninstall fonts (by symlinking them in '~/.fonts'), which is
not the same as hiding them from the default font dialogs (it breaks
when you try to view a document without installing the fonts used in it
> What I'm concerned with in this thread is the experience of an average
> user, who cares very little about fonts, just wants their applications
> to work, and be able to display readable text in their language. We
> want to have the simplest, cleanest infrastructure to provide this.
What I describe provides an infrastructure that can be used for making
things better for both ordinary users (they would mostly use what I call
the 'defaults' font group) *and* for graphics professionals (even a
better solution than Apple, Adobe, etc. have now!).
It's just like apt/dpkg with its system for software installation,
dependencies, etc. sits under gnome-app-install, Synaptic, aptitude, ...
The default "font manager" could be similarly easy as g-a-i, while an
advanced GUI for power users could be provided as a package for
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