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Re: RFC: Making the xfs font server optional in Fedora Core and its derivatives.

Michael Tiemann wrote:

In particular, xfs and core fonts does not fit well into the
One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) effort, or other Fedora derived
embedded distributions.  In these embedded systems, or
reduced computing environments if you will, every megabyte
of disk space and memory counts.  Shedding megs of stuff out
of the default OS installation is sure to reduce both the
memory footprint and disk footprint of the OS installation,
which is a net gain for these systems, and also for a lot
of the userbase out there that do not use any applications
which rely on core fonts.

On the other hand, there are many applications included both
in Fedora Core, and in Fedora Extras, which do rely on the
core fonts system still, and are likely to rely on it for the
forseeable future.  There are also many 3rd party open source
and commercial applications, as well as custom in-house
applications that many users and/or companies rely on, and
will want to keep working in new OS releases.

Is it too late for this to be a major thrust of the Fedora Summer of
Code projects?  Even if it is, I think that such changes create a
tremendous amount of opportunity for new folks to step into new
leadership roles.  I can imagine that at next years OSCON there will be
a new crop of hackers who can proudly say "I cleaned up the font cruft
in Project XYZ and now maintain its use of the new font system".

I also think that given all the stuff that's been going on in Fedora in
support of server-side computing, it makes good sense to give some major
priority (which can mean major leeway) to client-side computing.

I think it would be fantastic if someone were to tackle adding
fontconfig/Xft support to the various toolkits out there that
don't support it currently, and/or the various apps that use
core fonts directly, or are otherwise directly affected by it.

If someone is interested in organizing such a project of any
size, it would be a great service to the community, reaching
beyond Fedora even.

Another possibility is simply converting individual applications
that use Xaw/Xt/Motif/etc. to using GTK or Qt, or creating an
alternative implementation of said application.  We could then
start replacing the non-(GTK/Qt) based apps with their modern
equivalents once they're ready, and move the legacy versions
into Fedora Extras (assuming someone in the community desperately
wants to maintain them).

Any takers?

Mike A. Harris  *  Open Source Advocate  *  http://mharris.ca
                      Proud Canadian.

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