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

Peter Robinson wrote:
The same situation exists for Fedora, only there's no
business factors to consider, but rather community-factors.
If someone has an app, or apps that they expect to be
able to use for years to come, and they have trouble with
getting them running in FC6, they might stay with FC5 or
switch distros or something - if they don't feel like
configuring everything manually for themselves.

The big puzzle IMHO, is:  Just how many applications out
there, and just how many users, will be affected by this,
even in a small way?

Also if they are affected is it just a matter of updating the
application to deal with the new way

The application and/or the toolkit it uses.

or if commercial trying to
convince the vendore that it's worth they're while.

I don't think we need to do any convincing.  It's entirely
up to 3rd parties wether to update their applications to work
with modern technological evolution or not.  If they do, their
apps will work on current and future generation OS products
out there.  If they do not, their products/solutions will
remain stuck with dependencies on legacy technology.

While that legacy technology will remain around for a long
time, _using_ it may become more difficult however.

I suspect that each particular application out there needs
to be considered on a case by case basis, by the people who
own and/or maintain each particular app/lib/whatever, as
well as by the userbases of them.  I doubt there will be
a single formula. ;o)

Could an app have the ability to support both? My guess would
> yes (maye with an --enable/disable combo?).

There are many applications which already have compile time
and/or runtime support of both font subsystems.  "xterm" for
example is compiled with both, and uses core fonts by default,
but if you pass the right options to it at invocation it will
use antialiased truetype fonts with Xft/fontconfig.

Many other apps out there could do the same thing if someone
were to write the code.  I'm sure some will be easier to do
than others, and some will be quite a lot of work, in particular
if it requires updating an entire toolkit which hasn't been
updated yet.

What I'm actually a bit more curious about though, is just
how many apps included with Fedora Core 6 will not work
properly if core fonts has a limited default configuration
out of the box.  ;o)

It'd be an interesting test for someone to disable xfs, and
to configure the X server to have only the "misc" font dir
as a configured font path in xorg.conf, and then see what
all apps no longer work.

Second to that, many apps will work, but will probably look
hideous, as they'll have a far reduced set of fonts to use
with such a configuration.  It'd be interesting to see what
apps totally break or otherwise become unuseable with such
a setup.

If anyone feels up to trying this, please post your results
back to the list.


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

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