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RE: Identifying remaining core font users

Le mercredi 11 novembre 2009 à 10:00 -0700, Avery, David [DENTK] a
écrit :
> I have a bigger problem with this, I use fedora boxes to talk to older
> devices (solaris 2.6 and M88KV4 unix machines) that can never be
> upgraded to newer X clients. Since the fedora ( or any xorg) servers are
> talking to "classic" X11 clients dropping support for core fonts is a
> huge issue.

Let me write again what I put in my original message. There is no talk
of deliberately dropping support for core fonts infrastructure. Core
fonts are slowly heading the way of the dodo through natural
obsolescence and lack of people interested in investing in their future.
Big text users jumped ship for fontconfig a long time ago (circa 2003)
and they're not coming back to resume core fonts maintenance. However,
core fonts will be with us, in a somewhat reduced and degraded state,
for a long time.

So this is not about removing Fedora core fonts infrastructure
(individual fonts have and will continue to be dropped every time they
fail a legal or technical check and there's no one willing to fix the

This is about notifying the maintainers of core font *clients* in Fedora
they have a problem and should start planning migration to fontconfig if
they're not already doing so (on the plus side anyone migrating today
will have access to a font library and text features core fonts can not
compare with). Every modern *nix system has some form of fontconfig
support (because every single modern GUI app requires it). You can run
fontconfig on non-*nixes. There is no good reason for a client app not
to migrate to fontconfig if it wants a future.

> The clients are running on the host computers for flight simulators. The
> clients are built on 3rd party libraries that date from the early 90s.
> As the existing Xterms (Tek/NCD ) fail we are replacing them with newer
> linux based thin clients, but we still need "classic" X11 font support.
> The programming support is done on solaris and linux boxes the need to
> display the same layouts as the xterms 

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that forcing the limitations of
old clients in new clients is eating your cake now, and that you're
preparing yourself a painful big bang migration when the situation gets
to the point core font support is no longer at the acceptable level for
you. More than six years have elapsed since core fonts stopped being the
preferred font system X-side. Use the remaining years wisely before your
back is to the wall (I know that's easy for me to say, but there is no
magic solution).

Having worked with some decades-old systems myself, I know it's really
easy to get yourself trapped in a situation where you pay an harm and a
leg for multiple levels of legacy emulation that barely work and have
pitiful capabilities compared to recent systems, just because someone
went for the short-term "let's emulate and pretend nothing changed"
route back when keeping up with the technological changes would have
been just slightly harder (but future-proof).

Nicolas Mailhot

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