Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
I can only approve phasing out core fonts one way or another.
Technically, I believe complete removal of all core font support
would result in an X Window System implementation which is
non-compliant I believe. The X Window System does not require
a font server to be present as a separate standalone process
however, so we can certainly phase out xfs.
We (well, everyone out there actually) will probably have to
provide core fonts support forever, or X11 conformant
applications will just fail.
Long term, what would be really nice, is if someone figured
out a way to implement core fonts using fontconfig/Xft
underneath so we have one font system, and it provides
legacy compatibility to ancient applications that have not
been updated to modern interfaces. That is something that
would need to be spearheaded at the X.Org level rather than
at a specific distribution however.
In fact I'm convinced the last strugglers will *never* move to
fontconfig unless Red Hat / Fedora or another big distro
exerts a bit of pressure (as was the case for the gcc, utf-8
and selinux migrations), so waiting so long
for even making core fonts optional was in the end conterproductive (and
OLPC is paying the price today).
Core fonts are non-optional. It is xfs that is optional, however
there was no real world gains to disabling it by default before,
but there was functionality loss without re-engineering the
rest of the OS to provide the same level of core font support
via the X server. As such, we stuck with using xfs under the
"if it's not broke, don't try to fix it" principle.
Now however, there are some real gains to be had, in particular
for OLPC and/or other embedded distros, and so it seems that
now is the time to address this.
However I know it's a difficult decision to take, as the users of
bad citizen apps still relying on core fonts are certain to yell loudly
near FC-6 release.
It's a _very_ difficult decision indeed IMHO. There are
many applications that ship as part of the X Window System
itself, as well as numerous apps that are part of Fedora
Core and Extras, not to mention numerous 3rd party apps
beyond that out there, all which use core fonts exclusively.
I believe that there will be some problems created when this
change happens, but such is the way of progress. ;o)
Once the problems are more visible, we'll be in a better
situation to try to address as many as we can prior to FC-6
Thanks for the feedback.
Mike A. Harris * Open Source Advocate * http://mharris.ca