Re: Unix font warning -- CJK-related...

Subject: Re: Unix font warning -- CJK-related...
From: Anthony Fok (
Date: Wed Dec 12 2001 - 13:57:07 CST

On Wed, Dec 12, 2001 at 07:07:19PM -0000, Tomas Frydrych wrote:
> It keeps popping up that message as long as the user ignores it,
> and that is healthy, because the message is, irrespective of the
> system configuration, an indication of AW having a problem. Once
> the user looks up the section in the helpfile to which this
> messages points, he or she will know that this message can be
> turned off in the Preferences dialogue, and need not to see it ever
> again.

For CJK users with properly configured system, such warning is a false
alarm. Yes, turning this warning message off in the Preferences dialogue
would get rid of it, but then AbiWord can't catch real problems then,
say, after the user upgraded his/her system and something broke.

What about the pseudocode I suggested in my previous message?
In summary, it checks whether the fonts.dir is in standard X format.
If so, try to add fontpath as usual, and issue warning if it fails,
i.e. the current behaviour.
If not (e.g. just check whether it contains comma), do a quick check
to see if the XLFD entry/entries therein could be accessed by X.
Issue warning if X knows no such XLFD.

I think this will make AbiWord more intelligent and would only show
a warning when there is a real problem, i.e. eliminating false alarms.
Do you think it is a good idea for inclusion into AbiWord?

> > AbiWord didn't such warning message.
> AbiWord < 0.9.5 set the font path from a wrapper script, which was
> a source of constant complaints from the users. The biggest
> problem with the script was that when the xset +fp call in it failed,
> it issued no warning, instead as soon as AW loaded it popped up
> the infamous message about "Times New Roman ...", or in the
> worse case, gtk terminated us with Gtk-ERROR 86.

Ah, I see why this addition in 0.9.5 then.

> > This warning message has
> > puzzled me ever since 0.9.5 came out. It wasn't apparent from the
> > warning message why exact AbiWord is complaining -- it just says it
> > couldn't add its fontpaths to X...
> The three dots are the root of the problem here, and a user who will
> not finish reading it will see it every time they start AW :-).

It would be ideal if this warning message could show _which_ fontpath
is causing the error. Is it an easy thing to do? :-)
(I didn't examine the source code in detail.)

> > Yes: the situation on Thiz Linux and just about all other Linux
> > distributions are as follows:
> Not only we cannot assume that all Linux distributions are the
> same (I might want to run a CJK version of AW on my SuSE 6.3
> machine, on which virtually nothing of the original setup remains),
> but we also run on a variety of other Unices, not just Linux.

This I agree.

And that's why I listed some pseudocode and would like your opinion.
Do you find it a good solution that is generic enough for inclusion
in AbiWord? If so, I could try turning the pseudocode into C/C++. :-)

> The one problem with the warning I can see is that at the moment
> it cannot be localised because the font manager gets initialized
> before the stringset is loaded -- I need to have a look whether this
> could be changed.

Ah, so that's the reason. I have been wondering why the message appears in
English too. :-)



Anthony Fok Tung-Ling
ThizLinux Laboratory   <>
Debian Chinese Project <>
Come visit Our Lady of Victory Camp! 

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