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paradigm-X
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Joined: 19 Sep 2013
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:51 am    Post subject: Font conversion issue in X Reply with quote

I am hoping that someone can point me in the right direction to figure out how to solve the following kind of problem. I will describe the setting, which seems to me to be a large part of why the issue arises to begin with.

I am in an X environment on Gentoo, with two windows open: one of them is xterm and the other is 9term, a Plan 9 type of terminal from the 'plan9port' package. I actually launched the xterm window from the 9term window by using this command exactly, xterm, instead of using 'xterm &'. So, for lack of a more technically suitable way of saying it, there seems to be some kind continuing communication link between these two windows. For example (here comes the precise problem...), when I am in the xterm window and do this command, xdpyinfo, while the information prints to the screen in xterm, I then get a message in the 9term window to this effect:

Warning: Cannot convert string "-adobe-helvetica-bold-r-normal--"-120-*-*-*-*-iso8859-*" to type FontStruct

So, with this information I am wondering, first of all, whether I even should try to figure out how to make it possible for 9term(?) to convert the string. After all, nothing in either screen is illegible or in any way unusual. It is a bit annoying to see it, and it may get worse, in which case I should have the knowledge to correct it. Additionally, I am not entirely sure whether the message indicated that 9term is conveying information about how xterm cannot convert an instruction correctly, or whether the problem is rather with 9term itself. It seems like the former nor the latter is the likely cause.

In general, is it desirable to set up a font folder and put these fonts into it whenever one of them is referenced in this way? Would having too many fonts in such a folder create unnecessary overhead. The envorinment under consideration is not one in a large LAN where numerous users need to have multiple fonts available for publishing and such. My font needs are fairly modest, all in all. Though I would like to be able to activate a given font if need be and then deactivate it afterwards. There are occassions where I would like to review the characters provided by one or another font.
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v_andal
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Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 521
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, what happens if you run xterm from another xterm window and then execute in it xdpyinfo?

Generally speaking, when you start application from terminal emulator, then by default the emulator keeps 3 file descriptors attached to that application. Those are "stdin", "stdout" and "stderr". Through the last one application notifies about errors or problems that it has encountered. The emulator simply forwards all of this stuff to the screen for the user to see.

So, I guess in your case, xterm attempts to load font with name "-adobe-helvetica-bold-r-normal--"-120-*-*-*-*-iso8859-*". This style of names is coming from old times. Currently, Gentoo uses new system called "Fontconfig". This system has independent configuration which does not support such names. The problem is, most of installed fonts get added only to Fontconfig. They are not added to the old system because old system was working mostly with bitmap fonts. To allow old systems see installed fonts one should provide appropriate section in xorg.conf. Something like

Quote:

Section "Files"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/misc"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/terminus"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/arphicfonts"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/corefonts"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/cyrillic"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/dejavu"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/droid"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/indic"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/kochi-substitute"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/liberation-fonts"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/lklug"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/sazanami"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/ttf-bitstream-vera"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/urw-fonts"
EndSection


Still, xterm may also support Fontconfig. At least urxvt does support it.
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paradigm-X
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Joined: 19 Sep 2013
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for this thorough and helpful explanation, v_andal. It will help me procede.
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