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RE: [XaraXtreme-dev] Substituted fonts and Bug 1057
- From: Alex Bligh <alex@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 12:40:27 +0100
- Subject: RE: [XaraXtreme-dev] Substituted fonts and Bug 1057
Q1: Should it be possible to select a font which is not
present on the machine (but is present in the document and
has an appropriate
substitution) using the drop down menu? I say yes.
OK I agree this is useful. However I do not like cryptic symbols or
icons and so would prefer us to be explicit and clear on the menu so it
says 'Arial (missing)'. Since the font menu us now a wide one able to
handle long font names I see no reason not to spell it out. (Does it
calculate the max width or is this a fixed width still? Some font names
are very long).
The dropdown is autocalculated, but field is fixed width on the bar
(which I think is correct). I can put "(missing)" after the font name
but it will then also appear in the field (though it's obviously likely
to be truncated) - fixing that is a little involved - see below. It's
actually probably not a bad thing that "Arial (missing)" appears
thinking about it.
Every time a saved-out
document is reloaded, it will warn about the missing font. Is
this actually useful behaviour
Yes, because the document was using Arial and only the user should
decide whether they want to change this or not. So it should prompt
every time that fonts used in the document is missing, even the default
template. This may be irritating, but it easily fixed by the user.
or should the font be /permanently/ substituted (e.g. in the attribute
No, again because the user may well want this behaviour (I work on
document using Arial default font and would like to keep it that way.
Only I should decide whether to substitute the font for real)
This, it seems to me, is a bug
irrespective of whether people can apply substituted fonts to
objects in the program.
Why? Just because it prompts all the time that a used font is missing?
I have more sympathy if the user DID save the template that way, and
less if WE saved the template that way. It's daft to give the user
a default template which if he creates docs from it will produce
warnings, isn't it?
Perhaps there should be a save option which says something like
"Permanently substitute fonts". Or a menu option that does it
live in the document, or similar.
Even if you disagree with my view on Q1, it seems to me daft
to use templates which produce documents which always warn on
loading (or rather would warn, if the warning message was
there). Fixing this (so that when loading a document the
default font attribute is not a missing font) would also fix
Bug 1057 without any further recoding
I can't see that's it's easy to fix this. What font are you going to
use? How can you be sure it's available on all Linux, any more than
You use the one the existing font substitution routine substitutes for
Seems to me there are other ways this could be solved.
A) Perhaps have user preference that allows Arial (or any font) to be
substituted on load with any other, permanently, or on-the-fly.
B) Prompt the user telling them how to get, and preferably even just
provide a one click solution to getting, the core MS 14 fonts installed
on their computer.
I hadn't thought of (B), but yes that's a good idea.
I think we should also consider having the default document use a
font that we /can/ actually install in the installer without IPR
problems. The one that it substitutes (i.e. whatever "Sans" is
under Ubuntu) would seem to be a good bet.
It's to everyone advantage that we can be sure that Arial etc is
available to all Xara users. This would provide a much more
cross-platform compatible experience.
I am assuming there is some IPR problem with these which prevent
us from shipping them ourselves (which is why everyone points to the
MS site). In which case, why not use a free Helvetica clone instead
which we can actually ship? Why force people to install IPR encumbered
fonts? As you yourself point out, these will load into LX on Windows
just fine, and they have to be font-substituted to print anyway.
Pointing people to a site where they can fix the problem is better
than nothing, but actually including the font so they don't get
the problem in the first place would seem rather nicer. The font
can just be a dependency in normal packages, and be installed
using autopackage etc. (assuming it support that) for the binary
Yes if it's not easy to have names appear in the text field that are not
in the menu, then I think that's another reason we do go with your Q1
OK. It's certainly not easy because of the wx compatibility situation.
I am not saying it is impossible.
There are a number of other, perhaps simple, enhancements that would be
useful in this area.
- If the font menu does show fonts used in the document even if they are
not present, perhaps we use this fact and make the menu highlight which
fonts are used, whether they are or not present. E.g. show them in a
slightly different colour. This would be a great way of viewing which
fonts are used, and whether they are present or not at a glance
(although having said that, the name gallery does this also)
This is possible from the point of view of the dropdown but it clearly
needs the information supplied to it. I don't know whether each document
keeps a list of what fonts it uses other than in the name gallery - and
that stuff is rather broken because the state is kept in the dialog
itself (which is why it's disabled on retail builds at the moment).
Admittedly this needs fixing anyway.
- The font menu (not sure about LX) does not show all the variant of the
given typeface. E.g. it does not enumerate the italc and bold version.
Seems to me LX does the same.
The font gallery does do this, and that's rather more useful.
I think the combo might get unwieldy in length. Obviously the combo
just lists what is enumerated.
I don't know how this works with fonts that have more than one degree
of boldness or italic-ness (e.g. if there is Foo, Foo Bold, Foo Bolder
and Foo Boldest, which does the Bold button select and how do you
currently get the others? font gallery I suppose).
way (and the best of all) is that it shows families in an expanable tree
control menu. So it would only show a single entry for Arial, but if you
expand this it shows all Arial variants.
Possible though would require a completely custom popup which is what
I've been trying to avoid.
Now we can do double-decker combos another alternative would be font family
on the top, family member (e.g. bold, bold italic etc.) on the bottom,
though I agree the Mac way is (as usual) probably better.
So given 1057 is a P1, what are doing for 0.5?