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Re: [XaraXtreme-dev] Substituted fonts and Bug 1057

On Mon, 22 May 2006 19:03:35 +0100, Alex Bligh wrote:
> Charles Moir wrote:
> May be I am not being clear. Without doing a full substitution,
> any documents created using the default template by a user
> without Arial on their machine (a large % of Linux users)
> will:
> 1. Warn on load (when the warning is there, which it isn't
>     at the moment)
> 2. Look different when loaded by a user /with/ Arial on
>     their machine.
> This seems undesirable for an application in its default
> installed state.

Yes, The above is totally broken.

> > I'm afraid Vera was one of the fonts that I was rather disappointed by
> > the quality of. Can't remember specifically why now.

I would be interested in hearing more details of the objection to
Bitstream Vera. It's currently the standard font for free-software
systems, (being one of the first Free Software fonts to be released
with good hints for on-screen display, particularly at small
sizes). So all the talk in this thread about downloading Microsoft
core fonts had me scratching my head about "why don't they throw those
away and just use Bitstream Vera"? That's what every other free
software project did when Vera became available.

Now, Vera might not have the best typographic characteristics for
document design, (I use Vera Sans Mono all day for programming, but
that's obviously a different use). I should also mention that there
are other high-quality Free Software fonts being developed. For
example, there's the Gentium stuff, (which was well-presented at LGM):


I don't think that's got all the hinting one would want yet,
though. But it's worth noting that the pool of high-quality free
software fonts is growing, so any reliance on non-free fonts makes
less sense all the time.

> It's not just about avoiding the prompts. It's about documents that
> are saved looking like they were when they are designed. Font
> substitution is a pretty subtle matter and beyond most users.
> But I bet if you find a user who knows what it means and you say
> to him "if you install Xara LX would you like it to ensure the
> font in your default document is one you have installed" I am
> betting the answer will be "yes". They shouldn't *need* to
> do two clicks (don't they also have to go find their templates
> directory, and do it for every template we supply, anyway?).

I've not been following this entire thread in detail, so I might be
missing some things, but it seems like Alex has captured the essence
here. Generating a "broken" document, (one that will complain on next
load), by default, (that is, without installing any software beyond
what can be distributed with Xara), makes zero sense to me.

The free software operating systems already provide the user rather
sophisticated control over font matching. Can't the default document
font simply take advantage of that?

For example, couldn't the hard-coded default font in the application
simply be "serif". Then, when saving the document, what would get put
into the file is whatever font the pattern "serif" actually got
resolved to on the designer's machine, (so that the document will
contain something consistent with what the designer actually saw).

Any reason why that wouldn't just work? Or is there some other
question I'm missing here?


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