[Debian GNUstep maintainers] Bug#527593: Required default fonts by the backend not always available

Yavor Doganov yavor at gnu.org
Fri May 8 11:03:20 UTC 2009

Package: gnustep-back0.16-cairo
Version: 0.16.0-3

(Hubert/Gürkan: FYI this is a followup to this thread:

В Thu, 07 May 2009 09:07:52 +0800, Zhang Weiwu написа:
> Hi thanks I solved it with:
> $ defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSFont 'DejaVu Sans' 

This should not be necessary in most common situations, although it is
recommended in /usr/share/doc/gnustep-back<SONAME>/README.Debian which
is a file Debian users *should* read, especially if they encounter

I can't reproduce your issue, though:

$ mv ~/GNUstep/Defaults/.GNUstepDefaults GNUstepDefaults.orig
$ defaults write NSGlobalDomain GSBackend libgnustep-cairo
$ Ink

...starts and runs perfectly fine here, with NSFont apparently
BitStream Vera Sans.  But this font is being deprecated in Debian, so
no longer installed by default (`aptitude why' tells me I have it
installed automatically here because fontconfig-config depended on
it).  The second fallback ttf-freefont is also not pulled in by the
GNUstep dependency chain, which explains your problem.

> I more or less consider this is a packager's mistake.

Debian packages cannot mess with your $HOME, so the only way to
eliminate the problem efficiently is to add DevaVu as another option
to the appropriate CairoFontEnumerator methods before the final
fallback Helvetica.  Perhaps it is a good idea this to be done
upstream, instead of a Debian-specific patch.

Another quick & dirty Debian fix is the cairo backend to depend on the
ugly ttf-bitstream-vera | ttf-freefont.  (Actually, only the latter as
ttf-bitstream-vera is scheduled for removal:

> After all many people choose to use a distribution instead of
> compiling everything manually is because they want the task to fight
> dependency & configuration an optional task instead of mandantory.

Right; and these people should report such issues to the distro
instead, so that bugs get properly tracked/fixed/forwarded upstream
(if necessary) accordingly.  Which I'm doing now.

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