Has The performance been forgotten?

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at acm.org
Sat Oct 9 21:15:23 BST 2004

Bahram Alinezhad wrote:
> Similarly, many projects may be known responsible for a certain issue, but 
> all in uncertainty, and all may deny! If such a lack of co-ordination can be 
> found in the linux community, solving a performance problem becomes 
> disappointing; However, I hope this not to be true.

Unfortunately, I found that this is the case with font problems.

CUPS can not find fonts unless the path to them is compiled into GhostScript.

With LPRng the problem appears to be the same (or perhaps worse).

The GNUlpr system works OK, but I found a bug in Bash that caused problems.
And, unfortunately, GNUlpr is no longer maintained.

GhostScript doesn't work with FontConfig.

Qt doesn't get the PostScript font names correct which causes strange problems.

There is no easy way to setup FontConfig for font substitutions.

The utility: "mkfontscale" that comes with X doesn't work correctly on some 
weights and on fonts with "ADD_STYLE_NAME" for the old X font system.  This 
results in fonts not found by OpenOffice.

There is a fundamental difference with how Type1 and TrueType fonts divide up
the Family_Name and the other attribute fields in the XLFD and the equivalent
fields in a "fonts.cache-1" file.  Should X &/| FontConfig address this, or
should Qt address this, or should all applications have to deal with this problem?

There are problems with Qt not recognizing some of the Type1 fonts that
FontConfig has no problem serving.

KDE does not print TrueType fonts very well if they are 'embedded' in the
PostScript file.  Having the fonts embedded in the PostScript files takes CPU
time especially with TrueType fonts since they must be converted to Type42.

These font problems have multiple sources and nobody seems to think that
addressing them is an important issue.  If other projects don't address these
problems, then KDE should do it (at least for KDE).

And, yes, font problems are part of the performance issue.  Specifically, KDE
doesn't appear to cache the list of available fonts so this is done with every
application when you open it.  The only way to get the PostScript font names
correct when printing appears to be to read them from the font files when needed
-- they aren't cached by FontConfig.

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