[tex-live] inclusion of libraries

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Tue May 23 10:23:30 CEST 2006

On 23 May 2006, at 12:32 am, Ralf Stubner wrote:

> karl at freefriends.org (Karl Berry) writes:
>> BTW, what does fontconfig do?  Never heard of it.
> It's a library for accessing the fonts installed on a system
> (http://www.fontconfig.org/). At least on current GNU/Linux systems it
> is used by many programs to find and access fonts. Actually, this
> library is a quite interesting case for XeTeX, since it is, of course,
> one of the important features of XeTeX to be able to access all fonts
> installed on the system.

Where "installed" fonts, on a GNU/Linux system, typically running a  
Gnome or KDE environment, means "fonts known to fontconfig". While  
this is not the only mechanism applications use to handle fonts, it  
seems to be the de facto standard for most apps in an X-Windows-based  
graphical desktop environment.

> I am not sure if this is possible if XeTeX (and
> xdvipdfmx) is linked statically against it's own version, since this
> version won't know where to look for system fonts.

Actually, I *think* this may be OK, as the library itself shouldn't  
contain that knowledge... it relies on an XML configuration file (/ 
etc/fonts/fonts.conf or something, and additional files and  
directories that it points to). So provided system integrators aren't  
making drastic changes such as moving the primary conf file, it  
should work; whether one uses the system's installed library or a  
statically-linked version, it'll still read and follow the same  

On the other hand, if a user doesn't have a fontconfig library  
installed, then they're probably not running a "normal" X-based  
desktop system at all, and the whole idea of transparently accessing  
their library of "installed fonts", shared with all their GUI  
applications, becomes somewhat moot.


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