[tex-live] Asymptote/DviPS and ghostscript (gone) epswrite device

Dr. Werner Fink werner at suse.de
Mon Feb 9 12:24:46 CET 2015

On Fri, Feb 06, 2015 at 01:38:00AM +0100, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
> There was a discussion about Ghostscript fonts.  Just a few notes:
> As you know, Ghostscript had been shipped with a modified version of
> the fonts donated by URW gratefully under GPL.  TeX Live always
> provided the original URW fonts.  The problem is that the fonts
> shipped with Ghostscript were modified but neither /FontName nor the
> /UniqueID was changed.  This violates the PostScript specification
> which clearly sais that there should never exist two different fonts
> in the world with the same /FontName.
> A few years ago I explained in detail on a TeX related mailing list
> why this was a bad idea and which problems were to be expected.  Some
> time later I noticed that somebody forwarded my mail to the
> Ghostscript developers.  Chris Liddell then said that the sole purpose
> of the URW fonts is to provide a replacement for the Adobe fonts built
> into laser printers and that the extra glyphs are not needed.
> The situation is not better now.  Though the modified fonts are still
> available, recent versions of Ghostscript have the fonts built-in
> (this behavior can be disabled by a ./configure option).  The nasty
> thing is that the built-in fonts support only the glyphs provided by
> Adobe, hence less than the original URW fonts.
> However, some extra glyphs had been added to the built-in symbol font.
> It took me some time to find out what's going on when somone reported
> missing glyphs in his dvi/pdf file.  It's often quite time-consuming
> to solve such problems and to look for a workaround.  But I'm
> absolutely convinced that ordinary LaTeX users are lost and most of
> them simply give up and blame TeX.
> The problems with different fonts with the same /FontName are
> extremely nasty.  There must be a reason why it's explicitly forbidden
> in the PostScript specs.
> IMO the only solution is to avoid the fonts shipped with Ghostscript
> completely.  The built-in fonts can be overridden by external .pf[ab]
> files with a Fontmap file.  TeX Live users on Windows are in advantage
> here.  Ghostscript in TeX Live for Windows is using the original URW
> fonts from CTAN, maintained by Walter Schmidt.
> In a better world all Unix/Linux distributions would provide these
> fonts too instead of relying on anything shipped with Ghostscript.
> The latter turned out to be a moving target, TeX users expect more
> consistency and reliability.
> Werner, if you are interested, look at
>   trunk/Master/tlpkg/tlgs/fonts
>   trunk/Master/tlpkg/tlgs/lib/Fontmap
>   trunk/Master/tlpkg/tlgs/lib/Fontmap.TeXLive
> Using these fonts with ghostcript makes sure that no glyphs get lost
> if EPS files are created with external tools (XFig,...) and embedded
> into TeX files later.
> Many problems can be avoided if only one version of /URWPalladioL-Roma,
> for example, exists on all systems.  And this can only be the file
> originally provided by URW.  Any modified version with the same
> /FontName is definitely harmful and should be removed forever.

AFAICR there *are* bugs in the original URW fonts which are old but
nevertheless bugs:


it could be that this had been fixed in the ghostscript sources.
As I can remember that I had reported this.  But I'm not maintainer
of ghostscript as I'm busy with the systemd matinainership, therefore
I can not say if the ghostscript variant of the URW fonts had been
fixed at this points.  See attachment for the old patch (it requires
to expand the the pfb fonts to pfa fonts before patching).


  "Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having
          a peeing section in a swimming pool." -- Edward Burr
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