[XeTeX] Problem with Deja Vu Sans fonts

maxwell maxwell at umiacs.umd.edu
Mon Mar 8 17:50:07 CET 2010

I reported last week on this list that I was having trouble with the
DejaVu Sans Mono font in XeTeX.  In particular, the ASCII right curly brace
('}') was overstriking the base character to its left if that base
character had diacritics.

It turns out the problem is more general, in that it seems to affect lots
of combinations of nearby diacritics and punctuation characters.  So my
first guess--that it was an issue with the way I was handling the LaTeX
special characters '{' and '}'--turns out not to be the problem.  Moreover,
I have been able to reproduce the problem in Microsoft Word running under
Windows Vista. (BTW, the XeTeX process is running under Linux.)  

Also, a different problem appears with stacked diacritics overstriking
each other in the DejaVu Sans font (not monospaced).  Again, I was able to
reproduce this in both XeTeX and Word.

Several responders to my posting suggested that the problem was a bug in
the DejaVu fonts.  So over the weekend I posted two bug reports to the
DejaVu bug list, one for the Sans Mono problem:
and one for the Sans non-mono stacked diacritics problem:
For both, I submitted a short XeTeX file and its PDF output showing the
problem.  If anyone wants to try reproducing the problem on their own
machine, that would be helpful.

The nearly immediate response to this bug report was that at least 26940
was peculiar, because this was presumably fixed a long time ago, and
reportedly worked in Linux Gnome/KDE.  (I haven't seen a response to 26941,
but I can't imagine this not having been caught a long time ago too.)  So
either there's been a reversion, or I don't have the fonts installed
correctly.  The DejaVu fonts all sit in a separate directory, which fc-list
and XeTeX do find; but in a sister directory to the directory containing
the .ttf files are a bunch of font config (*.config) files.  That is:
            (*.ttf here)
            (*.config here)
Is it possible this is preventing FcInit (or fontconfig?) and XeTeX from
finding the .config files?  How could I tell? (this would not however
explain why Word has the same problem)

   Mike Maxwell

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