Historically font formats only allowed four faces regular, bold, italic, bold italic. You had to use a separate font family to distribute condensed, heavy etc variants
This has changed (cf http://blogs.msdn.com/text/attachment/2249036.ashx ) and modern fonts such as DejaVu include all faces under a single family name. Applications such as OO.o are being fixed to handle multifaced fonts
Unfortunately there are still many historic fonts in the wild distributed in several sets of four faces (gs fonts, arial narrow, arial bold, etc). Those fonts currently appear under different family names in fontconfig-using apps. This is perturbing to users, since the same faces of historic and modern fonts are not handled the same way. Microsoft did some sort of magic in uniscribe to hide this distinction (irrelevant to users).
Please provide a documented config pattern for font distributors that enables them to declare to fontconfig "font family A and font family B are the same, please expose all the associated faces under A name to users".
(of course an application asking explicitely for B should still get it, but users would only see A in font lists)
Currently arial narrow is being partially merged, which from users' point of view is even worse since it is not possible to select arial narrow in any way, neither as a separate font or as a style of arial. Please fix this.
Please note that I'm not asking to return to the old behaviour, I'm asking for a proper fix which will benefit everyone.
just to keep it in mind:
Unfortunately the standard itself is not freely available. But the DTD is.
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