Bug 7528 - fontconfig support to exclude glyphs from fonts
Summary: fontconfig support to exclude glyphs from fonts
Alias: None
Product: fontconfig
Classification: Unclassified
Component: library (show other bugs)
Version: 2_1
Hardware: x86 (IA32) Linux (All)
: high enhancement
Assignee: Keith Packard
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Blocks: 8100
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2006-07-15 05:24 UTC by Simos Xenitellis
Modified: 2011-03-14 13:33 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:
i915 platform:
i915 features:

Patch to enhance fonts.conf and provide support to exclude glyphs from fonts (22.38 KB, patch)
2006-07-15 05:28 UTC, Simos Xenitellis
Details | Splinter Review

Description Simos Xenitellis 2006-07-15 05:24:18 UTC
[copying from http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/fontconfig/2006-June/002332.html
Jay Hobson writes:]

    I have been working with Nicolas Mailhot to provide a solution to 
allow DejaVu to be added to fontconfig enabling support for some 
languages while excluding support for others. I have attached a patch 
which works with fontconfig-2.3.95.

    The patch adds two new tags to supported XML tag list. The tags work 
in conjuction with other tags already present in the library. The tags 
require fonts.conf or its included counterparts to be amended, detailing 
languages to restrict in specified families. The first added tag "hide" 
documents which languages are restricted from use for the family. The 
second tag "only" documents which languages the family is allowed to 

    The patch works by copying the pattern out of the cache, then 
modifying the local copy of the pattern to remove either a list of 
languages to be hidden, or deleting the language set, creating a new one 
and adding only the supported languages. This new pattern is then used 
for comparison for a match, after which point it is deleted. This patch 
only affects the comparison for families within an alias. If the user 
requests a specific family by name, no modification of the language set 
will occur. Additionally, as some families may be used in more than one 
alias and need differing support for each, the alias name is required, 
and modifications to the language set needs to be dynamic.

    The key benefits for this patch are the ability to use fonts that 
are works in progress, broken, or have poor quality glyphs for 
particular languages. This patch can also be used to allow fonts to be 
placed higher in the alias list with support for only targeted languages 
without interfering with fonts intended for other language support.

    Syntax for the new commands is shown in the following example:


    The above XML would only allow Arial to be used for English and 
German, disallow DejaVu for Arabic, and disallow Times with English, 
German and Spanish.

    I am interested in your comments/questions and willing to work with 
you to make this a part of the fontconfig library.
Comment 1 Simos Xenitellis 2006-07-15 05:28:07 UTC
Created attachment 6229 [details] [review]
Patch to enhance fonts.conf and provide support to exclude glyphs from fonts

This is the patch created by Jay Hobson and listed at
Comment 2 Keith Packard 2006-07-15 10:19:31 UTC
I certainly agree with the sentiment of this change; there are glyphs in many
'combined' fonts which should never see the light of day.

However, to reduce memory usage and take advantage of the mmap'd cache
architecture in 2.4, I'd like to see the patterns edited as the fonts are
scanned, rather than as they are used so that the patterns in the cache can be
used unchanged.

I was also thinking that we could actually edit the list of unicode code points
provided by each font; that way you could put deja vu up front in the list and
still skip over the arabic glyphs present in that family and reach more suitable
glyphs in later fonts, independent of the language tag in use.

However, that would actually remove the glyphs from ever being used, a good
thing when you *do* have alternate fonts with reasonable glyphs, but less
desirable when Deja Vu is all you have. I don't know how to fix that; we've got
a font with a mixture of good and bad glyphs in a mixture of styles. Perhaps we
can convince some of the free font authors to fix that by breaking the font into
separate families so we can push the ugly stuff to the bottom of the list while
still using the good stuff on the screen.

Oh, and also letting people edit the list of supported languages makes a lot of
sense; I can easily imagine language support being mis-computed as it is
entirely based on unicode coverage (with hacks for Han languages). But, I think
that's a separate issue than glyph coverage, which we should capture as unicode
ranges (which might, in fact, be represented as languages, but should probably
instead be represented as unicode pages).
Comment 3 Jay Hobson 2006-07-20 16:48:33 UTC
I think that dynamic modification of the language set will work for being able
to lower the ranking of a font supporting a particular language. As I am
familiar with the internals of both the code I wrote, and the areas of
fontconfig that it interacts with, I believe that it could be altered to allow
users to identify fonts with poor language support. In this way it would solve
the secondary problem of allowing alternate fonts lower in the preference list
to be chosen for particular languages over fonts higher in the list. It would
not result in the case of the language being unsupported if no font further in
the list supported the language in question.

If I add support for this, and submit the patch, do you think that it would be

I need to patch the pre-mmap versions, so the dynamic method I am using works
best for me. 
Comment 4 Keith Packard 2006-09-01 22:21:51 UTC
Do you guys want to update this patch for the fc-2_4-keithp branch? Also, does
this execute while fonts are scanned or while fonts are loaded? I'd strongly
prefer the former as it will be far faster and more memory efficient given the
mmap'd caches.
Comment 5 Keith Packard 2006-09-02 17:56:04 UTC
Ok, I've added a 'scan' target to the match element which should make this
process a whole lot easier; we just need a way to edit the language support and
glyph coverage values from within an edit target and we'll be all set here.

Does someone else want to take ownership of this bug?
Comment 6 Benjamin Close 2008-01-11 02:37:04 UTC
Bugzilla Upgrade Mass Bug Change

NEEDSINFO state was removed in Bugzilla 3.x, reopening any bugs previously listed as NEEDSINFO.

  - benjsc
    fd.o Wrangler
Comment 7 Behdad Esfahbod 2011-03-14 13:33:14 UTC
This is fixed in master with target=scan charset editing.

Use of freedesktop.org services, including Bugzilla, is subject to our Code of Conduct. How we collect and use information is described in our Privacy Policy.