[tex-live] Conflits in gsfonts packge and tex-live distro

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed May 20 11:34:40 CEST 2009

On Wed, May 20, 2009 at 5:49 AM, The Thanh Han <hanthethanh at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, May 20, 2009 at 12:28:12AM +0200, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
>> [...]
>> TeX Live doesn't lag behind.  It just provides the authentic fonts,
>> very well maintaned by Walter Schmidt.  The fonts shipped with
>> ghostscript only claim that they are authentic, but they aren't.  And
>> exactly this is the problem.  Avoid them whenever possible.

That isn't helpful advice -- most users aren't aware that there
are multiple possiblilities when they request "Helvetica" in a
document.  There needs to be greater transparency when
fonts are substituted.  It is helpful that TeX Live uses filenames
that are not not used elsewhere, but many applications still
let users select Helvetica when only derivtives of the URW fonts
are available.

> FWIW: the gs fonts provided by debian/ubuntu (and perhaps
> other linux distro) are quite different from the original
> URW fonts: they have extra characters that are not in the
> original fonts (eg cyrillic or vietnamese chars).

And which were badly needed by linux distros.  Some of the
modified fonts lost the original hinting, so screen rendering
quality was not as good, so people who don't use the added
glyphs prefer the original fonts, but some people do need
the additional glyphs.   Is it acceptable for TeX Live to
make decisions that may create extra problems for people
who can't use the orginal URW fonts?  Better support for
using system fonts would help ensure the same fonts are
used in TeX and in figures prepared using external tools.

> It's certainly an improvement, but keeping the fontnames
> unchanged seems a bit unfortunate IMO. It might cause
> problems similar to this:
> http://sarovar.org/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=4014&group_id=106&atid=493

Exactly.   There are also more subtle problems where the same
glyph gets different shapes or different hinting in different parts
of one document, e.g., a PDF figure that embeds one version
of a font in a document that uses a different version.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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