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

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Thu May 21 01:27:14 CEST 2009

On 20 May 2009 Pander wrote:

 > Not yet, I also think about filing a bug for Ubuntu and Debian. My
 > opinion is that all extra stuff added by GNU/Linux distros in term
 > of extra characters should be committed upstream and only one
 > archive of (Ghostscript) gsfonts should be used by both texlive and
 > GNU/Linux distros.

See below.
 > It is not good they clone the fonts without changeing the unique
 > ID.

The UniqueID should better be removed because Adobe doesn't asign new
ones any more.  It doesn't hurt if it's missing, but you run into
trouble if two different fonts have the same one.

But as I said before, there should never be two fonts with the same
FontName.  Maybe in the extended fonts shipped with ghostscript,
FontName should contain the letters "GS".  For instance, all Bitstream
fonts contain "BT" in their FontName:

   /FontName /CharterBT-Roman def

This is a good and reliable scheme which avoids clashes.

 > But if any effort is going to be made, I prefer merging over
 > multiple implementations with minor differences.

 > Whatever texlive of GNU/Linux distros might add to the archive of
 > fonts in terms of hinting files or which fonts they want to leave
 > out is still up to them.

Sorry, maybe it's still not clear.  First of all, it has nothing to do
with TeX Live at all.  It also has nothing to do with Debian/Ubuntu
or any other Linux distribution.

TeX Live can only ship stuff which exists already, but no dreamware.

Walter Schmidt created the TeX support files (tfm, map, ... -files)
and is maintaining them, plus a set of LaTeX macros, plus the
associated fonts.

*** You cannot use these font metrics with any other font. ***

One reason Walter decided to use the original URW fonts is that they
had been regarded as replacements for the built-in printer fonts.
People can use the URW fonts for previewing and the built-in printer
fonts for printing.  In this case it doesn't make sense to add any new
glyphs because they will not appear on paper anyway.

IMO the gsfonts are obsolete.  There are the TeX Gyre fonts now which
contain Cyrillic and Vietnamese glyphs too, and Greek, Slovenian,...
Each font file contains abt. 1200 glyphs and almost all Latin
languages are supported (maybe support for some rare African scripts
is missing).  There are real small caps and oldstyle numerals...

I think that it's best to replace gsfonts by them former or later.
Last time I asked Jacko whether he wants to ask Ghostscript developers
to ship gs with TeX Gyre, he said "Not yet, maybe later.", but this
had been a few years ago.  Maybe it's worthwhile to ask him again.

 > Most important thing is that for all the end users, it should be
 > guaranteed (regarding gsfonts) that only one implementation is behind
 > each font name+style.
 > What is the most efficient way to handle this?
 > 1) Contact Ghostscript upstream maintainer and get his/her opinion
 > 2) Inform all downstream parties about approach (GNU/Linux gsfonts,
 > texlive, etc.)
 > 3) Probably/hopefully have upstream Ghostscript merge the gsfonts
 > extension (extra characters etc.) from GNU/Linux gsfonts
 > 4) Upgrade all downstream texlive, GNU/Linux gsfonts, etc.

There is nothing to upgrade or to merge.  At least not in the TeX
world.  The fonts maintained by Walter will not be extended and those
people who need extra glyphs will use TeX Gyre instead.  It would be
nice if the gsfonts can be renamed, but in my opinion they should
simply be replaced by TeX Gyre as soon as possible.

 > Few, I have the feeling that these fonts that have been forked are
 > going to stir up a lot of dust for version and release management
 > of some distributions. Well, better now than later. The end result
 > will be serving more people around the world when the fonts offer
 > more glyphs.

As I said: use TeX Gyre if you need more glyphs.  As far as TeX is
concerned, there is absolutely nothing to do.  Of course, the fact
that the modified fonts supplied by ghostscript claim to be identical
with the genuine fonts maintained by Walter Schmidt is quite nasty and
can lead to unexpected results.  But they are not needed anymore.
Neither by TeX nor as system fonts.  Definitely!


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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