Re: Chinese Traditional appearance -- mixed weights?

On Fri, 2006-09-29 at 12:30 +0800, Greg Aumann wrote:
> Owen Taylor wrote:
> > It's really hard to comment on versions of GTK+ and Pango that were
> > released over 3 years ago (effectively more like 4, since 2.2.0 was
> > released in Dec 2002, and 2.2.4 is just a bug-fix of that); I have
> > trouble even remembering what font systems were supported at that time.
> > 
> > The screenshots show multiple fonts mixed together. If you:
> > 
> >  a) Have your text tagged with the language zh-tw
> >  b) Have some font on your system that fontconfig identifies as
> >     zh-tw ('fc-list :lang=zh-tw')
> >  c) Have not explicitly specified a Simplified Chinese or Japanese
> >     font for the text
> > 
> > That won't happen
> > 
> The same thing happens with Simplified Chinese in the default setup of
> both older and recent versions of Gnome. For example it happens with
> Gnome 2.14.2 on Gentoo and also Ubuntu Dapper.
> attached is a screenshot of some Chinese and English in gedit using
> monospace 16pt. The same problem occurs with sans but the font mixing
> doesn't occur with serif. Nor does it occur if I choose a Chinese font
> but then the English often looks very ugly. As I often need to work on
> documents in mixed languages just choosing a Chinese is not terribly
> satisfactory. [...]
> I have always assumed that this is a problem with the default gnome
> setup for fontconfig but have never found the time to actually find and
> fix the problem.

Do you think that Pango should do frequency analysis of incoming text
to guess the particular Han-using language it is in (allowing for the
possibility of multiple Han-using languages in a single Paragraph, 
also allowing for paragraphs that are too short to do any such

If not, then you have two possibilities:

A) Provide Pango with the information about the language you are
   displaying (via the locale environment variables, or via markup...
   Pango doesn't support Plane 14 language tags, and considering
   how reluctantly they are part of Unicode, is unlikely to do
   so in the future.)

B) Configure a universal Han font to be preferred over language
   specific Han fonts in your fonts.conf

   Note that there is no available freely redistributable Han font
   and also universal Han fonts are not always preferred for
   writing particular languages, so it's really not surprising 
   that fontconfig doesn't come configured that way out of the 
This isn't really applicable to the previous poster's question, 
since apparently language information was supplied.

> Also gnome uses monospace and serif and this problem
> causes the Chinese to look really ugly and will definitely turn off some
> new users of gnome.					

Not quite sure what you mean here; GNOME defaults to the system
"sans-serif" alias for most things, and to the system "monospace" alias
for a few things ... gnome-terminal, gedit ... where a monospace font is

(My assumption is that new users of GNOME are mostly not reading Chinese
documents when running in an English locale..)

					- Owen

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