Should we expect Liberation fonts to be installed?

Scott Ritchie scott at
Tue Aug 3 15:57:34 CDT 2010

I was looking through our fairly large collection of open font bugs and
realized that things might be a lot simpler if we took some opinionated
positions and just declared certain fonts to be dependencies and
expected all packagers to provide them.

This is similar to bundling our own Tahoma, except much less work.

This bug, for instance, prevents Photoshop from working unless there is
an Arial font installed:

Wine doesn't seem to respect system-level fontconfig aliases, so even
though Liberation Sans is installed on the system Photoshop won't try to
use it in place of Arial.

But if however we assumed that Liberation Sans was installed, we could
make things much better: a link/substitution for Arial->Liberation Sans
could be provided in our own registry (and similarly for Times New Roman
and Courier).  An alternative is to simply symlink to the Liberation
Fonts in /usr/share/wine/fonts as though they were our own shipped fonts
(like Tahoma).

This would make Photoshop think Arial was present and keep it
functional.  Ideally the real Arial would be displayed if it was
installed (eg through winetricks corefonts or by installing the
distro-provided corefonts package).

A related question is whether to show "Arial" in the list of fonts (eg
notepad) when we're actually just providing a substituted Arial.  My
inclination says no, however I'm not sure how it works internally and
what an application would expect.

Scott Ritchie

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